top of page

Drogo Revisited

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

Yesterday I returned to Castle Drogo on Dartmoor, the place that inspired my novel.

In my last two blogs I explained two of the reasons for the change of name of the novel from 'Castle Drogo' to 'Of All Faiths & None'. There was one other reason. The construction of Castle Drogo was only in its very early stages in the period when the novel is set. The design that Lutyens gave to Sir Julius Drewe in 1911 is extremely different to what was finally built. The castle as constructed was around 50% smaller than the original design and, as Lutyens complained, the omissions that Sir Julius made took away the intended symmetry. Castle Drogo was therefore an idea, rather than something that had been built at that time. One imagines 'Castle Drogo' as a completed building; however, at the end of the book the works have only just started. I thought therefore that the name would give the wrong impression. It is, however, a unique design created by one of England's most brilliant architects.

While a tour around Castle Drogo is fascinating, it does not make the heart sing. One feels that the inside is almost a mausoleum for Sir Julius Drewe's eldest son. There is a room dedicated to him and pictures of him can be found throughout the castle. The chapel (see the photo above) is quite beautiful and contains the cross that originally marked Adrian Drewe's grave. On the cross is written 'He Was A Gallant Gentleman'. Also in the chapel there is a model of Thiepval, Lutyens' monument for the fallen of the Somme. Nothing appears to have changed since I first visited the castle nearly eighteen years ago, except that the building appears to have been cleaned and the roof has once again been repaired.

In contrast to the austerity of the building, the formal terraced gardens are quite beautiful, as is Dartmoor and the walks that you can do in the area. I didn't spend nearly enough time discovering the gardens. However, that simply means that once again Drogo will have to be revisited.

44 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page