A huge thanks to the Rhyl Flats Offshore Wind Farm Community Fund for their grant in enabling us to being work on restoring The Melon House.
Since the 1800’s when Anna, Duchess of Bedford…
Fancy something different this New Year’s Eve?
Gwrych Trust in conjunction with DeadLive are hosting an evening at Gwrych Castle to bring in the New Year with a twist! There will be food, frights, fireworks and bubbly to raise a toast to 2017. We will be taking you where the haunting is happening. Dinner will be served at the castle with amazing views out over the Vale of Clwyd. Guests will then be taken on a walkabout around the site to become acquainted with the enchanting castle. Following this, vigils will take place around the grounds of the castle and the buildings restored by the Trust.
There have been reports of guests connecting with the Countess of Dundonald and the other ghosts that haunt Gwrych Castle. Over the years many have felt, heard and also communicated with the spirits of old game keepers, servants and the dark energy of Lord Dundonald. Are you bold enough to brave the dark in a haunted castle?
Deadlive will commence the spooky event with a short welcome talk followed by an equipment presentation. The team will escort you around the castle with lights on. After your safety walk, guests will be divided into smaller groups and the lights will be turned off. In the smaller groups vigils will take place in and around the castle using a range of paranormal equipment including dowsing rods, K2 meters, and table tipping for those who want to participate.
It is advisable to wear layered clothing as temperatures can get cold on investigations and we recommend flat shoes with non-slip soles, as you will be walking around in the dark and on staircases with no lighting. Don’t forget your torch as the event does take place in locations that will be dark. You are welcome to bring cameras and personal paranormal investigation equipment. As well as food, there will be tea & coffee available to warm you up during the night. Atmidnight, the fireworks display will commence and guests will be able to watch the spectacular displays which will be going off from Gwrych Castle and across the Vale of Clwyd. Please note alcohol is not permitted during the investigation.
This event is for persons aged 16 and over only.
All proceeds go to the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust.
Disclaimer: please note that filming will be occurring throughout the night. By purchasing a ticket you acknowledge this and grant Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust and the BBC the right to broadcast your image as needs require. You waive all right to have your image obscured and waive all rights to determine how Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust and the BBC may choose to use images and recordings of the evening in which you may occur.
Whether marking a child's first Christmas or honouring an age-old family tradition, a visit to the Victorian Christmas Grotto at Gwrych Castle is the perfect way to start the festive season, as well as an opportunity to make special memories that will be remembered forever. Father Christmas will be paying a special visit to the old Bakehouse which has been transformed into a winter wonderland. Journey through Gwrych Castle grounds before meeting Father Christmas in his tower grotto. You are welcome to take as many photographs with Father Christmas as you wish. As children wait anxiously to meet Father Christmas they’ll write their letter to him and post it in his North Pole postbox at the castle. Each child will take home a special gift from Father Christmas.
The Grotto is located in the restored Bakehouse at Gwrych Castle. When you arrive, please park on the castle's main terrace. You will be met by one of Father Christma’s elves who will show you the pathway up to the grotto. There is a short walk with a gentle incline to reach the grotto from the main terrace. The booked timeslot is for an hour – please arrive promptly as the whole experience will take approximately 45 minutes. The timeslots are at 11am; 12pm; 1pm; 2pm and 3pm.
Due to limited space each child visiting Santa’s Grotto may be accompanied by a maximum of two adults.
Ticket price is £10 per child. Terms and conditions apply – full non-refundable, non-transferable pre-payment required at time of booking. A booking fee of £1.21 per ticket will be charged for all orders.
The Grotto is located in the restored Bakehouse at Gwrych Castle. When you arrive, please park on the castle’s main terrace. You will be met by one of Father Christmas’s elves who will show you the pathway up to the grotto. There is a short walk with a gentle incline to reach grotto from the main terrace. The booked timeslot is for an hour – please arrive promptly as the whole experience will take approximately 45 minutes. The timeslots are at 11am; 12pm; 1pm; 2pm and 3pm.
