It's a building site so if that offends you, don't bother going until 2017. You will though miss out on a restoration project of epic proportions. We have visited Castle Drogo many times over the years so we've seen it looking magnificent.
The water ingress has been a problem for years. In fact, according to information in the building, the water ingress was first noted in 1913. Building of the castle began in 1911 and wasn't finished until 1930. The great artist, Edwin Lutyens, was not in favour of the the large expanse of flat roof we are told. Julian Drewe whose dream of building a castle in a beautiful setting was not to be swayed, and he was paying the bill. So a flat roof it was.
This is one the Trusts most ambitious projects and I feel the public are lucky to be able to experience the enormity of the undertaking. Of course, on entering, the grandeur is not obvious. It's gloomy. Panelling is encased in plywood. In many instances there are no obvious windows. The windows are being removed and replaced throughout so where this is happening there is plywood. The guides are wonderful and very helpful. It's possible to come across an expert on building and hear more about the work. Some of the rooms have treasures on display. Not an ideal way to see them but try to view it as a once in a lifetime chance to see work that normally only goes on behind the scenes.
There are lots of furnishings and objects that are covered or protected in special covering. Carpets and curtains have been cleaned and stored. There are notices detailing what it all is. It's a giant inventory. There are TV screens in some of the rooms showing them as they were, and will be again. Only they will be better.
I have seen a comment that someone felt ripped off. It's not the intention of the Trust to do that. They've done the right thing in allowing the public see the work. We were told that it will all look different next year as the work progresses. It will still be a building site only the work will be more advanced. We will definately return to follow progress.
The cafe is excellent with plenty of seating inside and out. The shop too is very good. Today was a great day.
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