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P365_115 Castle in ruins

2010.03.07
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An early morning visit to Gwrych Castle, Abergele this morning to capture some of this great structure.

Sadly, one owner after the other has let the castle fall into a state of disrepair and of late, thieves have stolen many of the internal finishes such as oak panelling etc. Also, vandals have breached the security fencing and there was evidence of widespread trespass and damage to the limestone masonry features, especially to the castellations.

It is not a true historic castle, but was built in 1819 as a folly and later extended to its current extent. It had cast iron window frames and as you can see these still remain in many cases.

It was commanded by the government between 1940 and 1945 and housed over two hundred Jewish refugees.

The castle was purchased and opened to the Public in 1948. Randolph Turpin and Bruce Woodcock, famous boxers, trained here and many people came to see them in their practice sessions.

During the 1970's, I remember going to the castle with my parents and sister as a small child and seeing medieval jousting and mock battles between knights. It was purchased by an American businessman in 1989 with the intention of converting it into a hotel. This never materialised and it was around this time that many of the doors and finishes were stolen and there was widespread vandalism and even a number of small fires set by trespassers.

Currently, a business consortium own the building and did start work on tidying up the structure, but this ceased some 12-18 months ago, the excuse being that the current economic climate was not right to convert the structure into the proposed hotel and conference facility.

It is about time that CADW stepped in and served notice on the owners to undertake consolidation and protection works before this fine structure deteriorates further. The castle is grade I listed, by nobody seems to be able to get this poor soul stabilised.

Rant over!!!
21 Comments
DancingDolphin Such a shame that it doesn't get stabilized, it will just keep getting worse and lessen the chances. Take photos while you can! A really nice set, I love the windows.
DancingDolphin · 2010-03-07: 16:33
kenzshots its a wonderful castle with a varied history, even though it is not very old, hope the authorities get there act into gear soon to save it from further degradation....
kenzshots · 2010-03-07: 17:42
????? This is a really beautiful castle and sorry to ruin!!
????? · 2010-03-07: 18:02
lynnsgallery2 Awesome structure and fabulous images!!! Sorry to hear the story behind these shots but I love how you captured it!!!
lynnsgallery2 · 2010-03-07: 19:11
lookagain Fantastic post, John, and interesting, but somewhat unfortunate history behind this place. Such wonderful shapes and textures you've captured....the windows are really lovely!
lookagain · 2010-03-07: 19:39
djnana Thank you for this remarkable history of a sad, yet magnificent structure. All of the shots are superb captures, but I love the bird soaring over the towering walls. It seems to add life to the dying.
djnana · 2010-03-07: 20:47
huiching It must be very great in the old days. I love this. Please share more.
huiching · 2010-03-08: 00:20
BwannaDon What a wonderful place! I'll never understand vandalism or thievery :( The rant is well founded :) and the shots are great!
BwannaDon · 2010-03-08: 01:35
soubhagya u call this ruins? It seems it is in a magnificent state! It still has a lot grandeur with it!
soubhagya · 2010-03-08: 01:39
Saipanhohhot It may be a folly but it's a romantic structure and worth preserving.
Saipanhohhot · 2010-03-08: 02:34
tomie wonderful casttle!! it's a shame not to keep it better...1 and 5 are super!!
tomie · 2010-03-08: 03:29
hannamagnusson Magical place, great photos!
I just love old ruins :-)
hannamagnusson · 2010-03-08: 03:49
Ole365 Wonderful shots, but it's a sad story about this nice building.
Ole365 · 2010-03-08: 07:06
NellyBly Oh I would love to walk around there! Beautiful old castle and photos! #4 and 5 are awesome with the sun and perspective... saved to favs.
NellyBly · 2010-03-08: 15:17
SADHYA Beautiful shots John. I didn't know the history of this place, only seen it from the A55. Such a shame if it is to just fall to pieces.
SADHYA · 2010-03-08: 15:36
Wasichseh Great set, but a sad story, even if I like ruins.
Wasichseh · 2010-03-08: 16:25
mystic1 Thats such a shame that such a historic structure is going by the wayside, fantastic shots and wonderful reportage
mystic1 · 2010-03-08: 23:00
pandka Last shot is cool!
pandka · 2010-03-09: 04:47
eternity65 Looooove places like that(but would be nice to see them looked after and restored), i'd have a ball with my cam in there :-)
Great set!!!
eternity65 · 2010-03-09: 16:39
????? I like the look of #4 with the shade and sunlight. The bird was a nice touch too! I wish we had castles around here too.
????? · 2010-03-09: 22:25
YUKJA Love this post! Super first and last!
YUKJA · 2010-03-11: 17:07
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Tagged: cadw ruins abergele castle gwrych listed boxers
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