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Minxy 13-07-2010 13:53

Gwrych Castle 11.07.10 (pic heavy)
History pinched from wiki

Gwrych Castle is a Grade 1 listed 19th century mock castle near Abergele in Conwy county borough, North Wales.
The castle was built between 1819 and 1825 at the behest of Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh, grandfather of Winifred Cochrane, Countess of Dundonald. From 1894 until 1924, when the Countess died, it was the residence of the Dundonald family. The Countess left the castle in her will to King George V and the then Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward VIII). However, the gift was refused and the castle passed to the Venerable Order of Saint John. In 1928, the Earl of Dundonald purchased the castle for £78,000, selling the contents to meet the cost.

During World War II, the Government used the castle to house 200 Jewish refugees. Following the war, the castle left the Dundonald family and was open to the public for twenty years. It was called The Showpiece of Wales at this time, and attracted many visitors. It was also used as a training venue for the English World Middleweight boxing champion Randy Turpin in the early 1950s. In the early 60s it was an occasional venue for the famous motorcycle dragon rally and in the 70s it was used as a centre for medieval re-enactments, attracting tourists with such events as jousting and mock banquets.

The castle was last open to the public in 1985. Thereafter, it started to decline.[1] It was bought in 1989 by an American businessman (Nick Tavaglione) for £750,000.[3] However, his plans to renovate the building were not carried out. As a result, the castle was extensively looted and vandalised, becoming little more than a derelict shell, although it was used in 1996 as the backdrop for Prince Valiant, a film starring Edward Fox , Joanna Lumley and Katherine Heigl.

During the period of Tavaliogne's ownership, historian Mark Baker campaigned for the castle to be brought back to its days of glory—a campaign that he started when he was twelve years old. Baker was instrumental in forming the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, dedicated to ensuring the castle's future. The condition of the property was monitored by the Trust, who eventually forced the American owner to put it up for sale.

City Services Ltd, trading as Clayton Homes, bought the castle in January 2007 for £850,000, after it failed to reach its £1.5m reserve price at the 2 June auction. On 30 April 2007, Clayton announced a 3 year project, costing £6,000,000, to renovate the castle and convert it into a 90-bedroom 5-star hotel, creating 100 jobs. The project was subject to planning permission, but had the support of the Trust. Recently, a ghost has been photographed at the castle and even featured in The Sun newspaper.

The Gwrych Castle Trust Archive and the National Library of Wales hold important materials relating to Gwrych, including numerous original plans and various designs for the stained glass windows.

Clayton Homes was placed into Administration in August 2009, and the Castle was sold by the administrators to a new owner in early 2010 who plans to continue the project to convert the Castle into an Hotel.

Here are the pics

Thanks for looking :)

Gibbo 13-07-2010 13:55

Great stuff, everyone should make the effort to see this beautiful place.

Earth Worm Jim 13-07-2010 14:59

It's crying out for some night light-play.

buddah 13-07-2010 16:48

Nice pics went round this place last year its a great explore and its so big, i cant believe its not in use as something. It looks good as you drive down the a55 and you can see it nestled in the pine forest magic!, especially in winter its like something from narnia.

NewStuff 13-07-2010 18:38

It's not changed that much since I was a teenager...

I'll be having a look next week if I don't get to do Denbigh... Maybe both?

Minxy 13-07-2010 21:14

Do both :thumbs

martymarty 13-07-2010 21:21


Originally Posted by Earth Worm Jim (Post 124629)
It's crying out for some night light-play.

sure is :thumbs

NewStuff 13-07-2010 21:34

Much as I'd love to do it at night, having lived very close to this, I know the neighbours will spot any torches in a instant. A fair few houses situated on Tan-y-Gopa hill overlook this too.

Reddood 13-07-2010 22:49

uola or yola or how ever you spell it, who owns the last none caravan club camp site on the lane up to it is a friend of my mums, as such, i've spent hour upon hour at this place.

to be honest, we've camped in there in the past, about 20 of us, fires going, BBQ's, music the lot and never had a problem with been asked to move so i dont think a night time play would be a problem.

it would be great to see something done with it, those new age travelers have got much to answer for.

sallybear 13-07-2010 23:12

Great picks Minxy, didn't know this place existed, really fancy a good mooch at sunset

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