Castle Drogo, Brittain's most recent castle, was built between 1911
to 1931 by India tea baron, Julius Drewe. Located on a 650 acre estate
in the beautiful Devon countryside near Exeter, the castle has a commanding view
of the region.
The building design was conceived by
Sir Edwin Lutyens, the same famed architect who had collaborated with
Gertrude Jekyll at Hestercombe Gardens, our stop earlier in the day.
As we pulled into the parking area, we could see the clouds gathering.
Umbrellas in hand, we rushed down the long driveway, just
managing to reach the castle as the rains hit. Fortunately, we
were scheduled for a private tour of the castle first rather than
the garden. Since I
was just beginning to dry out from my dunking at Hestercombe,
I was not anxious to get wet again.
The rain was over by the time we finished the castle tour, so we were able
to walk through
the gardens back to the parking area. The formal Rose Garden was not in bloom
and nor were the herbs in the Herb Garden.
The purple wisteria was putting on quite a show, and we were amazed at
the angular yew hedges. I wondered how they kept such sharp corners.
Eventually we reached the formal Croquet Lawn, a stark circular region
of closely mowed grass surrounded
by a tall, heavily pruned yew hedge.
Does anybody really play croquet anymore?