A Day in the Life of Weoley Castle Ruins – 25th May 2012
Today has been a fantastic day on site at Weoley Castle Ruins, the site looks so beautiful at this time of year! First thing this morning a couple of foxes were seen taking a stroll around the moat and having a nice sunbathe! The Hawthorn is in full bloom so the bees have been buzzing and enjoying themselves, and at least two common blue butterflies (they’re not that common really!) have been spotted flitting around our wildflower border. The foxgloves, aquilegas and mallows that we seeded last year have come up and we can’t wait for the foxgloves to come into flower – they will look stunning and should excite the bumble bees!
A nest at the ruinsOur Castle Keeper Volunteer Group have slaved away in the heat and the sun this afternoon hand-cutting the grass that forms what is called “soft capping” on some of our walls in the Solar. This is turf that we have laid on top of some of the walls to help protect the lime mortar from the frost over winter. The turf was cut from an area of the moat so blends in beautifully with the rest of the site and contains all the same species that we see elsewhere – lovely speedwell, daisies, buttercups and clover. Today was it’s first ‘haircut’ and we’ve found that it has established well and seems very happy – we shall see how it withstands any drought conditions we may get – so fingers crossed!
Evidence of woodpeckers – we have seen both green and lesser spotted on site.
We also had a visit from two classes from Weoley Castle Nursery who brought a picnic and spent the day enjoying the site. In the morning we created a mini timeline of some of the people that had built and lived in the castle and its environs. Using costume and props we learnt about our Saxon Thane, Wulfwin, the first Lord of Dudley, William Fitz Ansculf, and Joan Bottetourt who commissioned an amazing encaustic tiled floor for her chapel. This afternoon we looked at come replica artefacts from the medieval period and tried to work out what they made from and what they were used for in the past. The beeswax candles were found to be very smelly and not to everyone’s taste – there were lots of wrinkled noses from the children!
If you would like to visit the castle, our viewing area is open from dawn until dusk every day, and we have a series of talks and walks over the summer as well as craft activities, open air theatre and a nocturnal bat walk later in the year. Keep an eye on the Weoley Castle Ruins web page to see what is coming up!