On a recent holiday to the Isle of Anglesey, we finally found a toddler safe place. Within the high, impenetrable walls of Beaumaris Castle we could finally let Sebastien run to his heart’s content with a caking of mud being the only serious danger.
Ok, holding in a tiny tot hopped up on an ice cream high wasn’t it’s first purpose (but it worked!) Beaumaris Castle was supposed to be one of most perfect jewels in the “iron ring” of castles Edward I build around the Welsh coast to keep those pesky Welsh ruffians in check. It would have been one of the most technically perfect defence castles anywhere in Britain had not money, supplies and the need for it run out. It was never finished.
The funny thing is that to a modern visitor this doesn’t really matter much. Most castles, and certainly ones of this age, are in a state of ruin now even if they had been completed in the first place, but this is one of the things I love about them. It leaves so much more scope for imagination! In my mind I can finish off the turrets to any fantastical shape I like and fly whichever colourful banners I see fit on top. It leaves me room to dream, to fantasize and to personalize. It becomes not just A castle, but MY castle. Half-finished can be a beautiful thing!
Shame that same theory doesn’t apply to things like laundry, eh?