‘While resting on ancient foundations, Castell Coch (Red Castle) is relatively modern, the by-product of a vivid Victorian imagination, assisted by untold wealth. The Middle Ages fascinated the Victorians as much as the Victorians fascinate us today. High Gothic was the order of the day.

The ‘eccentric genius’ William Burges was given free rein by his paymaster, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd marquess of Bute, to create a rural retreat to complement the opulence of his main residence, Cardiff Castle. He didn’t hold back. Dazzling ceilings, over-the-top furnishings and furniture were liberally applied’.

Having never been to Castell Coch, I decided that a trip was well in order. My Mum had described how fantastic the interior decoration was, not to mention the incredible attention to detail of observational and stylised floral designs/patterns!!


Look at how simple yet effective the floral motifs are when amalgamated within a theme. I absolutely adore the patterns and shapes. I have some lino at home, could I have a go at incorporating some of these type of motifs within my own work?

Even these motifs on a fireplace and fabric are incredible!!!! Reminds me of some of my work too. Could I create some ceramic tiles to go with my collection?



Floral panels!!!!! Look at the exquisite craftsmanship!! The observational studies against a metallic gold backdrop suggests luxury and wealth, something which I have explored within my own work. The colour of each individual flower/leaf has been careful selected to both harmonise and contrast against the gold. Could I create fabric/wallpaper looking at a panel effect? I wonder if this would translate well on a large scale?


Each panel tells a story. The symbol of the Monkey in Victorian Times was seen as rather offensive, especially some of their habits. The Marquess of Bute ordered some of the murals/panels to be removed/repainted due to the risqué subject mater, after all it was still within the Victorian era. I am just bowled over with the attention to detail, skill and colour. Wow.


I could not get over the attention to detail of everything……walls, ceilings, panels, furniture, windows, fabrics, wallpapers and paintings.


Delicate florals carved into the Fireplace. The contrast between this subdued, yet rich colour screams luxury and wealth.


I am so glad that I took a trip to this amazing ‘castle’. What have I learned from this experience? To keep practicing my drawing, and experimenting with colour!!! It’s amazing how much can inspire when we choose to explore.

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