I’ve been planning a series of blog posts that look at each room in Castell Coch. While I work on this I thought I’d share another postcard from my collection.
This view of Lady Bute’s bedroom is from a 1967 postcard published by the Ministry of Public Building and Works.
William Burges’ stencilled cabinet isn’t visible in the photo. It’s currently placed to the right of the fireplace. Perhaps it was moved behind the ropes in later years.
The main addition to the room is the deep burgundy carpet that gives the room a softer look. The chandelier has been changed but I can’t find any reason for its removal.
The most obvious difference is the colour of the frames on the circular dome. It’s hard to see in the modern photo, but the frames are still green but not as bright as the image on the postcard. The green wallpaper is also brighter so it must be due to the printing process.
I took this picture recently to show how Lady Bute’s bedroom has changed in the last 60 years.
My “Castell Coch Official Guidebooks 1957 – 1975” article documents the various bodies that have managed the castle from 1950 to 1985.
It wasn’t posted so there’s no message to decipher. It’s interesting that the subject of the postcard is referred to simply as, “The Lady’s Bedroom”.
Maybe the Bute family and their ownership of the castle was still widely known in the 1960s so the identity of “The Lady” would be clear.
This 1961 photo was taken by Edwin Smith (1912-1971).
Edwin Smith’s work was featured in the RIBA exhibition, “Ordinary Beauty: The Photography of Edwin Smith” in 2014.
There was a move in post-war Britain to preserve its heritage in the face of social and urban change. The Victorian Society was founded in 1958 and co-founder Sir John Betjeman hailed Smith as a, “genius at photography”.
His work captured historic architecture and scenes of everyday life with subtle, atmospheric light.
Massive thanks to Jonathan at RIBA for helping me with the Edwin Smith photo.