Haldon Belvedere

Haldon Belvedere (also known as Lawrence Castle) sits on the top of the Haldon Forest ridge at 244m above Exeter. It gives commanding views of Devon in all directions. It is also a landmark that it often visible and easy to pick out when on Dartmoor and elsewhere.

It is a folly that was built in the 18th century and is now maintained by the Devon Historic Buildings Trust. It is open most Sundays but you need to check if you are going to visit just to make sure. It is a wedding venue and hosts an amazing holiday flat which you can rent.

We went up yesterday afternoon to have a look around – what an amazing day for a visit. Here are a few photos.

Belvedere1Up the main drive

Belvedere3 One of the three Towers – it is a triangular building

Belvedere4Restored in the 1990s but now again in need of a coat of paint!

Belvedere6A spiral staircase with 99 steps takes you to the roof

Belvedere9Amazing views over to Dartmoor – that’s Cosdon Beacon in the distance

Belvedere5Across to Haytor

Belvedere7 In the afternoon sun

Belvedere2Spectacular rhododendrons around the grounds

Well worth a visit – it’s only £2 to get in but you do need to be able to walk up the 99 steps to get the best views from the roof

Drogo in the sunshine

I was over at Castle Drogo yesterday morning (in the sunshine) for a couple of meetings and afterwards decided to pop down to the Castle to see how the building project was getting on and say hello to the Castle volunteers who I had worked with in the past. Drogo is currently undergoing an £11.5m project to stop it leaking – see here for details. I took quite a lot of pictures – the photo set can be viewed here.

One of the highlights of a trip to Drogo at the moment is a visit up the viewing tower – from the top you can look down onto the Castle ‘roof’ and watch the repairs being carried out.

Roof panoramaView from the top of the Tower
If you double click on the picture it will increase in size revealing the amazing detail involved with the work (and the scaffolding)

Roof2A Castle covered in dust

StonesAll the granite blocks from the roof laid out and numbered on the lawn in front of the Castle

Adrian DreweInside the Castle Adrian Drewe’s room has been restored too – Adrian was killed in 1917 at Ypres.
The Castle is open and a special series of installations have been created to explain the project and the history.

The libraryLooking into the library – Mr and Mrs Drewe!

PoppiesLovely display of orange poppies at the Visitor Centre

The Project is progressing well and is definitely worth a visit – Drogo as a building site is an attraction in its own right. The volunteers and staff are all geared up to tell you what is going on and why. The Tower visit is a must (unless you don’t like heights) and inside the Castle there are some real surprises.

4 Castles in 3 Days

Bank holiday weekend! Yay. The weather has been …. well its been kind – it may have been cold but it has been dry. We have been all out and about in droves. I have been carefully monitoring ‘my’ properties  and I have been visiting others.

Been to Finch Foundry and Lydford Gorge today – both were busy and by all accounts both and Sexton’s Cottage in Widecombe have been busy all weekend – phew – the real worry with the weather was that nobody would come to the west country for Easter – that appears be untrue.

I spent the last few days visiting other attractions – the 4 castles – they were pretty busy too.

Here are a few pics

Dartmouth Castle 7

Dartmouth Castle – Up to Dartmouth

Dartmouth Castle 5

The English Heritage flag

Kingsweare Castle 2

The Kingsweare Castle- the refurbished paddlesteamer

Berry Pomeroy gatehouse

Berry Pomeray Castle window

Berry Pomeroy 2

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Okehampton Castle 2

Okehampton Castle

Okehampton Castle 4

Okehampton Castle

Totnes Castle 2

Totnes Castle

Totnes Castle - down the Dart

Down to the Dart