Time changes things. I don’t think I’m going to win a Nobel prize for that profound statement. If you have an interest in history, like I do, you might have a preference for a particular era or something physical, like a building. What existed back when it was created doesn’t resemble what is left of it now, assuming something remains. If I take the opportunity to visit somewhere I’ve fancied seeing in person, it immediately strikes me how much has gone, vanished. I’m required to reconstruct what is missing. It’s not easy.
Others, across the centuries, have captured what they see, whether in words or pictures. These days we have the luxury of computers to fill in the blanks and recreate what is missing.
Take my theme of castles, it is a good example of how over time those changes have been recorded. We all know those ruins looked different to how we see them now. Even those which have walls and roofs have been altered numerous times, added to and subtracted according to purpose.
Conservation freezes time. Almost. Castles can’t hide from the weather.
Take Raglan Castle, another one of my childhood favourites.
As it appears today…. roughly.
Go back a hundred years….
This is another picture – wilder and overgrown, just as a ruin should appear? I’m already pining for the little bench at the front and the greenery.
Or there is this, a painting –
The greenery looks like a formal garden and the walls more complete, and is there glass in the windows? It’s actually modern painting. Goes to show what can be recaptured with a brush and not a camera.
From above, the castle appears to the birds as this –
A computer might turn it into this –
A recreated perspective of what Raglan looked like in 1620.
The only thing guaranteed is what the castle looks like today, this very minute, if I happened to be standing right in front of it. Everything else is imagination or a snapshot in time.