Thursday, June 9, 2011

Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass, Cumbria............


Recently featured on Britain's ITV program The Lakes - wish I'd been there to view it - Muncaster was originally set on 23,000 acres of land granted to Alan de Penitone in 1208, the castle was built 50 years later.  Go here for the story of Muncaster Castle and its interesting history, and here for the story of the Pennington family.


The castle overlooks amazing gardens, now reduced to 1,800 acres, and beyond to the surrounding farms and fells. 


A great castle to visit in Western Cumbria......and supposedly the most haunted place in Britain.


Mullioned castle windows with climbing wisteria.



The tower where the Pennington family live.  Sadly, Phyllida Duff-Gordon-Pennington, chatelaine of the castle, died here the evening prior to our visit. She was known as a gentle soul, well-respected, and often seen chatting with tourists to her home and gardens.


Walking toward the entrance to the castle huge rhododendrons and azaleas are quite breathtaking.   It is thought the Romans introduced non-indigenous species, including Spanish Chestnut trees to the garden.  The hybrid rhododendrons were first planted as seeds in 1840 and vary in color from pure white to blood red.



Many other flowering plants are gorgeous and line the pathways........truly glorious gardens.



Babs, Kim, Mary and Paula...................dwarfed by the gigantic azaleas!


Another surprise in the castle grounds...............a huge group of beautiful herons visit each afternoon to be fed.




However, the biggest surprise was that Muncaster Castle is also home to the World Owl Center and the World Owl Trust, the first owl conservation organization to work on a global scale.  There are over 50 species to view, owls from the Arctic to Australia, from the giant eagle owl to the tiny pygmy owl, all exceptionally beautiful and interesting.  




What a great time we all had here at the castle.......another day out in the Lake District.

13 comments:

  1. This castle has such beautiful grounds and gardens. Thanks for sharing your visit with us. Gorgeous photos!

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  2. Your pictures are amazing! I love traveling with you. Thank you for allowing me to tag along.

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  3. Mary, I just love all the pictures in this post!! The one of the Heron and the owls though are awesome!! What a beautiful castle and grounds to visit!

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  4. I enjoyed the links your provided for more information on this interesting castle. The name of the recently deceased chatelaine is beautiful, and one that is rarely heard.

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  5. Such a beautiful garden! It's great you manage to travel so far and so often with your friends, I'm sure you'll treasure each single memory in your heart!

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  6. Beautiful castle and beautiful area - not very far from here.

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  7. Oh I would love to see the beautiful owls and herons, plus the gorgeous gardens. Your picture of the window with the wisteria is just lovely. If I ever plan a trip to the Lake Country, for sure I will be checking back with you for wonderful ideas of places to visit.

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  8. Mary! Your pictures are stunning. I'd love to see an owl...is that strange? The castle is beautiful and flowers gorgeous. I know you had a wonderful day!

    XO,
    Jane

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  9. I enjoy viewing the other part of the world from your camera lens. Beautiful photos, beautiful scenery. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Wonderful pictures. And that last owl just cries out for a caption. So funny.

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  11. How great to see it again through you camera. We had such a great time there. I toyed with the idea of staying in the most haunted room there but chickened out. And I was surprised that Pennington came from Penitone-I'm French! Linda (Pennington)

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  12. These are great photos, Muncaster looks well worth a visit and we are planning to go over to our place on the Lancashire coast later this month so this may well figure as one of our days out.

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  13. My hubby would have loved seeing that castle! I love the windows in them knowing how old they are is amazing. I loved looking at all of your photos on this travel!
    Take Care,
    Ulrike

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