This is the south front of Aydon Castle. You may remember I put up an excerpt a little while back - the one where Harry was threatened with The Leap in my book Till the Day Go Down.
Well - if I had taken a step backwards when I took this picture, I too would have gone over the Leap! You see what risks I take to bring pics to
my blog entires? My middle name should be Indiana!
Alina, my heroine, lived at Aydon
Castle in the year 1543, and it was already old by then. She thought it was a horrible old place and longed to be back in their cosy old farmhouse a mile or two away.
Aydon was built in the 1200s as a farmhouse and only when the Scots incursions made it necessary to go defensive did the owner get permission from the crown to crenellate and add curtain walls. After all, if you are going to shoot arrows at marauders, you need something to hide behind while you do it, or you'll rapidly become a pin cushion yourself.
It was lived in right up until the 1960s when it was handed over to English Heritage and continued to fulfill its function as a farmhouse (fortified). Everything is built of stone. Walk around it today and the absence of wood is striking. Fireplaces, window seats, all the lower floors - they are all of stone. There may have been wooden partitions in medieval days, but most of them have gone now. Later farming families adapted rooms to suit themselves, hence the occasional modern type of window among the lovely old ones.
The second picture shows the middle courtyard. The door on the left sidewall opens into the byre where the animals were kept. The building that once occupied the rest of this wing were guest quarters but nothing of them exist now except the interesting old south wall with all its intriguing structures.