Retelling the stories of Castle Drogo

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With the south end of Castle Drogo emptied to allow our conservation project to begin, we were provided with some exciting new opportunities to tell the stories of Castle Drogo in different ways.

Before this could happen however, the builders needed to install protection around the windows. The windows are no longer watertight so all 913 will need replacing. Barrier walls have been put up around the windows which will protect the castle and keep out dust and rain as the work is carried out. You can see the work being carried out behind these walls by having a peek through the spy holes on a trip around the castle.

Designing new exhibitions

With the collections moved and the protective walls in place, it was time for our creative partners, Codsteaks, the geniuses behind the recent film ‘The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists!’ to install our new exhibitions. These exhibitions will help tell the stories of Castle Drogo in the rooms where our artefacts are in storage.

A tale of letters

Working with Codsteaks we’ve themed the castle tour around letters, taken from the Drogo archive and blown up to an epic scale. Spread through the castle, they tell the story of the creation of Drogo in the words of the people who made this dream a reality. These include letters from the Drewe family, correspondents with the architect Edwin Lutyens, and the memos from the clerk of works.

Our new displays

In the Room of Good Fortune, a massive model of Castle Drogo has been built from various tea chests. This represents how the Drewe family made their fortune and could afford to build their own castle.

In the Room of Golden Afternoons, an Edwardian ‘Postcard Theatre’ was designed by Codsteaks based upon the postcard collection of Cedric Drewe. This display was designed to capture the hope and optimism of the Drewe family during the Edwardian ‘Golden Age’, a time when building an ancestral castle seemed possible to this wealthy family.

In the Room of Granite and Steel, an Edwardian building site has been created including a cross section of a castle wall to demonstrate how Drogo was designed and built.

Finally a sculpture of two stonemasons disappearing into the granite walls was built for the Corridor of no Return. This is our poignant tribute to the builders and stonemasons who worked on Castle Drogo before going off to fight in the First World War.