A castle redisplayed
As you approach Castle Drogo it’s obvious that things aren’t quite normal. As you walk down the drive hundreds of granite blocks taken down from the parapet sparkle in the sunlight, pink and yellow markers showing which wall they belong to.
What's happening this year?
The building project will reach a conclusion at the end of this year. Currently the main scaffolding is coming down and then a smaller section of scaffolding will go up over the Kitchen to complete the work.
While the changes to the exterior of the castle are hard to miss, the inside has also had a makeover. Some rooms are back to 'normal' with tapestries and collection items displayed, whilst others have become storage areas.
In the castle there are 14 rooms to view from the Library to Adrian's Memorial Room. The first few rooms are laid out with lots of collection in and tell the story of the Drewe family moving in in 1926.
Descending the main staircase will take you into the Dining Room and along the Service Corridor into the Butler's Pantry and Switch Room.
From there you ascend another staircase to the Green Corridor rooms which have become open storage areas for collection items.
Adrian's Memorial Room is also back on display, he was killed in action in 1917 at Ypres and this room is filled with family photos and memorabilia.
The castle is in fact only 100 years old, built as an ancestral family home for Julius Drewe, the founder of ‘The Home and Colonial Stores’ who retired a millionaire, aged just 33.
Designed by one of the greatest architects of the day, Edwin Lutyens, the genius behind the Viceroy’s Palace in New Delhi and the Cenotaph, Drogo is utterly unique.
Unfortunately Castle Drogo’s flat roof failed early on in its construction and has leaked ever since, by 2012 its steel infrastructure was under severe threat. The project to make the castle watertight is now nearing completion and will finish in 2019.
A vision realised
Mr Drewe was an ambitious man, he wanted to create an imposing ancestral home situated on a granite outcrop overlooking Dartmoor. Castle Drogo certainly achieved this, and is a striking building, made entirely of granite complete with portcullis and arrow slits. It overlooks the deep Teign Gorge and the view stretches to Haytor.
Heritage Ability, a charity which seeks to make heritage sites accessible for everyone have written this guide if you'd like to know what to expect from a visit here;