As my RL friends all know, I'm very keen on draughty old ruins. But just lately, I've been wondering what first sparked my love affair with castles.
I think it all started on a Saturday afternoon, way back in the mists of time when my dad took me to visit his aged aunt who lived on the Manor Estate in Sheffield. (Agnes was her name. She had a silver plastic sofa that stuck to the back of my bare, sweaty legs, and she took snuff! Those are my lasting memories of this lady.)
Anyway, directly opposite Aunt Agnes's house were the sprawling ruins of an old building.
Dad told me this was part of Manor Lodge, and that Mary Queen of Scots had once 'done time' there as a prisoner back in the 1500's. Boom! For me, that was it.
Mary Queen of Scots! In the middle of a run-down (back then, anyway) housing estate in Sheffield? That was enough to fire up my young imagination, and that was the moment I first fell in love.
Well, discounting Captain James T. Kirk, of course, but that's another story!
(Picture 2 shows the well-preserved turret house that stands on the grounds of Manor Lodge. A quick Google assures me that the ruins are now receiving much more care and attention than they got back in Aunt Agnes's day. Thank goodness. :))