On Saturday I went for a morning out to Old Wardour Castle in Wiltshire. It was about an hour's drive from where I live. I wanted to get there just as it opened so that there wouldn't be anyone else around and things, sort of, worked out that way.
Old Wardour was built in the late fourteenth century. I can't imagine it was ever a place where someone could ride into it, armoured up to, and including, the hilt and yell, 'Chiswick, fresh horses!' and then ride out again. It's unusual because the ground plan, with the exception of two huge towers on either side of the main entrance, is hexagonal and you can plainly see that now, even though it's largely in ruins. Like Nunney, it was besieged during the English Civil War and was never repaired. You can still see the damage done by musket balls and even cannon balls on the bits that are still standing. After that it was never lived in, or used as a stronghold again. Apparently, there were plans to repair it but it ended up becoming a 'romantic ruin' in the landscaped grounds of a new manor house.
You may recognise the castle as it was used as the ruined Loxley Castle in the film, 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves'.
I loved this doorway. It was, somehow, not in keeping with the rest of the building, but was gorgeously ornate and imposing.
Looking down into the courtyard, a perfect hexagon.
Looking out from one of the ruined towers, across the lake to the manor house (called Wardour Castle) on the hillside beyond.
The original main entrance. It would have been difficult to get through there in a suit of armour on a horse.
I love it that a building like this can be a ruin but is still incredibly imposing.
Through one of the arrow slits flanking the entrance.
This is the mark left by a cannon ball during the siege, almost 350 years ago.