The Rock Close

The Rock Close

Perhaps the most extraordinary part of the garden is its oldest, the Rock Close, the first stop on the circuit on the eastern side of the Castle.

The Rock Close is a mystical place, said to be the site of an ancient druidic settlement. Shaded by a leafy canopy of ancient yew trees, this part of the garden has a feeling of magic. Most of the curious rocks stand today as they have stood for over 2,000 years, though some arrangements were created by the Jefferyes family in the 1750s as a fitting response to the natural features of the area and to the gaunt old Castle itself.

In this mysterious and hidden landscape are a druidic sacrificial altar, a hermit’s cell, a witch’s kitchen, and other features beneath ancient yew trees, with roots clinging to the bare rock like the veins on a witch’s arm. It is said that the yew over the witch’s kitchen is more than 600 years.

Then there are the stones of the witch’s staircase which will grant your wish IF you perform the necessary ritual CORRECTLY! Beware of the witch’s stone. Witches as we have seen, have mysterious powers. And finally, you are advised not to approach the druid’s altar when dusk falls…</p