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From medieval fortress inhabited by the great Welsh princes to a grand country house, home to a dynasty of rich and powerful nobility, Powis Castle has been the subject of more than 400 years of modification and re-development by the Herbert family, who even now own a private apartment on the second floor.
Crowning a rocky outcrop near the town of Welshpool, Powis Castle is now run by the National Trust, which has ensured its place as a major attraction in Wales. Steeped in exciting history and with fascinating contents, you'll also get a real sense of what it would have been like to live in a medieval castle, as did Queen Victoria when she visited the castle during her tour through England and Wales in 1832.
Powis Castle is home to a large array of paintings, sculpture, furniture and tapestries, but be sure not to miss a superb collection of treasures from India in the Clive Museum, which includes textiles, armour, weapons, bronzes, silver pieces, jade, ivory and a formal tent, all amassed by the Clives in the 18th century.
A remarkable survival of the 1660s, the State Bedroom is the only one in Britain where a balustrade still rails off the bed alcove from the rest of the room. The design reflects the desire of the English gentry to emulate the elaborate etiquette practiced at the court of Louis XIV at Versailles.