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Archive for August, 2010

Every once in a while (not nearly often enough), two of my interests intersect in a satisfying way. Thusly was I entertained when I read that there’s a cheerful little debate on over in the City of Newport, Wales, regarding the Ryder Cup golf tournament and a rather disheveled building located on the grounds of Celtic Manor. (On a side note to Sir Terry Matthews – could you really not come up with a better name than “Celtic Manor”? There’s a term for that, and I think it’s something along the lines of “selling yourself out to an international audience who think anything ‘Celtic’ must be magical and full of leprechauns.”) In any case, it would appear that the Little Bulmore Farmhouse, next to the course clubhouse, is a bit of an embarassment to tournament organizers. They want it restored and put back in proper order, but Sir Matthews doesn’t think the local counsel is letting him go far enough – while he has agreed to remove the extraneous ‘modern’ additions to the building, he wants permission to move the entire thing and rebuild it properly, somewhere else (here’s a hint why they don’t want to let him do so – it’s Grade II listed). While I would admire his willingness to properly reconstruct the property, the cynic in me won’t quite let his motives out of mind – he is “sensitive to the architectural merit of the farmhouse and the surrounding environment, to deconstruct, move and restore this derelict building and enhance the appearance of the entire landscape around the Twenty Ten Clubhouse in time for October’s Ryder Cup.” Translation: People don’t want to look at it, and it’s going to cost me money.

Here’s how it appears now:

Little Bulmore Farmhouse

The Little Bulmore Farmhouse. Source: BBC

I think it’s rather rustic. Surely there’s a way to incorporate it into the course proper and not be quite so afraid of it?

It’s rather interesting that we tend to get all excited and feeling romantic over ruins – but only those that are of a certain age or older. “Ruins” from the time period that marked the external additions to the Farmhouse are simply unsightly to our eyes – I wonder why?

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The castle

If you were in the Herefordshire area Sunday, there was a great opportunity to step into a piece of the past with the one-day-only opening of the Brampton Bryan castle. The castle was mentioned in the Domesday survey of William I. The castle’s other claim to fame is the holding off of two sieges by the – <gasp!> – Parliamentarian Lady Brilliana Harley during the Civil War. This was yet another inspiration of envy in me, as any sort of historical record from the comparable time period in my part of the States has long since disappeared, thanks to the rather – ahem – vigorous enthusiasm of our European ancestors upon arrival in the area…

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