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  • Writer's pictureJulie Brown

Massages at Astley Castle

I was lucky enough to be hired for the day to set up my massage table and enjoy working in the stunningly beautiful Astley Castle. The ancient building on the outskirts of Nuneaton which dates back to the 13th century, has been heralded with Britains biggest architectural award. The £2.3 million project was taken onboard by the Landmark trust charity with funding by the Heritage lottery fund and innovative design by London based Witherford Watson Mann Architects, to create a contemporary setting within the original outer walls, which saw the project win the RIBA Sterling Prize. Three queens have been linked to the castle. Elisabeth Woodville (wife of Edward lV) Elisabeth of York (wife of Henry Vll) and lady Jane grey. The manor is also said to have inspired George Elliot who grew up on the Arbury Estate. 

During the Second World War Astley Castle was requisitioned and later turned into a hotel, then it was left to ruin after a fire in 1978. In 2013 this threatened historical building was turned into a unique and inspiring place to stay. The modern brickwork next to the original structure is absolutely beautiful, powerful and striking. 

Spending the day in this stunning manor, surrounded by all its history has been an amazing experience and very humbling. In fact six of the ladies who had treatments off me at Astley Castle are architects themselves. I had an amazing day full of insight and lots of inspiration. I have loved the experience and opportunity in my career to have been chosen to work at the castle for the day.

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