Gwrych Castle, Abergele, North Wales
Thats Esther 29th October 2000
For the past four years, Mark Baker, a schoolboy suffering from the rare bone disorder Osteomilitis, has been campaigning to save Gwrych Castle. He became so fascinated by its history that he wrote a book which sold all of the original 1,000 copies printed. During this summer, Mark created a travelling exhibition which toured local libraries as part of his campaign to stop the castle's deterioration and galvanise the authorities into action.
Gwrych Castle is a Grade 1 Listed building close to Abergele on the North Wales coast. Built between 1819 and 1822 by Lancashire industrialist Lloyd Bamford-Hesketh, the Welsh Historic Monuments Association describes it as a "sublime example" of Georgian Picturesque Gothic architecture.
The castle was purchased ten years ago by an American businessman, but wrangles over legal ownership have halted development and meant that the castle has fallen into further disrepair and is routinely vandalised. The Welsh Development Agency, in co-operation with the local authority, is currently conducting a feasibility study into the castle's future. Although the local council has the power to seize the building if its listed status is threatened, it says it doesn't have the resources to maintain it.
If you would like further information about Gwyrch Castle, contact:
CADW (Welsh Historic Monuments),
Courtesy of Meridian TV
©Mark Baker 2003