#Friday Favourite: Castles in the Air by Judy Corbett


Castles in the airWhen Judy Corbett caught sight of a large stone mansion in the craggy foothills of the Snowdonian mountains she had little idea of the adventure she was about to embark on.”

A fortuitous find led Judy and Peter Corbett to Gwydir Castle and gave them a chance to fulfil their dream of rescuing an abandoned and unloved house and restoring it to its former glory.

A fortuitous find in the local Oxfam shop led me to find this book and gave me hours of delightful reading.

Vividly written Judy Corbett’s account of the painstaking restoration of this Tudor mansion conjures up the direness of Welsh winters when the rain pours in through the roof, fungus sprouts in corners of the every room, the great hall is a playground for resident bats. Peacocks wander in and out at will and damp bed sheets are dried with hair dryer.

In contrast the summer is full of the scent of wisteria, the sound of birdsong and the deep peace of a hidden valley.

There are disasters, some man made, some not. There is humour and surprising twists of fate, plus chilling supernatural encounters. The ghost stories here are the most convincing I have ever heard.

The book charts not only the progress of the restoration, but also how relationships are tested and develop and how the house makes a deep and lasting impression on all who become involved with it .

Once I started reading I found myself unable to put this book down, carrying it from room to room in the hope of having a spare moment to read more.

My usual practise when buy books from charity shops is to read and pass on but “Castles in the Air” will be staying on my shelf as I know I will want to read it again.

In the meantime, I’m off to Google Gwydir castle to see if they are still open for B&B/




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