Gwyrch - Castle Of The Month

Published on 2021-11-20 / By Hammy@trefeddian

Home to 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!', this formidable castle - a Victorian Gothic fantasy - is now being restored after many years of neglect. History tells of an earlier castle in this location prior to construction of this Gothic Folly. The first castle was a timber fortress built by the Normans in the 12th century. In 1170, Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth captured Gwrych and rebuilt it in stone. The Welsh castle survived until it was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentary army after the Civil War.

This 19th century castle with 128 rooms and 19 embattlement towers was built by a wealthy industrialist as a monument to his ancestors in 1812. When the last of the family died, the castle was bequest to George V and the Prince of Wales. Unfortunately the legacy was turned down and the castle was given to charity.

During WWII, the castle was used to house Jewish refugees. After the war, it was opened as a tourist attraction and events venue but unfortunately the castle closed in 1985. The Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust bought it in 2018, after a campaign to save it from the disrepair, as it started to fall into ruin.

Things to see and do

Just 12 miles from here, you will find the magnificent gardens at Bodnant, situated above the River Conwy looking across the valley towards the Snowdonia mountain range. The garden is in two parts. The upper part consists of the Terrace Gardens as well as informal lawns shaded by trees. The lower portion, known as 'The Dell', is formed by the valley of the River Hiraethlyn, a tributary of the Conwy, and contains the Pinetum and Wild Garden.

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