We spent a week holidaying in Cawood Castle, in Yorkshire, this year.
There may only be the gatehouse, and it's domestic wing left, and the gatehouse itself may only sleep 4, but we had the whole place to ourselves, including the crenellated rooftop, with magnificent views of the Vale of York.
The castle was once a stronghold of the Archbishops of York, had significant royal links, and exchanged hands several times during the The Wars of the Roses. The gatehouse formed the private chambers of several Archbishops, and from skimming it's library, there's a lot of history wrapped up in such a small building.
It's just one of many unusual and eclectic buildings being preserved by the Landmark Trust charity and let out to fund their maintenance. They have a huge variety of converted castles, follies, mills, townhouses, cottages, halls, barns, stables, villae, lighthouses and even a few Martello towers (19th century defensive forts).
Many of these building would have been lost to history without help, and their conversion is done with care and sympathy.
Having said that, it can result in some very odd designs, such as
- One where you have to head out of the main tower and along the battlements to get to one of the bedrooms, which has no en-suite (so be careful if you have to dash to the loo in the middle of the night);
- The Giant stone pineapple; or
- The tower at Caernarfon castle where you climb the outside
stairs to get into the tower, then climb internal stairs to get to
the main living area, and then back down a spiral staircase to get to
one of the bedrooms.
I love just looking through the catalogue at all of these weird, wonderful, historic buildings.
I have no relationship with the Landmark Trust, other than being a happy customer who is grateful for the magnificent preservation work they do.