Julius Drewe set up the Home and Colonial Stores in 1878 - a business so successful that he was able to retire, a millionaire, at the age of 33.
In retirement his thoughts turned to building himself a baronial castle in Drewsteignton, Devon, alleged to have been named after Drogo de Teigne, his ancestor.
He found an ideal site overlooking Dartmoor and Piddledoh Craigs, so off he went to visit Sir Edwin Lutyens and asked him to design and build his castle. Lutyens was one of the most interesting architects of the time and had just spent over twenty years designing New Delhi, popularly called "Lutyens' Delhi".
Rashtrapati Bhavan, fromerly known as the Viceroy's House, designed by Lutyens.
Castle Drogo, Devon
Lutyens designed the flat roof using what was considered to be the latest building material - asphalt, a natural material brought from pits in Trinidad. The qualities of asphalt weren't understood then; today we know that it expands and contracts in hot and cold weather and eventually cracks, thus it allowed water to leak into the castle.
This photo is deceptive, for all is not quite what it seems.......
......the castle is under wraps and has been for the past couple of years. It is now almost halfway through an extensive 11 million pound restoration programme to prevent further deterioration from the ingress of water and to save it for future generations.
If you don a hard hat, a florescent safety jacket, and have a head for heights, it is possible to climb the scaffolding, which we did.
It affords a fantastic birds eye view of the repairs being carried out - it is relatively easy to climb the scaffolding, especially compared to some of the narrow twisting church towers we clambered up last year.
The rich contents of the castle have been safely packed away until the reopening in 2017, apparently the builders are only three days behind schedule. However, it is still possible to see the castles interior.
Built from local granite, the castle borrows styles from the medieval and Tudor periods, but generally a more minimalist, contemporary approach was favoured.
Lutyens "...there will be plenty of light in the Kitchen, even on a dull day it will not be necessary to use artificial light;...."
The gardens are the highest English gardens held by the National Trust.
Surrounded by woodland walks and a deep gorge, the formal gardens were laid out by Lutyens and are entered through one of his Arts and Crafts style gates.
A Wendy House to delight any small child
The castle took 20 years to complete. With the start of the First World War most of the young carpenters and stone masons working on the castle had to leave and fight for their country, sadly most of them did not return. In 1917 the Drewe family too lost their eldest son on the front line from an overwhelming intake of mustard gas in Ypres, Belgium. His death was a terrible loss and Julius never fully recovered from the shock. The castle was finally completed one year before Julius Drewe died.