Castles are some of the most truly beautiful places on Earth, and it’s clear how much thought was put into building the giant majestic homes. No expense was spared in the building of the magnificent manors, from the gleaming stone to the shining stained glass windows. Unfortunately, as time passes by these strongholds, they are often abandoned and left to be reclaimed by the elements from which they arose.
Gwrych Castle was built between 1819 and 1825 on the orders of Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh. She passed through multiple hands after being built and was even offered to King Edward VIII, but he refused the gift. The castle was sold in 1928 to the 12th Earl of Dundonald, Douglas Cochrane, for only £78,000!
The castle has had a long and wonderful history before being left to become ruins. During World War II, Gwrych Castle housed 200 Jewish refugees! The refuge was run by the Jewish Zionist Movement, Bnei Akiva. For twenty years after the war, the castle was open to the public and it was called “The Showpiece of Wales.”
During the castle’s time being open to the public, it hosted the famous motorcycle Dragon Rally during the early 1960s. In the summer of 1961, it even hosted the British Youth Festival event for youngsters and students. When the 1970s rolled around, it was home to multiple medieval reenactments that caused visitors to flock to the castle to see the jousting and mock banquets.
In 1985, the castle was closed to the public and remained vacant until it was purchased in 1989 by an American businessman, Nick Tavaglione, for £750,000. He had planned on renovating the castle and restoring her to her former glory, but sadly was unable to do so when plans fell through. The castle is currently open for guided and self-guided tours, but a lot of the castle is currently inaccessible due to the state of the ruins.
Sadly, unless things change, wilderness will continue to reclaim the almost 200-year-old manor, and Gwrych Castle will be lost to history. In the meantime, we’ve been lucky enough to be graced with some truly stunning photographs of the magnificent castle. Hopefully, someone will soon step up and restore the beauty to its former glory.