Nine years ago today I married my best friend.
Yep, the Hubby and I have been married for 9 years, Happy Anniversary to us!
Coming from a family that was torn apart by divorce getting married was a big step for me. When I was a teenager I swore I would never marry. It's funny how quickly you change your mind when you find the right person isn't it?
We got married at Bolsover Castle in Chesterfield and it's always lovely to go back and visit. As we'd just bought English Heritage membership again we decided to head back to the place that holds a special place in our hearts.
The day we chose to visit Bolsover Castle the weather was changeable but nothing like our wedding day. On the day we got married it rained. A lot. I spent the morning watching rain hammer against the salon window while I was having my hair done. I had to hold a magazine over my head to protect my hair when I left the salon!
I was devastated when the rain started and hoped that it would stop, but by the time me and my dad were in the car on our way to the Castle it was still raining heavily. We arrived at the Castle and the lovely staff had a huge umbrella waiting for me so that I wouldn't get soaked on the way into the Castle.
On the day we took the boys to Bolsover Castle the sun was peeking from behind the clouds so I snapped some photos while I could.
As we headed into the Little Castle it brought back so many fond memories; the flowers that stood on the steps, walking into that Castle knowing that when I came out I would be a married woman, seeing my whole family celebrate the best day of my life.
We walked through the Castle and I snapped photos, the inside of the Castle is old but gorgeous. All over there are markings from it's original decor, from door decorations to engravings in the marble around fireplaces. It makes me wonder what it was like back when it was new and I love walking around imagining what it would've been like to live there.
We wandered up the stairs to an outdoors walkway that surrounded the inner garden. On our wedding day this was closed because the wall was broken and being repaired. In the nine years since then they've rebuilt the wall and you can now walk around the inner garden getting fabulous views of the town and fields surrounding the castle.
After wandering outside we went back inside and headed into the Star Chamber, the room we had the wedding ceremony. It looks very different now with tapestries draped on one wall and paintings on another. The ceiling is still much the same but just as gorgeous as it was 9 years ago.
As we stood in the Star Chamber we told the boys about our wedding day. Even though BP was there he was only 2 at the time so couldn't remember. We talked about who was there, where the pianist sat, and what the room looked like.
Right next to the Star Chamber is another room which had red velvety material hung on the walls with a red seat on one side. This is the room the Hubby waited in before the ceremony. With the materials on the wall, and a tiled floor, it was quiet in this room. It was strange when compared to the rest of the Castle which was loud.
After leaving the Star Chamber we walked around the rest of the Castle. The castle is still being restored and many of the walls have had plaster removed. In some of the rooms you can see the various stages of restoration throughout the years. In one of the rooms there are dark portraits on the walls, reminding me of the history of Bolsover Castle.
At the top of the Little Castle is a room where performances were once held and now there is a small "stage" and costumes for kids (and you if you wish!) to try on. LP loved this and tried on lots of outfits before settling on one he liked. He ran around the room a little and pretended to perform for us on the stage.
Heading downstairs we found the kitchen and basement area. It was great to see the old sinks with holes near the bottom. Beneath the holes were small trenches in the floor where water would've run out of the sink, into the trenches, and then outdoors. There was also an area where the servants would've cooked the meals. Again I enjoyed inspecting the areas and imagining what it would've been like back then.
It didn't take long for the boys to get bored of me marvelling at the history of the place so we went outside into the inner garden. The sun was out and the grass was a lovely green colour. I snapped a few photos of the statue in the inner garden and the boys ran around.
Next we went into the ruins of the large Castle and the first thing we saw reminded me of having our photos taken on our wedding day. The rain stopped as we got married and by the time we headed outside for photos the sun was out and shining so the Hubby and I, with the photographer, went into the large Castle for our photos. It was great to walk around remembering the day and seeing where we stood to have our photos done.
The boys enjoyed wandering around the ruins and talking about the history. They asked about where the rooms would've been and what they were used for. I loved the views through the windows, imagining what it would've looked like all those years ago. The views into the Castle gardens were lovely too and I snapped a photo of the huge tree, as seen from inside the Castle ruins.
From the Castle ruins we went into the barns and this is where we had our reception. The actual room where we sat and ate was closed on the day we visited but it was still lovely to be close by.
Being at Bolsover Castle is great, I am reminded of the beautiful day our wedding day turned out to be and the fact that our family travelled from miles away to help us celebrate.
After we'd wandered around the Castle we had to let the boys play in the new playground. BP wasn't too interested (what with him being 11) but LP loved it. The climbing area, swings, and even the little toys were made out of wood. It's a great little playground and I'm sure it will entertain lots of little ones in the future.
We had a great time at Bolsover Castle and it will remain a very special place to me and the Hubby.