A castle embodying the ideals of the Romantic Movement
Gwrych Castle, Llanddulas Road, Abergele, LL22 8ET
Gwrych Castle was built between 1812 and 1822 by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh as a memorial to his mother’s ancestors, the Lloyds of Gwrych. Upon the site was an Elizabethan house named ‘Y Fron (rounded hill) which by 1810 had fallen into dereliction.
Many important architects and designers are associated with the castle and estate. For example, the expertise of Charles Augustus Busby and Thomas Rickman was utilised by Hesketh in the overall design of Gwrych, and in particular the cast iron windows. Henry Kennedy was employed to extend the Castle during the 1840’s by the inclusion of a new bedroom wing, staircase and porch whilst George Bullock and the Craces furnished the interiors.
When Lloyd died, the Castle was passed onto Robert Bamford-Hesketh and his wife, Ellen Jones-Bateman. George Edmund Street designed the family’s chapel during the 1870’s and also several churches and schools for the Hesketh family. Robert and Ellen planted much of the present gardens with their enormous Monkey Puzzles and Yew trees.
During World War II the castle was requisitioned as part of Operation Kindertransport and in 1946 was sold by the Dundonald family, ending nearly 1000 years of continuous family ownership.
Restoration of the castle
The trust began the monumental task of rescuing the castle & estate over 20 years ago and will soon be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Gwrych Castle Pleasure Gardens restoration project.
Our vision is to secure a vibrant and sustainable future for Gwrych Castle and the built structures within its designed landscape, making them appealing, accessible, and inspiring places for new and existing audiences to visit, support, and enjoy, now and for years to come.
Celebrating the ideals of the picturesque movement in the early-nineteenth century – discovery, invention, and exploration – we will bring them vividly to life for our twenty-first century audiences through inspiring interpretation and activities that create fascinating links between house, landscape and people.
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