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Caergwrle Castle, Flintshire

Exploring memorials in heritage spaces seems to be an emerging theme of this blog, including the identification of ash scatterings, memorial benches and plaques. However, while I’ve discussed many castles with memorial and artistic dimensions to their spaces and landscape settings from graffiti to sculpture, from commemorations of battles to the commemoration of health and safety (see here for a list), I don’t think I have ever before come across floral tributes within castle ruins before.

Recently I explored Caergwrle Castle and I was intrigued to find two striking floral tributes in distinctive locations: one placed upon the grate above the castle well, the other placed within low circular ruin of one of the castle’s towers.

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It made me think regarding the logic to these placements. Are these discrete spaces for remembrance and contemplation for mourners? Were the loved one’s ashes scattered in these locations? Were these selected as discrete places where people are unlikely to tread? Are they secluded from the wind? What combination of mnemonic and prosaic factors motivated this pair of floral tributes? What is notable is, by picking such spots, they are counter to many memorial locations that demand a view. For while there are impressive long-distance views from the castle, from these spots in the interior of the masonry defenses, we are looking at more introverted memorial acts.

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