Sizergh Castle

I am looking at the excellent breasts of dead women whilst making polite conversation with retired genial couples.

I can see why people join the National Trust. My partner had a panic attack in the car park when seeing the amount of well groomed cars and the fact that some people were drinking tea from fold up tables by their car (surrounded by 30 acres of parkland)

A Land-Rover  driver does not hold up a hand in the traditional thank you greeting when we swerve to avoid him which nearly sends us hurtling back to the nearest friendly working class ex industrial town but we resist. Then look at the entry prices and grimace. I was actually more interested in Levens Hall nearby but the entrance fee there made me want my name on the deeds.

There is a hard sell on the door which makes me grimly upgrade from eight pounds entrance fee to nine pounds due to ‘optional’ gift aid. A nasty hard part of me wonders why I am paying more to be charitable to an organisation which owns hundreds of lofty mansions dripping in ornate walnut carved four poster beds whilst I live in a small house with a bathroom with peach tiles we cannot afford to replace. Then I berate myself for my smallness of mind and am concerned how I keep adding up the extra cost of the gift aid whilst looking blankly and joylessly at the kitchen gardens hours later.

 

We are ever so politely but in a steely way told about the joy of being a National Trust member. I smilingly say we are poor and point to the baby currently chewing a wire which he has pulled out of the carboot pushchair but the woman at the counter still thrusts a flurry of papers at us saying that ‘circumstances might change’ in the grim determined voice that makes me think that my parents might be found dead tomorrow in mysterious circumstances next to a will that has been written in their blood.

 

And of course I am only in this for the ghosts.
I have heard about the unearthly screaming from the poor starved to death woman of yore locked in a tiny room and left to die. I saw there was a YouTube clip about ghosts at Sizergh castle although I may have not have been so enthusiastic if I had actually looked at it and seen it was a still photograph of an ‘orb’ with the soundtrack of the Ghostbusters theme.

The grounds to the castle are indeed splendid and if one can ignore the occasional incongruous hum of the motorway, would be a splendid way in which to pass away a day relaxing under the orchards, parkland, lake (maybe not under that to be pedantic) and rock garden. Unfortunately we still have the toddler. Two hours later and some excited people are even now telling people about the unearthly screams they heard from within the bowels of the castle.

It is a good castle as it goes. I just find the whole National Trust experience leaves me slightly cold. Nothing is left to the imagination. Everything is so well recreated, remade, well signed, and busy that you cannot let your imagination run riot and imagine the past because the past is there before your eyes in vivid 3D and whilst an over enthusiastic volunteer tells you about a family you don’t much care about and some rare but quite unpleasant sub B and M Bargains vases you had not even noticed.
There are portraits of rich dead people which make you feel a bit smug because when when briefly perusing the laminated sheets in each room you notice how brief their privileged life was compared to the antiquity of the building, something to reflect upon if your child was not trying to pull dBown a stuffed kookaburra off the wall. At least they didn’t have peach tiles in their bathroom.

 

Nothing on the laminated sheets mentions ghosts, death or murder. It’s lucky there are good boobs. It is a lovely building and I am glad I came. I would though quite like to see it smashed up and dishevelled, stripped of all its laminated sheets, eager knowledgable volunteers and chairs that have signs on saying if you can sit on them or not. I prefer a ghastly old hag of a ruin, plundered and piteous and without photographs of the owners beaming brightly and richly from the parlour.

I like the National Trust and am glad that this building is here and not owned by some oil magnate and kept private. I have had a lovely day in beautiful surroundings and am glad a replica of the past is kept to show people what used to be (unless you were poor of course, nobody wants to be reminded of that unromantic element of history abounding in dead babies, filth and servitude to the people of the manor, that is not nine pounds well spent when you could instead be admiring rhododendrons)
But next time I go somewhere I do not want a laminated sheet, just an old old memory and my imagination. Oh and that sells well priced house red.


6 Responses to “Sizergh Castle”

  • anna newson Says:

    Nice writing. Really enjoyed the post. I’m new to blogging and looking around for a feel of what’s out there. This was a good, witty read.

  • narf7 Says:

    Lovely photos, especially those beautiful conifers. When we visited the U.K. (cheers Aunty Minnie for up and leaving Steve enough money to bring us all for a knees up…)we could care less about plants. We wandered around London looking up at the buildings and perplexing the locals no end. I wish that we had known what we know now and headed off to see some of these magnificent gardens! Living on the other side of the world doesn’t make it conducive to heading out to National Trust buildings for anything other than a lottery win but we can share your quirky moments and it feels like I am there…sticky kids…bored but pretending to be interested husband…crazy misguided wife muttering under her breath about what is and isn’t worth it…it all feels most surreally like one of our outings. Cheers dear Dopleganger for allowing me to embrace my U.K. scene.

  • cyberfairy Says:

    Hello doppelg√§nger, and if it helps I like plants but can’t enjoy spending money to like them. I do love visiting places in the uk though as having lived in the uk and australia as a child, I used to yearn for history when in oz and going in school trips to an ancient cottage when I had a kitkat in my bag that was older.
    I have lived in cottages with bread ovens up the chimney and now I live in a house where the steps to the cellar Are worn with time and the steps of people who no longer exist. I prefer that to a swimming pool. Most of the time. And the cellar
    Of potentiality is now filled with reduced baked beans and mould. My brothers love in oz and love it. I dprefer mouldy baked beans and old grave stones. I would kill for some Cheezils though….xxxx

  • The Jazz Teacher Says:

    Ha! I loved the idea of the sinister membership salesperson pencilling your folks in for assassination.

    I would, however, have appreciated photographic evidence of the quality of the boobs…

  • scatterbrainedlass Says:

    Sizergh Castle might generate more revenue if they were ever actually open… Every time I’ve been up that way it’s been a weekend, and it has been closed, so I have never visited. And by the way, have you ever been to Skipton Castle? Very nice ruins :) no boobs though!

  • cyberfairy Says:

    skipton castles’s ruins cost more to visit than the deposit on our house! Would have been fine if there were boobs tbh. Sure we visited on weekend and they were open…best castle ever is this one pleasingly dangerous-wrote about it once..http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/brougham-castle/

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