It's been a difficult time and busy few weeks for me this last month so I've had to miss a week or two on blogger by taking an enforced short break, maybe more on that another time but similarly I return here with a post on what I see as a difficult location and less than inspiring photographically. Although this is the next post in the series, it's probably the first one in many a year that I lack the passion in wanting to display. More of that later in the post.
(The blog highlight of the last month was an unusual first for me with the reality of meeting two fellow bloggers in Durham Cathedral at the suggestion of Cranberry Morning on vacation. Mike @ A bit about Britain was also invited and enjoyed his day out. It was additionally good to meet Mr C and Mrs B !! )
After arriving back on the mainland from my afternoon visit to Millport and The island of Great Cumbrae, I wanted to catch a little bit closer the strange sight of Kelburn Castle on the southern outskirts of Largs. The colourful sight was just visible on the hillside and also in the distance from a variety of points during the afternoon.
Kelburn Castle is thought to be arguably the oldest castle in Scotland built around 1200 AD with additional structural work of fusing an old and new castle together in The Middle Ages. Adjacent rooms were added later in 1700 followed by a Victorian Wing in 1880.
I had originally considered posting the first two images of The Earl of Glasgow's home with the Largs set recently, but it didn't seem to sit well and it's a little out of town anyway.
I remember visiting Kelburn back in 1992 when it was just a drab brown spectacle although I saw so many Castles and Country Parks that week that they all seemed to merge in my brain. It's position overlooking a gorge is quite dramatic and I had forgotten that although visitors are allowed to roam the estate, they are not entitled to go through the gate that I was resting on to photograph the above image. Pre booked castle tours are relatively new and are available during summer afternoons.
Essentially the Castle needed temporary rendering and the idea was inspired by one of his children to display some graffiti for extra interest and no doubt potential revenue. The style chosen was urban Brazilian art from artists who were given the chance to stay here whilst working on the project for a month during 2007. As you can imagine, the result created huge media attention contrasting urban style with conservative architecture.
The conservation organisation, Historic Scotland, initially agreed to the graffiti on the basis that it would be removed at the the next natural external rendered painting. However the Earl seems to be in dispute with them in more recent years, as he wanted the artwork kept permanent.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-18571937 ... Kelburn Castle's Graffiti to be removed
Work to remove the graffiti is expected to start sometime soon although the argument of how soon will no doubt run and run.
A large wooden fort and a secret forest were added later to provide all round family entertainment and much needed additional revenue for the cash strapped venue. The Secret Forest was a mix of wooden buildings that were inspired by both nursery rhymes and foreign architecture. Personally as I was entering the site late in the day, midweek and out of season, I found the forest eerily quiet with sinister graphics that seemed to reflect either Middle Earth or Pagan elements. On talking to a Scottish relative last month, their grandchildren of a certain age were frightened by the experience and were more comfortable playing in the large full size wooden fort.
The other buildings on the site were originally built in 1700 as a farm and accommodation for estate workers.
In 1977 when the grounds were first opened to the public, these were converted to more contemporary productive use, such as a cafe, information office, shop and exhibition display.
The stables doubling as a cafe.. A new meaning to diners eating at the trough !
The nearby exhibition room depicts a series of cartoon paintings that depicts the history of the estate.
Here are a few examples. Some parts of the exhibition room were badly lit so apologies for the subsequent badly focused examples or incomplete set.
Essentially it is the story of so many Castles and Historic houses down through centuries.
Lastly with the eerie and disturbing late afternoon coming to an end, I thought it wise to make my escape quickly as I would be unsure of my fate if I hung around too long.