Are There Such Things as Fairy Tale Castles? (Castle Coch Wales)

Is there such a thing as a fairy tale castle? Well I’d like to think so. In mid Wales there is a startling sight of three castle turrets peeking through a dense canopy of beech trees. Surrounded by such thick woodland it is easy to imagine Sleeping Beauty asleep here undisturbed for a 100 years.Further on the trees cover the castle completely and the light grows dim as you follow the path through the woodland. The air feels damp and is heavy with the smell of fungi. The path is littered with tree roots that catches your foot like clawing hands, making your journey as hazardous as a prince’s, fighting his way to reach his princess. As you round the corner the trees stand back as the light pours in.You are greeted with imposing towering walls. The austerity of the walls is relieved only by the arrow-slits, once called into battle, but now are peaceful. The moat now dried after years of defending the castle, gives up its protection and allows it to be crossed by the wooden slats. So solid and dependable in times of conflict now lays it’s self-open and vulnerable.Once inside, the cobbled courtyard worn with footsteps of the past now wearing away with the footstep of the present, lay open’s the castle with all its glory.The narrow stone steps so cold and unwelcoming lead into rooms of unashamed splendour. The huge wooden table still gleams with the polish of years gone by. The stone kitchen now at rest still has a sense of duty, brilliantly shined copper pots and pans hang along the walls and on the stove pots are so large it has to be wondered how they were ever lifted. The velvet curtains which hang so heavily at the small leaded windows, provide a warm and comforting atmosphere. The patterns on the walls are long since faded like the laughter and the voices that once resounded around the table. At the end of the room, heavy wooden doors swing forward to reveal an octagonal room so exquisite it is almost too much to take in.The stunning blue ceiling dominates the room, with the gold lines of the stone rib falling down between the birds and butterflies in flight between the stars. Further down the walls are scenes from Aesop’s fables, continuing the theme of life, death and nature. flower patterns illustrate the wooden panelling, while overlooking the room are the three daughters of Zeus, the statues of fate, who spin the destiny of mankind. Around the doorframes more nature is evident in the tiny carvings of birds, insects and animals that sit and watch as time slips away.