The Langley Castle Experience
After a friendly check-in, we were lead to the Josephine room located in one of the four towers off the main drawing room. The décor and furnishings in Langley Castle are very well thought out and designed to stir the emotions. As we headed to our room past suits of armour and enormous flowing drapes and tapestries, the excitement continued to build. The spiral staircase within the turret adding, even more, atmosphere to the medieval/historical experience.
Langley Castle has 27 rooms in total, with 18 of the rooms located on its 10-acre grounds and nine within the castle itself. We were staying in one of the castle’s five feature rooms. Ours was the Josephine room, named after Josephine d’Echarvines who dedicated 30 years of her life to the restoration of Langley Castle following her husband, Cadwallader John Bates, a former High Sheriff of Northumberland’s death.
In the title to this article, we alluded to the supernatural and to be more specific a ghost dubbed the ‘Grey Lady’. Although the ghost at Langley Castle is said to be a woman, it is not the aforementioned Josephine d’Echarvines. but, Maud de Lucy, the widow of Sir Thomas, who threw herself out of a window having received news of his death at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403.
With any historic building and in particular a castle, a good ghost story can only help with the mystique, fortunately, the ‘Grey Lady’ was neither seen or heard from during our stay.
The Josephine room is one of the largest of the feature rooms and is located on the second floor. In keeping with a stay in a turret, you approach via a winding stone staircase through large thick wooden arched doors.
The room itself is of a good size and it was immediately obvious that the overall décor was carefully chosen to reinforce that you not in your everyday luxury hotel room. An ornate canopied bed, sofa and quality furniture create the ambience but it is the window area that steals the show.
Set behind sweeping ornate curtains, is a couple of wing back chairs and a table, a perfect place to read and contemplate. The ornate stone mullions supporting the arched leaded window coupled with the immensely thick block stone walls, reputedly 7 feet deep, never lets you forget you’re in a castle.
Although the Josephine room has an opulent medieval feel, you still get the necessary modern-day creature comforts including free Wi-Fi, a large wall-mounted flat screen TV with an extensive selection of Sky TV channels.
The bathroom within our room also provided a pleasant surprise with the bonus of a large and deep whirlpool spa bath. The body moldings in each of the corners leads me to believe that it could take four people. Whether that is, indeed, possible, I’ll leave for you to discover.
Aside from the park-like grounds, the main public area is the drawing room. This large room houses the bar and is filled with seating where guests can relax and enjoy a pre-or post dinner aperitif or snacks throughout the day. Adjacent to this room is something that makes Langley Castle even more unique. Just off of the main staircase can be found the finest examples of ‘Garderobes’ in Europe.
Langley Castle has 12 of these and if you’re not sure what a Garderobe is, in simple terms, it’s a ‘Posh toilet’! The word is derived from the French ‘garderobe’ meaning ‘closet’ and without going into graphic terms, was not very advanced in its operation with a hole to the outside. Fortunately, the introduction of indoor plumbing in the early 19th century made Garderobe’s obsolete.
Click here for our thoughts on dining at Langley Castle