Tuesday, December 20, 2011
My Visit to a Castle!
Had an exciting day yesterday! After finishing my first historical novel, I've been immersed in all things, well, historic. So when my good friend suggested for our Christmas outing that we go to visit Casa Loma in Toronto, I jumped at the chance.
One of Toronto's richest men, Henry Pellatt, built this 'house on the hill' for he and his wife, Mary back in 1911. In its glory days, they entertained lavishly and employed over 40 servants.Even British royalty visited there. It was almost as good as going to Britain to visit a reall life castle!
Sir Henry's library housed wall to ceiling glassed in bookcases filled with really old looking books!
I loved walking through the underground tunnels to get to the stables whose stalls were built with pure mahogany! Since the hero of my latest book was a stable hand at a grand English mansion, this really hit home for me! And when the audio tour told us that Sir Henry's favourite horse was named Prince, I took this as divine confirmation that I was on the right path with my story - since the hero's favourite horse in the stable was - you got it - Prince! And to think I was going to change the horse's name!
I got to see the servants' rooms on the third floor, where my heroine, a kitchen maid, would have lived. And I got to see up close and personal the type of furnishings and fireplaces that I had tried to describe in my book. I especially loved the dining room all in pale blue, ornate plaster ceilings and ornate furniture.
Secret staircases and passageways, turrets and ghost stories, all combined to make it a super day!
I think I'm hooked on historicals!