Some links are back... Raglan Castle Goes to the Movies... . angels are working on it!


The fantasy segment staged at Raglan Castle in South Wales is designed by Robert Plant as a visual parallel that matches the spirit of Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song." Plant takes the part of the brave knight, who is the central character destined to cross the great ocean, pass through forest and vale, and confront an evil power that is holding the castle.  The noble knight must overcome the black knight and save his beloved.  




Robert Plant stars in the chivalric segment of the Led Zeppelin concert film, The Song Remains The Same.  He is a knight of great power and commitment who comes to a new shore from a distant kingdom. His allies are the falcon [reason] and a loyal steed [discipline] similar to Aragorn's horse in Tolkien's Ring trilogy.  His quest takes him through a set of wonderland scenes, with magic qualities specific to each of the elements. Perhaps the perilous journey is something from a dream and he must learn the secrets of nature before it will be possible to achieve his goal. He is an adventurer with determination to succeed against the odds, as suggested in lyrics from, Immigrant Song.

Raglan Castle is an excellent location for the story because of the impeccable aura of the castle, the power of the castle deva, and the spiral staircase duel that continues up to the tower. This may be an homage to an earlier movie about the civil war era, The Exile, starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and directed by  Max Opuls.

Plant's subsequent ascent of the grand staircase to the upper chamber is also reminiscent of Stairway To Heaven lyrics. Band encounters mesh into themes that bond individuals to their environment. The Deva of Hammerwood Park [architect H. Latrobe] glimpsed in the prologue, and the Deva of the highland retreat Boleskine, where Jimmy Page appears with even more sacred druidic references, are also addressed. 


Raglan Castle  - The History

William ap Thomas, responsible for earlier construction of Raglan Castle, married Gwladus, daughter of Sir Dafydd Gam, and widow of Sir Roger Vaughan, and thus began the Herbert family line. Both these men had been part of the Welsh contingent that fought with King Henry V in France, and both were killed at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, where William ap Thomas had also fought. He retained Raglan as a tenant of his stepson, James, Lord Berkeley, and in 1425 Lord Berkeley agreed that he could continue to hold Raglan for the duration of his life. In 1426, ap Thomas was knighted by Henry VI, becoming known to his compatriots as Y marchog glas o Went (the blue knight of Gwent). He began to build Raglan Castle as we know it today, probably from the 1430s.


By 1432 Sir William was in a position to purchase Raglan from the Berkeley family for 1,000 marks (almost 667 pounds). He laid plans for a castle very much in the contemporary French style, as we know it now. Although there is a possibility that the wall of the hall facing the Fountain Court may include features of the Bloet period manorhouse, the building programme begun by William ap Thomas eventually swept away all the original structures. The principal buildings surviving from the time of Sir William are the Great Tower, a self-contained fortress in its own right, together with the south gate, both equipped with gunloops. He also raised the hall, though later largely rebuilt, and part of the service range beyond.

Sir Thomas Herbert of Tintern wrote an account of Raglan construction that still exists in the Herbertorum Prosapia, the family chronicle. Sir Thomas refers to Raglan where William ap Thomas had erected a Tower of great bredth and height proportionable of several aequilaterall sides and angles about which was an artificiall Graft or Trench filled with water this was named Sr Willm Thomas his Tower.

Their coat-of-arms from the Herbertorum Prosapia shows the Herbert arms halved with those of the Gam family. The combined influence of the English symbols and the French is unmistakable, and both emphasize the Sun power of strategy and foresight (prophecy) associated with the royal family. The shield also provides healing features imperceptible to the aggressive army that attacked the castle, simply focused on blasting through the wall to destroy any loyalty or steadfastness to the crown. It is important for dowsers to note the Great Tower located left off the main entry, representing the 'KNOWLEDGE' sector of the castle itself. This is obviously the Deva's strongest point in the defensive line across the front of the castle wall. This was the angle of the tower destined to draw the greatest fire, suggesting the wish to demolish higher octave consciousness at the castle and heart of the web of power in Wales.


Note part of text is from a tour guidebook at Raglan Castle
John R. Kenyon BA, ALA, FSA, FRHistS
Cadw: Welsh Historic Momuments

*   Ophuls .... pushing his lens for sheer playful exhilaration or to keep the story on a human scale. The traversal of space evokes a distinctively airy quality, an amplitude akin to the billowing of curtains, uniquely satisfying compared to the dislocations and joins of conventional editing, no matter how seamless. As Truffaut noted, Ophuls camera sweeps the screen in tempo: Rhythm was his predominant preoccupation ... the rhythm of a film, of a novel, the novelty of someones walk, of a performer acting, the rhythm of a life. He dreamed pauses, stops, rests. 

see Truffaut, The Films in My Life, trans. Leonard Mayhew, Penguin Books

full article by Robert Keser

planet deva portrayed in the Babylon 5 tv series 2 parter A Voice in the Wilderness
190 Bester Place
Babylon 5 lurker guide

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