Bodelwyddan Castle

Bodelwyddan Castle

The history of the house and estate extends to before 1460 though the association with the Williams family dates from around 1690. The Castle as seen today is a creation of Sir John Hay Williams dating from between 1830 and 1852. Architects Hansom and Welch were employed by Sir John to refurbish and extend the house while further works at this time also resulted in a magnificent estate wall and formal garden.

The loss of the main income source for the estate – lead mining – in the 1850s resulted in the decline of the Williams family fortunes, though further building refurbishment took place in the 1880s. By the First World War, the estate had been reduced in size and the house used as a recuperation hospital.

The grounds to the east of the main house were also used by nearby Kinmel Camp as an area for trench warfare training. In 1920 the house and estate were finally sold by the Williams family to Lowther College, a girls private school. The College was based at the Castle until 1982 when it finally closed due to financial problems.

In the 1980s the Castle was purchased by the then Clwyd County Council and developed as a museum, gallery and visitor attraction.

Parts of the Castle date from the 15th century when it was a large manor house, although there was probably a house on the site long before this. There have been many ghostly happenings reported over the past few years. They include:

A lady in the Sculpture Gallery

A soldier in one of the galleries (Bodelwyddan Castle was used as an officers mess and a recuperation centre during the First World War)

Shadowy figures drifting down the corridors

A blue lady in the Terrace Tea Room

Unexplained noises and lights

First Broadcast: 3oth November 2004

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