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Gwrych Castle | by [Nocturne]
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Gwrych Castle

So it was Carl's 21st so we all went Karting, which was the most fun ever, seen as we were that way on we decided to go to Gwrych Castle which we have not been to before, but apprently when I was a child we used to come on holiday up hear when it used to be nice, now it is an empty shell.

 

Here is some info about the castle.

 

Gwrych Castle was erected 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.

 

It was bought in 1989 by an American businessman (Nick Tavaglione) for £750,000. 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 lobbied Conwy council to compulsorily purchase the property, eventually placing enough pressure on the American owner, who put it up for sale in March 2006.

 

City Services Ltd, trading as Clayton Homes and Clayton Hotels, bought the castle in January 2007 for £850,000, after it failed to reach its £1.5m reserve price at the 2 June 2006 auction. On 30 April 2007, Clayton Hotels 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. Clayton Hotels spent about half a million pounds on its plans, clearing the site and rebuilding areas. City Services Ltd was placed into Administration on 12 August 2009, and the Castle sold by the administrators in April 2010 for £300,000 to Edwards Property Management (UK) Ltd of Widnes, who plans to continue the project to convert the Castle into an Hotel.

 

In February 2010 a ghost was apparently photographed at the castle and featured in The Sun newspaper, which is the worst fake ever! I was well up for going inside ghosts are crap. We shall return with more of us on a starry night and spend the whole night here.

 

Enjoy!

 

www.noctography.co.uk

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Taken on August 22, 2011