The Forest of Dean.

Away Days



Away Days - Out of the Forest.

Tretower Court - Outside.

Outside there are several small spaces in which vegetables and ornamental flowers and herbs were grown. There would have been a regular kitchen garden as well as an ongoing vegetable plot. Today a small sample of some of the natural herbs and flowers that would have been grown are to be seen through the little doorway in the centre of the Southern wall of the Courtyard that leads to the remnants of two buildings that might have been stables.

Today this area has been made into a slightly formal garden with the central feature of a hexagonal fountain, with its accompanying pool. A similar feature would not have been beyond the skills available to past owners of the Manor house.

This modern Perloga would not, of course, have been known in Medieval times but the principle that as the government of the land became more stable so the constant need for martial readiness would diminish and be replaced by more peaceful amenities came to be established. Over time, windows replaced arrow slits, castellations were infilled, roofed over and made into upstairs walk-ways and barren featureless flat areas of land that were valuable for defence were made into gardens and sheltered nooks for the pleasure and comfort of the owners.

Equally, this pair of modern-day specialised domestic geese would not have been seen ... but, I am sure, that there would have been a flock of local geese getting ready for the larder and, coincidentally, acting as a jolly good burglar alarm warning of any night-time trespassers in the grounds.

During the olden days when this Court was a Castle and part of the mechanism for pacifying the country, features such as this fence made of woven hurdles, a solid shed and accompanying stone walls would have been an unacceptable feature in the "Killing Field" of the Bailey that formed part of the defences. But as times changed and life became more peaceful then the military imperatives were no longer so over-riding.

As time passed the fortified Manor House became less fortified and eventually it was transmuted into a farm.

After it became a farm, it lost a lot of its medieval splendour and various rooms and outbuildings were either abandoned or had their uses changed. But it was then taken over as an historical monument and underwent refurbishment and a sensitive reconstruction of the fabric of the building. The result was that this one-time fortress and fortified manor house complex has become a wonderful example of the way British history has been influenced by the turbulence or peacefulness of the different ages.

Today, it is a peaceful and interesting place to visit - with picnic area and a really splendid personal audio system for each visitor. In fact, in general, it seemed that the audio system was so interesting that there was just silence ... a host of visitors absorbed - walking, audio set to ear like a mobile phone, listening, turning, looking and identifying what had been going on.

For such a specklessly tidy place there were some nice touches of wildness - like this stone-clinging wild plant tightly clasping the old stone wall.

Well Worth A Visit !
Tretower Court and Castle
nr. Crickhowell.

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