Monday, 5 October 2015

Castle Ward Visit

I spent a most agreeable three hours at Castle Ward yesterday, on what was a fine, sunny autumn day.

Castle Ward, County Down, is, of course, the ancestral seat of the Viscounts Bangor. Indeed, the family still has an apartment in the mansion house.

When I arrived I made a bee-line for the cafeteria in the stable-yard, where I had a delicious bowl of very thick curried carrot and parsnip soup, served with a generous slice of wheaten-bread.

Castle Ward has been a property of the National Trust since the early 1950s.

The Tack Room

I think the 7th Viscount gave the estate to the Northern Ireland government at the time as part of death duties.

After lunch, I took advantage of the free wi-fi in the stable-yard and posted a few photographs.

Thence I donned the wellington boots and had a long walk through the estate woodland.

I passed the former gamekeeper's cottage, otherwise known as the Bunkhouse; the pond; and a very large field with cattle.

BACK at the mansion house, I admired the prospect from the garden front of Strangford Lough.

Scrub and bushes have been cleared from the area between the house and the stable-yard outbuildings, revealing a very small single-storey cottage or bothy, which has obviously been derelict for many years.

I've been coming to Castle Ward since I was a boy and I've never seen this building before.

I wonder what its purpose was? Did it store something?

Bonito Cottage

Before I departed I visited the farmyard, where Old Castle Ward is located, and walked past the former smithy to the charming Bonito Cottage.

1 comment :

Karolyn Cooper said...

That's a beautiful view towards the lough.