Three weeks after my final deadline for my undergraduate degree in Archaeology and Heritage I moved to Wales to take up the amazing opportunity of a Conservation Internship with the National Trust at Powis Castle. This experience will provide me with the skills I need to go and achieve my dreams of working in the heritage industry to preserve our Nation’s physical history for the future, not to mention being a really interesting period of my life and great fun!
So I packed up my student room in Worcester and with the help of my Aunt and her camper-van made the journey the Welsh Marches. The following day was my first day on the job; meet the new long term volunteer at Powis Castle!
Having some experience working for the National Trust did not prepare me for life at Powis Castle. I previously worked and volunteered at a much smaller Trust property in Worcester; The Greyfriars House and Garden. This property and Powis are very different. Greyfriars is a small Tudor building in the centre of Worcester, with one full time member of staff. The collection was brought in to the property by the last owners, Elsie and Matley Moore and was sourced from auctions and jumble sales and junk yards all over the country. The Greyfriars is a beautiful little oasis in the middle of the historic city, as a posed to Powis Castle, a striking red brick building sitting atop a hill overlooking Welshpool and the surrounding area.
Powis Castle is the ancestral home of the Earls of Powis, who still have a residence there today. It was started in the Medieval period and has been through many phases of change between than and now. The collection is the finest in Wales, if not the UK and is incredibly varied. Due to its much larger size the Castle gets a much higher volume of traffic than The Greyfriars, which creates different challenges. The team charged with caring for the property is well into double figures, with different departments and specialisms. The Castle is always buzzing with activity. It is great to go from one end of the spectrum to the other, a real learning curve. The Greyfriars was the perfect property to start my journey with the Trust, and Powis provides the opportunity for lots of new experiences to be had.
So here I am at this amazing property in a stunning part of the world having a wonderful little adventure, and this is my log of my uniquely privileged year at Powis Castle.