1 EAGLETON NOTES: Odds and Ends From Penrhyn Castle

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Friday, 30 August 2013

Odds and Ends From Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle has a small railway museum which I might show some more photos of at another time.  Today I'm just showing the engine that Jo wanted to have a go at driving. 




Then there was this curious three-seater chair.  As all three people had their backs to each other it would have made conversation a little odd.  Perhaps there is another reason for its shape.  Does anyone know or have an idea?


After dinner when the ladies had withdrawn the men had the 'luxury' of not having to wander off round the castle when they wanted to relieve themselves.  Just go behind the screen for a handy chamber pot.  Hmmm.


20 comments:

  1. Unsurprisingly I'd be interested in another post on the railway stuff.

    I've also seen a seat a bit like that one once before, although it was made of concrete and at the top of a mountain. The suggestion was that it meant you could always find a seat out of the wind no matter which direction it was coming from.

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    1. Than I shall do another post Mark. A concrete seat at the top of a mountain? Sounds like a bit of structural vandalism to me.

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  2. Jo looks as if she KNOWS what she's doing.
    I believe that 3-sided chair is used when you're not speaking to the other persons sitting "beside" you.

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    1. Virginia I think Jo suddenly realised why men might be fascinated by the idea of driving a train.

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  3. The chamber pot behind the screen kills me. :D So many rooms in this big castle and they needed to put it right there :D

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. In fact, Mersad, the plumbing in the Castle was very advanced for the era but when the ladies had retired them men apparently just relieved themselves behind the screen. After all a journey to the nearest toilet might be some considerable distance from the dining room in the sleeping wing (where there were 60 bedrooms). I can't be certain that was the reason though.

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  4. I'll second Mark. More railway pictures please.
    The seat reminds me of your Lewis bus shelters.

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    1. There will be more Adrian. The Lewis bus shelters! I was never quite sure why such a wonderfully practical, solid and inexpensive design was so universally unpopular.

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  5. I guess the seat was practical for social occasions when the main action would take place all across the room (such as at a ball), and some of the matrons would not be up for dancing, but did not want to miss out on any of the dressed and make comments on the young people's behaviour.

    Surely they had modern lavatories in the castle? I have to go back to your previous post, but I seem to remember you mentioned it was built in 1923 or so.

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    1. That could well be the reason for the seat Meike although it was actually in the withdrawing room. The castle was built between 1820 and 1832 but it had very modern lavatories four its day. They flushed from rainwater tanks up on the roof. They were however in the bedroom wing where there were 60 bedrooms for family and guests. I'm not sure what the arrangements were for the general rooms in the castle. I'll make a note to find out when I'm next there.

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    2. After coping with no water and buckets as toilets for a few days post earthquake, those chamber pots look pretty good. Today I am thankful for a flush toilet within handy distance. The old days are not always the best.

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    3. Too right, Fiona, that the old days are not the best when it comes to plumbing and the like. ( Just seen that there's been a strong quake 35 km south of Oxford just around the time of your comment. I hope things are ok.)

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    4. Well, in your first post about the castle, you wrote "The castle is a mock Norman castle built in 1920-32", that's why I got the idea from.

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    5. That'll be a big oops and an apology Meike. I shall go and correct it immediately.

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  6. You know those murder mystery dinner parties they have these days in grand old houses? I reckon that chair would be a real asset at one of those. You could join in the festivities but sit and watch out for the villian at the same time. You and two accomplices, that is!

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    1. I've never been to one of those Pauline. They and Mediaeval dinner parties were all the rage at one time. I haven't seen any advertised in recent years but then I wouldn't be looking for them. Another thing to find out.

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  7. I have seen S-shaped sofas for two, and I have seen seats arranged around a pillar in foyers etc. But I don't think I've seen a three-piece like this before. Maybe after having been in polite conversation during dinner it provided a welcome break for some people :)

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    1. That's a logical supposition Monica although I suspect that logic didn't play much part in its design.

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  8. Coincidentally I took photos of a steam train today, they will no doubt appear in a blog post soon. My brother and I attended the 150th anniversary of a local railway today (partly in honour of our dad who wrote a book for the 125th anniversary of the same railway).

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    1. That will be interesting Monica.

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