Simon had chosen Drogo – described by the National Trust as the last castle to be built in Britain – as his ‘inspiration’, part of a regular series that appears in Building Design magazine.
Luckily, the weather was bright for most of the day, and we enjoyed magnificent views from the roof of the castle across Dartmoor and the stunning Teign valley. The National Trust staff were extremely helpful, allowing us to roam wild, and we even had time for lunch in the recently-built café and visitor centre.
The castle was designed by Edwin Lutyens for filthy rich businessman Julius Drewe, and is a curious mix of medieval and Art Deco. The traditional castle features such as battlements, become progressively more abstracted in the later stages of construction. Built from granite, it has suffered terribly from a leaky roof and water ingress through the walls.
It was great to spend the day with both Pamela and Simon. I have written about Panter Hudspith the past and have huge respect for their work, which is often in highly sensitive locations (such as cathedral cities). Simon was very patient waiting for the clouds to part, so we could get some sunny portraits.
For the camera nerds among us, this was my first commissioned shoot where I used my new Olympus E-M5 for some of the shots. Although switching between my Canon 5D II and the Olympus was a bit testing (the Olympus user interface is somewhat quirky and it seemed to be randomly changing settings) the quality of the images was not far from matching that of the 5d II. What’s more, I was able to get some shots that would be tricky or risky with the bigger Canon, namely dangling over the parapets and shooting handheld.