|Date||13 November 2010|
SH 93960 77568; 53.28443°N, 3.59202°W Lodge
SH 92909 77524; 53.28382°N, 3.60778°W Castle
SH 91862 77631; 53.28456°N, 3.62351°W Tower
The original 12th-century Norman castle at Gwrych was rebuilt by the Welsh prince Rhys ap Gruffydd later in the century, and was destroyed in the 17th century by the Roundheads during the English Civil War. The current Gothic folly was built from 1819 to 1825 for the Bamford-Hesketh family.
Winifred Bamford-Hesketh, Countess of Dundonald inherited the property in 1894. Upon her death in 1924 she left the castle to King George V and the Prince of Wales. The gift, however, was refused and the property passed to the Venerable Order of Saint John. Winifred’s husband, the Earl of Dundonald bought the castle back in 1928. During the Second World War Gwrych was home to 200 Jewish refugees. The 13th Earl of Dundonald sold the property in 1946 and two years later the castle was opened to the public as ‘The Showplace of Wales’. In the 1970s it served as a venue for medieval banquets, markets and jousting. It finally closed in 1985.
Nick Tavaglione, an American businessman, bought the castle in 1989 with plans for renovation that were never realised. It was later bought by Clayton Hotels in 2007 who intended to convert it into a 5-star hotel. However, the company went into administration and the castle was sold in April 2010 to Edwards Property Management.