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Kinnersley Castle

4 miles west of Weobley, Herefordshire

Photographs copyright © 2002 by Laurie Oliver

Kinnersley Castle is an imposing stone-built house set in the rich countryside of the Welsh borderland. The building incorporates masonary from the fortified medieval residence of the Kinnersley and de la Bere families. The present house was mostly dates from 1588 when Roger Vaughan, a former MP for Radnorshire, purchased Kinnersley Castle and rebuilt the house. He died in 1607 and in 1618 his widow sold the estate to Francis Smallman. In 1660 Kinnersley Castle was sold to the parliamentary general, Sir Thomas Morgan, whose descendants owned it until 1801. From that time the house passed through many hands and at the end of World War II the estate was broken up. In 1954 Kinnersley Castle was bought by the present owner's father and for many years it was used as a home for the elderly. Today the house is a family residence and a setting for residential courses. Some rooms are also used for bed and breakfast accommodation. The L-shaped building is three-storeys high and built of rubble stone. The Dutch-style stepped brick gables are an unusual feature in the Welsh borders. At the junction of the two wings is a tall staircase tower. The buildings may have originally stretched around a four-sided courtyard. The north range, which still has its medieval masonary, was once much longer with the entrance to the house at its centre. Today the entrance is through a late-16th century doorway sheltered by a Victorian porch. The Drawing Room has early-18th century panelling but other rooms downstairs, including the Ballroom, have some earlier panelling. The Ballroom was originally the Elizabethan hall but was converted into the kitchens in 1700 and then restored in the early 20th century. The Solar, or great chamber, over the hall is the most impressive room in the house. This has an elaborate plaster ceiling and frieze and a splendid chimneypiece. This has Ionic columns surmounted by a plaster overmantel and depicts the English oak rising out of a Tudor rose, which represents the defeat of the Spanish Armada. On the first floor there are more early chimneypieces including one dating from 1618. From the top of the tower there are views to the Black Mountains and Radnor Forest. In contrast the visitor can then descend to Kinnersley Castle's cellars. The gardens have many yew hedges and one of the largest ginkgo trees in the U.K. There is also a wall kitchen garden. Open air theatrical events are staged in the grounds during the summer.

From Tour UK Holiday Guide

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Copyright © 2009 by Jeffrey L. Thomas