Last Friday my husband and I enjoyed an over night stay at Ruthin Castle. We have visited before but it was our first time staying there.
We arrived too early for checking in so we set about exploring the grounds searching for the Grey Lady's grave. The Grey Lady is the castle's famous ghost. The story is that she found her husband having an affair with a local woman and in a rage killed her with an axe. She was then sentenced to death and no local clergymen would bury her on consecrated ground so she was buried outside the castle walls and is rumoured to haunt the castle and the grounds. After a fruitless search we asked a grounds woman if she could point us in the right direction and it turned out the the grave was behind a locked gate so we wouldn't have found it anyway but she had the key and kindly let us see it. The woman also told us that the mistresses head had supposedly been buried with the Grey Lady .. no wonder she's not in a great mood then.
This is what is left of the grave. It is thought that it was a built up tomb long ago. I was standing just outside the entrance when I took the photo. The grounds women then asked if we wanted to look in the dungeon while we were there. We weren't going to say no to that so she nipped off to grab us some torches. The dungeon wasn't anywhere as large as I thought it would be. I think I was expecting something like I would see on a film. We were shown some of the tunnels that would have been used for escape if the castle got attacked. There are quite a lot under the castle which have either been blocked off or collapsed. The woman then asked if we wanted to see the bats that live there. I really wanted to take a photo but I thought the flash would startle them then it would be like the beginning of a Scooby Doo cartoon with them all flying at me. I did love seeing them all tucked up, hanging there.
After all the wandering about, it was time to check in. While I was busy 'oohing' at the chandeliers one of the guests asked us if we had seen this oil painting. He told us to look at the painting
and then look at the painting's reflection in a mirror and it looks as though she has aged. I took these photos but I couldn't pick it up very well.
The room was lovely, the bed was absolutely massive. We could do with a bed that size in our house with Little L still climbing in with us at night. There was a little gift of ear plugs on the bed along with a postcard from the peacocks that wander the ground apologising if we get woken by them in the morning during the mating season.
We had been watching them earlier on in the day trying to catch the females eye with their displays but it didn't seem to be working.
These ones with a lot of white feathers were some of last years young. The peacocks had 18 young last year but only 6 have survived with the others falling victim to birds of prey, cats, foxes,etc.
They don't seem aggressive at all and they were walking within six inches of us. I think they must be that used to people trying to get close with their cameras, they know that they won't come to any harm.
We loved our night away and Little L has asked if we can take her to see a real live peacock so I think a quick visit is on the cards. The best part for me though was seeing the bats. Although we see them every Summer flying about, I've only seen them roosting before on TV.