6 July 2012

Wray Castle under attack!

The rust brown fruit of the Dry Rot Fungus
The defences of Wray Castle recently came under attack and were breached by a hostile foe.
An invading army, bent on destruction, made it past the battlements and arrow slots, beneath the portcullis and into the inner sanctum. But this was not a mob of angry Celts or pillaging Vikings, nor a horde of Orcs armed with ladders and siege engines. Instead, the invaders were much more sneaky and insidious, though just as deadly. They were also, it has to be said, rather less interesting – the spores of the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans.

The enemy invaders were forcibly removed from the castle by a team from the National Trust’s direct labour department who cut away the ‘fruit’ of the fungus from the infected timber and masonry.

Crime Scene Investigators
Although external repairs to the affected area have already been carried out, the fact that the walls are 3ft thick means that it will take a long time for the structure to thoroughly dry out and thus eradicate the dry rot completely.

Hold on tight Henry!
The castle remained open to visitors throughout, with only three rooms closed. Our hit team completed their mission and cleared away all the evidence of their work by midday, with just one tea break (!), so for visitors in the afternoon there were few signs of the hard-fought battle.

Wray Castle is an ongoing project and we are keen for visitors to follow the ups and downs of the restoration process. Later this year we are carrying out extensive repairs to the roof of the Castle to make it fully water-tight and hopefully prevent the need for any future visits from the men in white suits!

Post & photos by Rose, the Wray Castle Ops Manager