Powis Castle, located near Welshpool in Powys, Wales, is an ancient fortress turned lavish stately home. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and magnificent gardens, it stands as a symbol of grandeur and power.
The origins of Powis Castle can be traced back to the 13th century when it was built by Welsh prince Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn as a defensive fortress. Its strategic hilltop location provided a commanding view of the surrounding countryside, making it an ideal stronghold.
Over the centuries, Powis Castle passed through the hands of various noble families, including the de la Pole, Herbert, and Clive families. It was Sir Edward Herbert, the first Baron Powis, who transformed the fortress into a palatial mansion in the late 16th century. Under his ownership, the castle underwent significant expansions and renovations, adopting a more Renaissance and Baroque style.
The castle’s architectural design is a unique blend of medieval fortifications and Elizabethan grandeur. Its exterior features imposing stone walls, crenellations, and towers, giving it a strong and formidable appearance. The castle’s iconic terraces, known as the Long Gallery, were added in the 17th century and offer panoramic views of the beautiful surrounding landscape.
Inside Powis Castle, visitors are treated to a wealth of opulent rooms filled with exquisite art, furniture, and decorative items. The state rooms, including the Clive Museum, showcase a vast collection of treasures acquired by the Clive family during their time in India. These items include intricate carvings, rare manuscripts, Indian textiles, and stunning artifacts from the Mughal Empire.
One of the most remarkable features of Powis Castle is its world-renowned garden. Spanning over 26 acres, the garden is a masterpiece of formal and informal design, reflecting different periods and influences. The garden boasts terraces, topiary, herbaceous borders, and ornamental ponds, creating a tapestry of colors and textures. The world-famous herbaceous borders are a riot of vibrant blooms, while the clipped yew hedges and elaborate water features add to the garden’s charm.
The castle’s garden is also home to the rare and exotic collection of plants, some of which were brought back from botanical expeditions by various members of the Clive family. The garden features a vast array of plants, including Himalayan rhododendrons, Chinese tree peonies, and Italianate terraces adorned with Mediterranean flora. The garden’s beauty changes with the seasons, ensuring there is always something new to discover.
Powis Castle has witnessed its fair share of historical events and notable figures. During the English Civil War, it served as a stronghold for the Royalists and survived a lengthy siege by Parliamentarian forces. In the 18th century, the castle was occupied by Robert Clive, also known as Clive of India, who made significant contributions to the British Empire in India.
Today, Powis Castle is managed by the National Trust and welcomes visitors from around the world. Guided tours offer insight into the castle’s history, while the museum and gardens provide a visual feast for the senses. The castle hosts various events throughout the year, including garden tours, exhibitions, and cultural festivals.
A visit to Powis Castle is a journey through time, where visitors can explore the intriguing history of the castle, immerse themselves in the opulence of the stately home, and wander through the breathtaking gardens. It stands as a testament to the power, wealth, and cultural heritage of its previous occupants, leaving a lasting impression on all who visit.
- (01938) 551 944
Powis Castle, Welshpool. SY21 8RF
- Monday11:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Tuesday11:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Wednesday11:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Thursday11:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Friday11:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Saturday11:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sunday11:00 am - 5:00 pm
These are the peak summer opening times.
Other times may vary. For full details please visit the National Trust website.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
Closed 25th December and 1st January.
Dogs on leads welcome in the National Trust car park and courtyard only. The deer park that surrounds the property is privately owned and a no dog policy is in place for health and safety reasons.
OTHER OPENING TIMES:
Clive Museum: 11:00-17:00
Garden Coffee Shop: 11:00-16:00
Garden Shop: 11:00-17:00