A-Z Challenge 2012 - P
Powis Castle, near Welshpool in Powys, Mid Wales was built in the 12th century as a stronghold for the Princes of Powys as a defence against English invaders. The castle sits on a rocky ridge with steep slopes to the south-east and north-west.
During the latter half of the 13th century, Owain, the last Prince of Powis began a rebuilding programme most of which is still visible today. In 1578 the castle came into the hands of Sir Edward Herbert, in whose family it has remained. Extensive repairs and modernisation were carried out by the Herberts in the late 1500s. The family were staunch Royalists during the Civil War. Powis Castle was captured by the Parliamentarian forces in 1644, garrisoned by them during the remainder of the war and not returned to the family until the restoration of Charles II.
William, Lord Powis, inherited the castle on the death of his father in 1667. A State Apartment, the Blue Drawing Room, library and the State Bedroom were all additions by William.
In 1784 Lady Henrietta Herbert married the eldest son of Clive of India; Edward Clive later changed his name to Herbert. The Clive fortune paid for overdue repairs to the castle and funded improvements to the gardens and park. It was George Herbert, 4th Earl of Powis who bequeathed the castle and gardens to the National Trust on his death in 1952.
|Powis Castle - from its gardens 2006|
The most famous haunting associated with Powis Castle is that involving a devout spinster invited in 1780 to stay and do some spinning work for the Earl. Little did she know that she had been given a bedroom known to be haunted.
As she was sitting by the fire reading her bible, she heard the door open. A man dressed in gold lace entered the room, crossed to the window and stood there silently, before turning and leaving the room. Not a word was spoken.
The woman knelt to pray when the ghostly man reappeared and motioned to her to follow him. By the light of a candle he led her to another room and showed her a locked casket beneath a floorboard. The phantom told her to take the casket and its key and send it to the Earl in London, promising her he would leave the house in peace if she did what she had been told.
Apparently the Earl was so delighted that he mad provision for the spinster to live in comfort at the castle for the rest of her life.
The contents of the casket were never revealed. The ghost in the gold lace suit was never seen again.
Hilary Melton-Butcher's castle for O - Oystermouth Castle on the Gower.
- Powis Castle; author Val Vannet; Geograph project collection; Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.
- Powis Castle viewed from its gardens, 2006; author Phil Catterall; Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.