Category Archives: Castles
Bodelwyddan Castle and Park, close to the village of Bodelwyddan, near Rhyl, Denbighshire, was built around 1460 by the Humphreys family of Anglesey as a manor house. Its most important association was with the Williams-Wynn family, which extended for around 200 years from 1690. It is now a Grade II Listed Building.
The castle was bought from the Humphreys by Sir William Williams, the House of Commons Speaker from 1680 to 1681. The castle was reconstructed between 1830 and 1832 by Sir John Hay Williams. Further refurbishment work was carried out in the 1880s by Sir Herbert, 7th Baronet, who inherited Bodelwyddan Castle from his heirless cousin.By the First World War the house had become a recuperation hospital for wounded soldiers.
By 1920, the cost of maintaining the castle and estate had grown too burdensome, and the Williams-Wynn family leased Bodelwyddlan to Lowther College, a girls private school. The school is thought to be one of the first private schools for girls to have its own swimming pool. It also had a private golf course. The Lowther College Tableaux were well regarded within the community for their musical excellence. Boys were admitted from 1977. The school closed in 1982 due to financial problems.
In the 1980s, the site was bought by Clywd County Council with the aim of developing the castle as a visitor attraction. Partnerships were formed with several prominent museums and art galleries, such as the National Portrait Gallery, so that the castle could be used to display objects from these collections. In order to house these items, the interior of the castle was restored.
Part of the site was leased in 1994 for development into a luxury hotel, Bodelwyddan Castle Hotel, and this use remains today. The historic house and grounds are not part of the hotel but are managed by an independent trust and are open to the public.
The castle has legends of several ghosts and the site has featured on the Most Haunted TV show.
The castle is available to hire for weddings!
The castle is virtually opposite the Marble Church on the A55.
As you pass Abergele on the left you’ll see the desperately sad Gwrych Castle stood all on its own. It’s a beautiful building but it has fallen into neglect during the last 40 years.
It was built between 1819 and 1825 at the behest of Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh. It has had various owners over the years but it was last open to the public in 1985 when it was used as restaurants and special events.
It is believed that the castle is haunted.
There are great plans to turn the castle into a luxury hotel and clearing the site began in 2014.
The Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust has been founded to raise awareness of Gwrych’s plight and also to establish a solution for the conservation and preservation of the castle.
There are some amazing photos of the castle taken in 2012 here.
This is an interesting video.
As you come towards Bangor on the A55 you’ll see an imposing building on the right. This is Penrhyn Castle.
It was built between about 1822 and 1837. It was built in a medieval-style with Norman-style furniture inside. Queen Victoria visited in 1859.
The castle now belongs to the National Trust and is open to the public.
Penrhyn’s attractions include a formal walled garden, extensive informal gardens, a railway museum, a model railway museum and an adventure playground. Hanging on its walls is one of the finest art collections in North Wales, with works by artists including Rembrant. The castle has views over the Snowdonia mountains. In 2008/09 it was the National Trust’s thirteenth most visited paid-entry property, with 156,575 visitors.