Halloween Events 2017!
We have three major events taking place over the Halloween Weekend and on Halloween itself…
Ghost Walks Friday 27th, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October:
Ghost Hunts Friday 27th and Saturday 28th October:
Family Fun and Fireworks on Halloween 🎃 31st October:
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In 1997, a twelve year old Mark Baker, set about raising the profile of one of north Wales’s most iconic buildings by founding Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, a registered charity, to seek a long term solution for the castle and grounds. He had watched Gwrych Castle being asset stripped and its remaining interiors destroyed by New Age Travellers and others and realised the cultural loss suffered was enormous so it became his ambition to restore public access back to what had been a major asset in the north Wales economy. Against all the odds, the fortunes of Gwrych Castle were reversed from being a forlorn, abandoned privately owned and abused building to a much cherished heritage asset that is becoming once again part of the local area. Many books have been published to engage the community with its shared history of the castle and its connection with the local area.
Twenty years later, Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust has a 25-year lease for five acres of the site which has enabled it to begin restoration of the first section of the castle with the Countess’s Writing Room in the Gardener’s Tower being used regularly for writing groups, the formal gardens are regularly opened and were included in the Gardens North Wales Festival (www.gardensnorthwales.co.uk) and for the public to explore via guided and self-guided tours safely during opening hours: 9am – 4pm each day. Our main aim has been to make the castle safe for visitors and locals alike.
All of this would not have been possible without the team of amazing volunteers; some retired, some still at school, some voluntary, some as part of programmes from Job Centre Plus and other organisations, some with a love of history, some with a love of gardens, some to help with tours and events, some to gather archival materials. But the one thing all the volunteers have in common is that they love Gwrych Castle and work hard to restore, renovate and revive it. Without that passion none of this would have been possible. If you wish to join this amazing team email firstname.lastname@example.org
To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Trust’s founding we are holding a series of events at the castle:
- 19th and 20th August – a Medieval Festival
- 16th and 17th September – the first International Drone Competition which has attracted competitors from all over the world to come to Abergele
- 1st October – For our four legged friends, we will be holding a family fun dog show
- Halloween – there will be a whole series of events so keep an eye on the website
- December – the return of Father Christmas plus a new event, a Victorian Christmas Fayre
- New Year’s Eve – another amazing party complete with fireworks.
Dates for your diaries – 2017 Spring Events
Saturday and Sunday 4th/5th March Spring First Open Weekend of 2017
Sunday 26th March Mother’s Day Garden Open Day
Sunday 16th April Easter Sunday and Countess’s Birthday Easter Egg Hunt and Madhatter’s Tea Party
Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th April and Monday 1st May Bank Holiday Open Weekend
We are also doing private tours which can be booked through Facebook or the Trust website.
Ghost hunt tickets will be made available on Facebook as well in the coming weeks.
Thank you for your support!
Sunday 23rd August, from 12 noon until 4pm.
There will be refreshments, ice cream, dance, stalls, children’s games and entertainment with Mickey our resident DJ for the day, emergency service stands in attendance inc., local Police stand, wildlife and nature/dog Pet Rescue Charity stands, Merlin Animal Rescue from St. Asaph, RSPCA doing a identity chip service for pets. (All dogs most welcome on short leads).
History Exhibition and guided tours. This is intended to be a leisurely afternoon on the Estate and feel free to use our chairs or bring a chair and blanket and picnic on the Estate. We want you to be able to come along for an ‘old fashioned’ family afternoon of walking, enjoying the ambience of the Estate and to keep an eye on our work to date.
You have a choice of various places to sit on the main terrace and on the formal terrace we also have Mickey Roberts hosting a musical afternoon with dance and children’s entertainment for the entire afternoon. Either walk and enjoy the Estate, or take a jive to Mike’s music. A little something for all the family.
Disabled Parking can be arranged on site for Blue Badge Holders. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of the Trust.
