Gwrych Castle, Abergele, North Wales

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Throughout my life I have gone past Gwrych and looked up to her majestic towers. I always remember when I was about four years old asking my parents could we visit the Castle? When I found out it was closed it was a great disappointment but I still watched as we drove past.

It was during 1994 when I moved to Rydal School in Colwyn Bay that I started collecting bits of information on this virtually unknown building. I had written a letter to the editor about the deterioration of the building and out of the blue a reported from the Daily Post turned up to interview me. Then came the Guardian, the Sunday Telegraph, Newsround, and The Big Breakfast etc….

Save Britain’s Heritage have been extremely helpful and supportive with the campaign to save Gwrych Castle. The Castle had appeared in their buildings at risk handbook for nearly 12 years!!! Also the other amenity societies have championed the Castle’s cause.

I have consistently enjoyed a general interest in British Heritage, history, historical buildings and architecture. Much of my inspiration is encouraged through the work of HRH The Prince of Wales, whom I had the privilege of meeting three times and I briefed him on my work with Gwrych Castle. The Prime Minister, William Hague, Nigel Evan and other notorieties have taken keen interest in Gwrych.

With 1000’s items and files full of information on Gwrych I decided to write a book about the Castle. The Rise and Fall of Gwrych Castle developed over a period of about two years and was released in November 1999. It was followed up with a postcard collection in November 2000. My latest book is a biography of the Countess of Dundonald, which was released during August 2003. I have also registered a Building Preservation Trust in aid of Gwrych which may well facilitate any future preservation of Gwrych. I always look forward to the exhibitions and talks so that I can speak to the public and receive their views on Gwrych and what they want to happen.

Gwrych is extremely rich in history and must be saved for the benefit of the nation!!!! As I recognize the importance of preserving our heritage for future generations, I would very much like to make a positive contribution to this worthy case.

Mark Baker

Summer 2003

©Mark Baker 2003