When I was younger, I remember having the opportunity to visit Killarney’s Castle, commonly known as Stollmeyer’s Castle… I don’t remember why we visited or even if we went inside but whatever the event was, I remember being in the gardens with other children my age and telling people after the fact, that I got to visit a Castle. 😎🤩
Stollmeyer’s Castle is part of a historic row of mansions along the Western side of the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, known as The Magnificent Seven. All seven buildings were constructed in the early 1900’s, with a variety of European historical architectural styles and are considered to represent some of the historical backgrounds in the history of our beautiful country.
It was built in a Scottish Baronial architectural style and said to be modeled after a wing of the Balmoral Castle in Scotland, one of the residences of the British Royal Family. Construction was completed in 1904 and became the first of the Magnificent Seven to be built in this area. The Castle was handed down through the Stollmeyer family over the years and even occupied by the US Forces during the Second World War, until it was sold to a local business man in 1972. In 1979, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago obtained it and to this day, remains under the care of the Office of the Prime Minister.
Some time after my exciting childhood visit, the Castle became part of an extensive restoration phase and was closed to the public. Even upon completion, we only heard of special events or specially invited guests that were allowed to visit the Castle…
That is until last month. “Carnival at the Castle“, a historical Carnival exhibition was being advertised and the venue would be the Stollmeyer’s Castle!! Immediately I promised myself that I would go and visit; not only to be able to visit the Castle again, but to be able to enjoy the displays of the history and traditions of our Carnival.
So last week I set out to do just that.
We were told that the “Carnival at the Castle” exhibition is a collaboration between the Carnival Institute of Trinidad & Tobago and the National Archives of Trinidad & Tobago. It consists of the history of carnival, history of the traditional Carnival characters and even displays of our National music instruments and musical artists who have played an important part in the history of promoting the arts of Calypso and Soca music over the years.
It was so exciting to see the life-size displays of for example: the Midnight Robber, the Dame Lorraine and the Jab Molassie… just to name a few.
We also had the privilege and opportunity to visit the upstairs of the newly restored Castle, with a guide sharing with us a small history of the Castle, and being able to view some of the living quarters on this upper level.
Here are some more of my captured moments for you all to enjoy! 😀
The committees have since extended the exhibition to run until
Saturday the 6th April, that is THIS Saturday! GO check it out!!
Have you ever visited Stollmeyer’s Castle?
Which Castles have you visited? Which others should I visit?
Let me know in the comments below.