It’s been a long, hard and at times horrible winter, and even this morning, on the last day of March, the headlines in Britain are about heavy snow and ‘traffic chaos’. The brighter days can’t come soon enough.
So I thought I’d indulge myself with a few photographs taken on Sunday, when the sun made an appearance. On my visit to St Deiniol’s Library in Hawarden, to launch The Serpent Pool last month, I became aware of the 18th century ‘new’ Hawarden Castle, once home to William Ewart Gladstone, the Prime Minister who founded the Library, and now home to his descendants. In the grounds are the ruins of a much older castle, built around the 13th century, but with Iron Age origins.
Because I love history, I love castles. Kendal Castle features in a scene in The Cipher Garden, and I like writing about Daniel Kind’s passion for history as a subject which does require many of the skills of a detective. I also love attractive gardens (I admit to preferring to visit them than to doing my own gardening!) and again this is reflected in The Cipher Garden. So when I heard that Hawarden Castle would open its gardens last Sunday, I seized the moment – and was rewarded with a thoroughly enjoyable trip to another country (well, Wales) that was only 35 minutes from home. A beautiful place.