Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gleaston Castle, survey demonstration by Adam Stanford of Aerial Cam.

Gleaston Castle
Survey demonstration by Adam Stanford
Aerial Cam - Specialist Archaeological Photography

Sandwiched between two pretty wet days in July, the 29th was, thank fully, a dry and warm day. Ideal for a field trip to Gleaston Castle, organised jointly by the Morecambe Bay Partnership and the Castle Studies Trust. I’ve visited Gleaston Castle on two previous occasions, once in August 2005 and once in August 2007, so this was an invite not to be missed, as we were being allowed access to the courtyard and towers of the castle; previous visits had unfortunately been curtailed by the lack of access due to the extremely poor state of repair of the standing ruins, so photos from these previous visits had been from the road side only.

Above. Our first view of Adam's drone over Gleaston Castle.

Above. Adam's drone flying high over the castle in Summer skies.

Above. After my first visit 10 years ago, I'm finally walking amongst the ruins.

Above. Adam and Louise at Gleaston Castle.

Above. Like a scene from Terminator.

Above. Getting ready for a demonstration flight.

Above. We have lift off.

After Adam's demonstration, we were allowed access to the two towers at the Southern and South Western corners of the castle. Both towers are in an extremely perilous state of repair, but the stairs survived in good enough condition to allow us to climb the first floor in each one, allowing us to see the internal passageways and some surviving architectural features, including a dove-cote that had been created in the Southern most tower. The collection of photos that I managed to bag from this visit is a welcome addition to my library, and has enabled me to gain a greater insight into this castle.

Above. Louise and Sarah watching from the safety of outside the tower.

Above. Exploring the precarious ruined tower.

Above. Jeremy of the Castle Studies Trust inspects the interior of the ruined tower.

Above. The group checking out the ruined tower.

Above. A last look before moving on to Piel Tower.

A £5000 grant had been made available by the Castle Studies Trust to the Morecambe Bay Partnership, to enable them to produce an “accurate record of the fabric and architectural features of the castle”. Working in conjunction with Louise Martin (H2H Cultural Heritage Officer) of the Morecambe Bay Parnership and the Castle Studies Trust, Adam Stanford of Aerial-Cam (specialists in aerial surveying) was tasked with surveying Gleaston Castle using his drone, taking video footage of the site and thousands of still images. The aim was to build up a better understanding of this neglected castle and its surroundings and to help plan out an ‘extensive programme of recording, consolidation and interpretation”. Ultimately, any reports or data that were to be produced would hopefully assist in obtaining much needed funds required to safeguard the castle for future generations to enjoy and explore.