Castles In The Air – by Judy Corbett (2004)

Castles In The Air

It was love at first sight when Peter and Judy Corbett laid eyes on Gwydir Castle in Wales. The castle was about 500 years old, with the oldest parts dating back to 1555 AD. It would be a dream come true to live in such a place, they thought. So they bought it, not realizing just how much time and money it would require to restore.

Their first week in the castle was eye-opening, to say the least. Check out these blurbs from chapter 4: Trial By Pestilence And Flood.

“We struggled with the fire. It was our only source of heat in the house. A year’s worth of combustibles sat piled up in the grate. Peter poked around and extracted two forlorn bits of charred seventeenth-century panelling…

“The Primus stove hissed contentedly away on the flagstones, producing its own unique aroma of onions, gas and seashells. Everyone but Sven had boycotted the kitchen after finding rat droppings in the cupboards and the bloated body of a dead rat in the water tank which supplied the kitchen…

“I awoke from a night spent dealing with the effects of acute seafood poisoning without the provision of an upstairs flushable loo. It was a degrading business make worse by the knowledge that there was no hot water either. All night I writhed on my mattress of bubble wrap, listening to the metallic plink of rainwater hitting a rusted Fray Bentos tin…

“…the river had burst its banks in the night and the garden was completely flooded and we were cut off from the town and all our garden walls had been washed away and the cellars were full of water and the flood was still rising and some of our furniture was still outside in the courtyard and our car was floating around in the car park…

“Though we’d lived in the house for just under a week, I still kept losing my bearings and constantly had to remind myself where the kitchen was in relation to our bedroom and how the maze of other rooms interrelated…”

Despite their financial limitations, the Corbetts managed to restore Gwydir Castle to near-original condition. They found inventive ways to raise money for the repairs they needed to make, and in the end their castle was truly home.


Author: alwaysreading2014

I'm just a person with an intense love for reading!

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