Last week this Englishman’s home was, quite literally, his castle.
The pile in question was Chillingham Castle in Northumbria, which positively thrives on its reputation as one of the most haunted buildings in Britain. It was a return visit for most of our party, after first staying there some sixteen years ago when we all had young children in tow. Also along for the ride this time were a couple of Chillingham virgins, fellow-illustrator Neil Gower and his wife Jill. Of the ten children from the original trip, only two – not exactly children anymore – came along this time. I could go on at some length about this place – I absolutely love it. However, this is not a travel or tourism blog and there’s plenty of info available online if you decide you’d like to learn more or, better still, visit the place yourself. If you’re into general weirdness, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
From a drawing perspective (see – we’re back on message), Chillingham would be a magical destination for a sketchcrawl. Its current owner, Sir Humphrey Wakefield, is an avid collector of every imaginable type of artefact and the castle effectively acts as his repository. Every room and corridor is filled with the most disparate, fascinating and often downright sinister relics, with no apparent consideration of theme or logic – marvellous! The collection of snaps below will give you some idea of what I’m on about:
So did I come back with a sketchbook full of drawings of all these visual delights? Er, no. It was a group holiday after all and our packed itinerary didn’t really leave much time for personal indulgences such as following the muse. I did manage a few quickie sketches of some of the other members of our merry band though: