Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Quiz At Powis Castle / Out For Tea With Lina

We headed off to Powis Castle to do the Halloween Quiz. The trail began in the castle garden. Taking the path that leads to the pond we came across our first clue. We also came across a few friends. A group of ducks came out of the pond and started to follow us along the path. Pictured below.
The wilderness garden which is full of many types of tree is home to many bats. FACT = there are 17 species of bats in Britain. The bats are legally protected as they are decreasing in numbers.

We carried on picking up clues around the garden. One clue was at the old gateway in the fountain garden. There are two mythical figures at the top of the posts. These are called wyverns. A wyvern is a legendary creature often found in medieval heraldry. The wyvern is similar to a dragon, but it differs in that it only has two legs and cannot breath fire, it also has a barbed snake like tail.
During the middle ages they supposedly the most useful of all dragons to sorcer`s ( witches and wizards ) as they were very good at working with spells.
As we walked around the garden a beautiful rainbow appeared pictured below.

There is a spooky story called Stone Struck by Helen Creswell about gardens at Powis Castle. In it many statues start to coming to life and children begin disappearing.
Near the restaurant as you walk into the courtyard if you look up at the top windows on the left side of the castle there is a flat. Over the years lots of staff who have worked at the castle have lived in this flat. They have all experienced the strange and unusual :
- a ghost of a lady in a mop cap sitting at the end of the bed
- a ghost of an elderly gentleman sitting in a chair in the living room
- the sound of people walking up and down the wooden staircase when nobody else is in the flat.

The state dining room is also said to be haunted. Some say you can often smell cigar smoke and perfume in this room. Spooky of what ?

Another spooky legend takes place in the Dukes Bedroom. The room is situated at the end of the long gallery. This room is at the centre of a famous ghost story recorded in 1780.
The following account was taken from a man who had spoken to the woman before she died.
Servants gave a woman who spun thread, work at the castle while the earl was away in London. The servants gave her a room for the night where she was visited by a ghost. it was a man dressed in gold lace hat and waistcoat. He visited three times that night and on the third visit the woman gained enough courage to ask what he wanted. The ghost told her to follow him and he led her through the castle to the Duke`s bedroom. The ghost then told her to watch what he did. He ripped up the floorboard to reveal a hidden box. He then pointed to a crevice in the wall in which a key was hidden. Before he disappeared he told the woman that the box and key must be sent to the earl in London. The woman called the servants and the box was quickly sent to London. In the box the Earl discovered long lost family treasures.
Another Ghostly tale is told. Several years ago in the room called the Lower Tower Bedroom. The house staff kept finding old fashioned hair clips on the hearth of the fireplace. They would move the clips and put them in stores for safe keeping. carry on cleaning the room and then by the next day more clips would appear.
Having thought someone was playing tricks on them and putting the same clips back they checked on where the others had been stored from previous day and to their surprise they were all still there. For several weeks this happened and the staff never found out why !
During our visit the servant quarters were open these are rooms we have never seen before as they are normally shut. Here a ghost as been previously seen walking from the cellars across into the old servants hall which now houses the collection of birds.
Leaving the main part of the house, the building to the right is the ballroom and now the Clive Museum. This is said to be the most haunted part of the castle. In 1725 part of the ballroom burned down and was rebuilt. The ghosts in the ballroom include:-
1/ A young boy on old fashioned clothes walks on a level below the floor.
2/ The tower doors close behind you and two notes have been found, one was a postcard signed "my Bedroom" the other was a photo signed on the back "Peter"
3/ Music has been heard played by a mysterious pianist when the room is empty.
4/ A woman in a mop cap has been seen wandering through walls.
5/ Some one has been heard rattling at the ground floor windows after dark trying to get in, only the courtyard was empty.
We finished all the quiz from gardens right through to the castle finding all the letter`s and then mixing the letters up to form a word. We sat in the cafe with a hot drink whist figuring it out.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN Aaron received a flashing bouncy ball like pumpkin. We had a great time at the castle today.
Later we headed to meet Lina for some tea. We headed to her house in Wrexham. We had a lovely evening with her and her family. Chatting away. Lina is Italian, her mum spent some of the evening teaching Aaron the language. Aaron had a great time he is keen to learn most subject. It was nice chatting.
Thanks to Lina and family for a lovely tea, evening and chat.

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