Saturday, 13 August 2016
Wales - After visiting the Welsh Wildlife Centre, we walked up the River Teifi, through a spectacular gorge to Cilgerran Castle, a fine - though now ruined - example of a Welsh castle. Originally a wooden structure on a rocky promontory overlooking the Teifi Gorge, construction of the stone castle was started in 1224 at the command of William Marshal, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. It passed through many hands and saw many adventures in the turbulent battles between Welsh and English forces in the medieval period. It was eventually abandoned in 1400 and left to become a rather romantic ruin.
It is a place where my imagination can run wild. I was particularly taken by the story of Nest, the wife of Gerald of Windsor, who first built a castle here. She and her children were kidnapped by her second cousin, Owain ap Cadwgan, after helping her husband to escape through the privy hole. It doesn't sound as though she minded being kidnapped... She became the mistress to a number of lovers including King Henry I. I suppose in those days a woman had little except her sexuality to ensure that she and her children were taken care of.
The magnificent willow sculpture is of William Marshal and was being repaired by its creator, ( the aptly named) Michelle Cain, with the help of a student. The same lady had also created the badger sculpture ( see Thursday).