The site of the Charle-Albert Castle has nourished an urbanism debate for twenty years, obstructing the accomplishment of any project until now. The castle, abandoned for many years, is degenerating. MA² in association with the office Art & Build was been entrusted with the conception of a new study to safeguard this classified heritage edifice. The project envisages restoring the facades of the castle to their original appearance (in accordance with the Charter of Venice) and building 3.500 m ² of office space in an extension to the building. A contemporary touch supplements the eclectic air Charle-Albert fancied, while preserving a maximum of greenery.
A volume of deliberately minimalist glass resonates and contrasts with the particularly expressive and decorative facades of the castle.
The 18th-century Midford Castle, near Bath in Somerset, England.
Some say that the unusual triangular shape of romantic Midford Castle, which dominates the village and valley of Midford, three miles from Bath, represents the Ace of Clubsa reference to a fortune winning card allegedly played at the gaming tables by Henry Disney Roebuck, who built the castle in 1775. This theory was discounted in Country Life (March 3 and 10, 1944) by Christopher Hussey, who suggested instead that Mr Roebuck was ‘a wealthy romantic (who) chose the plan and design of the building chiefly for aesthetic reasons’, based on contemporary plans by John Carter, a Gothic enthusiast who worked with James Wyatt, and was on friendly terms with Horace Walpole.
Whatever the origins of Midford Castle, now listed Grade I, its subsequent history is full of romantic twists and turns. In 1810, the castle was bought by one of the Conollys of Castletown in Co Kildare, who added the porch (said to give the Ace of Clubs its stalk) and built the nearby stables and chapel. The latter fell into disrepair after the last of the Conollys sold the house in 1901, since when the present owners, Mr and Mrs Michael Briggs, who bought Midford in 1961, have incorporated the chapel into the garden as a picturesque ruin.
During their 45 nyear tenure, Michael and Isabel Briggs have patiently restored and improved the castle, buying back its various dependencies as they became available, and adding much of the surrounding 59 acres of parkland, grassland and woodland to create this picturesque country estate on the outskirts of Georgian Bath.
‘The castle is nowhere near as big as it looks,’ says Mrs Briggs, for whom the renovation project of half a lifetime has been ‘a tremendous pleasure’. Yet, not only has this remarkable lady brought up three children while overseeing the renaissance of Midford, she has also produced a steady flow of bestsellers, as Isabel Colegate, including The Shooting Party, the ‘Orlando’ trilogy, The Summer of the Royal Visit, and most recently, Winter Journey. Her husband, Michael, has been no less involved, both at Midford and locally, as the long standing chairman of Bath Preservation Trust.
Sigmaringen Castle was the princely castle and seat of government for the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. Situated in the Swabian Alb region of Baden-Wurttemberg this castle dominates the skyline of the town of Sigmaringen.
The castle was rebuilt following a fire in 1893, and only the towers of the earlier medieval fortress remain. Schloss Sigmaringen was a family estate of the Swabian Hohenzollern family, a cadet branch of the Hohenzollern family, from which the German Emperors and kings of Prussia came. The castle and museums may be visited throughout the year, on guided tours.
Carnasserie Castle (16th century) near Kilmartin, Scotland,UK
Carnasserie Castle is a late 16th tower house guarding the northern approach to Kilmartin Glen. A combination fortress and residence, the castle boasts some excellent architectural details.
Over the entrance is a large panel inscribed with the motto ‘God be with O Duibhne’ (the chiefs of Clan Campbell). The main tower block rises 4 floors, with a wing and secondary tower linked to the main block. There are spiral stairs set into the thickness of the walls, and you can climb right to the top of the tower for wonderful views down the glen and over the surrounding countryside. When Carswell died in 1572 the castle passed to his overlords, the Earls of Argyll. It was held by the Campbells until 1685, when the Earl made the mistake of supporting the Duke of Monmouth’s rebellion against James VII and II. When the rebellion failed, the Earl was executed in Edinburgh. His enemies were waiting, and Lachlan MacLean of Torloisk sacked Carnasserie, leaving it a roofless shell. It has remained derelict ever since, and is now a romantic ruin, cared for by Historic Scotland.
Carew castle at night. This spectacular photo was taken under dark sky in Wales.
Carew Castle is justly celebrated as one of the most magnificent castles of south Wales. Its position is low-lying, but still prominent in the flat land around the tidal reaches of the Carew river. The castle stands at the end of a ridge at a strategically excellent site commanding a crossing point of the then-still navigable river. The modern entrance to the castle is from the east, following the medieval route through the bailey, within which lie low grassy footings of the later medieval service buildings. These were protected by a gatehouse, a wall and a massive rock-cut ditch. Excavations have shown that this ditch was in fact a recut of a much earlier one, dug as part of a defensive system cutting off the ridge in pre-Norman, perhaps Iron Age times.