Castle of the Month Gwyrch

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

Gwyrch Castle

70 Miles

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 the castle in 2018, after a campaign to save it from the disrepair, as it started to fall into ruin.

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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