Posted by: travelrat | December 15, 2014

Bodelwyddan Castle.

Bodelwyddan 1_copy

Bodelwyddan Castle: 24th September 2014.

This has been quite a day for castles. This morning, we awoke in a hotel in the grounds of a ruined castle; we’ve visited another ruined castle and now we’re going to see a castle that’s a castle in name only.
Bodelwyddan castle was never a defensive work; it was originally a manor house built in the 15th Century, and only became a ‘castle’ in the 19th Century. In those days, ‘castles’, ruined or otherwise, were quite the thing. If you didn’t inherit one, or couldn’t buy one … you could, if you could afford it, have one built.

In mediaeval times, if you wanted to build a castle, you needed a ‘licence to crenellate’ (planning permission, if you like) from the Monarch. But, by Queen Victoria’s time, this law had either been repealed or forgotten about.

The family that owned it made their fortune from lead, and when the mines played out, they fell on hard times. After use as a military hospital in the First World War, it was leased to the Lowther College for Girls, who occupied it until 1982, when it came into the possession of Clwyd (now Denbighshire) County Council.

In 1994, the castle was taken over by the Warner Hotel Group … but only part of it. The remainder is a satellite of the National Portrait Gallery, and this part has been restored to best display the paintings therein. They can’t do a faithful reproduction, because most of the castle records were lost in a fire in the 1920s. Nevertheless, they’ve done a good job of it.

It’s also noted for its 260 acres of gardens and parkland, but we didn’t get much of a chance to see this. It was getting late, and dinner and a concert awaited.

Bodelwyddan 2_copy



  1. back around our back yard, some great castles to see around there.

  2. […] We’ve been to Bodelwyddan Castle before; you can read about that visit at […]

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