The last couple of years we’ve been up to the Christmas Crafts Fair at St Donats Castle. If you’re not familiar with St Donats, it’s famed for being the fantasy escape of Randolph Hearst, the news baron whom partially inspired Citizen Kane. Hearst bought the castle in 1925 and began a major renovation, bringing in architectural treasures from around the UK to tart it up.
Normally the building is off limits as its home to Atlantic College, an exclusive private establishment. Some areas of the grounds are open to the public for access, in fact my daughter went to the nursery there so we know the grounds really well. But seeing inside the main castle itself was something that we didn’t get to do, as its closed generally off limits except for a couple of times a year. The Christmas fair is one of those times, and more of interest to me was seeing inside the building and being able to take some photos.
It’s a bit of a glorious mish-mash, big fireplaces, embedded stone carvings, decorative stone work and some impressive ceilings. The fair itself is really good, there’s lots of nice work on display and local produce, along with some mouth-watering take-away food. If you spot an open day it’s well worth a visit, or check when their next Christmas Crafts show is.
My photos below aren’t too concerned with that side of it though, they’re more about the building and the grounds. They were taken at this year’s event on the 3rd of December, and some are from the previous year’s event. I’ve not noted which is which, because really they could have been taken at any time.
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