Admission is £5 per adult, and a donation for under 12’s. We look forward to welcoming you on the day and to sharing an afternoon of entertainment with the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust working towards restoration on the Gwrych Estate.
A line up of what’s on above… plus more… enjoy your lunch and afternoon tea with us and let us entertain you! This is intended to be a more relaxing and leisurely afternoon and a family walking, talking, picnic event for all to enjoy. We will have covered seating in various locations. Please wear good walking shoes and plan for all weathers. The weather will never deter us from carrying on… and we work with all weathers at Gwrych.
Seating will be in various areas of the grounds and toilets, first aid services will be on hand.
Gwrych Trust would like to announce that the preliminary work for the Visitor’s Centre announced last year, called the ‘Conservatory Tower Project’, has full funding now in place.
The main part of the Conservatory Tower Project is the reinstatement of the Grade I listed Conservatory Tower. Gwrych Castle is owned by EPM UK and the Trust is seeking a long term lease over part of the site. The Conservatory Tower restoration will see it converted into a site office and equipment store while the main Visitor’s Centre is under construction. It will be used by Gwrych Trust staff and volunteers, ahead of its inclusion as part of the Visitor’s Centre Project.
The main donor organisation, RWE Innogy UK, provided fifty percent of the funds through the Rhyl Flats Wind Farm fund, administered by the Welsh Government.
Katy Woodington, Senior Community Investment Officer for RWE Innogy UK, said, “The Rhyl Flats Wind Farm Fund has been supporting organisations like Gwrych Trust in the area for years, and we always enjoy hearing about the varied projects that result from this fund.
We are hoping to expand the good work that we are able to do in North Wales through the £19m Gwynt y Môr community fund, due to be launched later this year.
RWE Innogy UK takes pride in the delivery of our community funding with our renewable energy projects investing nearly £3million into UK communities over the last three years.”
Mark Baker, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Gwrych Trust, said, “We are hugely excited to be able to start work on the first stage of construction at the Castle. While it is only a small part of the whole site, it represents almost two decades of work campaigning for Gwrych and its preservation for future generations.
We would like to thank EPM UK for giving us permission to undertake the work, to the funders who have contributed their money and believed in this project, the consultants and volunteers who have patiently waited for us to gather the grants together, and our members for their undying support.”
Other works on-site include archaeological work around the Conservatory, which has already commenced following a GeoPhysical Survey completed last year; use of heavy machinery to reposition terrain creating easier access to the Ladys Walk; and, the first stage of architectural drawings by Donald Insalls. Also announced today was the funding for the EcoWaste Project, which was to include an environmentally friendly waste disposal system in the Conservatory Tower for staff and volunteers to use.
The full list of funders is: Bodfach Trust, Dulverton Trust, Community Foundation in Wales, Robert Kiln Trust, Skinner’s Company Lady Neville Charity, and, the Big Lottery Fund who gave the money for the EcoWaste Project. Thanks to all of the staff for their assistance, as well as the help of those administering the Rhyl Flats Wind Farm Fund at the Welsh Government.
Gwrych Trust is still running the Community Engagement Survey to take community feedback on what should be done with the rest of the site
NOTES TO EDITORS
The announcement of the Visitor’s Centre was included in a press release in March 2014 to announce the commencement of restoration work – http://www.gwrychtrust.co.uk/news/press/latest-press-release – and was picked up by the Daily Post at that time – http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/gwrych-castle-restoration-work-finally-6879849
The link to the Community Engagement Survey is here – https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BZPX7WP
More information on the Gwynt-y-Môr Community Fund can be found through the RWE Innogy UK website – http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/2279932/rwe-innogy/sites/wind-offshore/under-construction/gwynt-y-mr/investing-in-communities/community-funding/
More information on The Rhyl Flats Wind Farm Fund can be found through the Welsh Government website – http://wales.gov.uk/topics/housing-and-regeneration/regeneration/strategicareas/northwalescoast/communityfund/?lang=en
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