Rydal Penrhos Community
Dr Mark Baker reveals £15m Gwrych Castle renovation project

Dr Mark Baker reveals £15m Gwrych Castle renovation project

A former Rydal Penrhos pupil has outlined the next stage of his plans to renovate a prominent North Wales landmark.

Dr Mark Baker, who left the school in 2003, recently acquired the Grade I Listed Gwrych Castle site after an ambitious restoration plan to restore with 19th Century Castle.

He has now revealed the next stage of the project as part of his work with the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, which is set to cost around £15 million and take several years to complete.

Speaking to the Daily Post, Dr Baker said: “Work is now continuing thanks to grants and the efforts of our volunteers so that at the moment we are clearing what was the East Lawn.

“I would like to see it become like a National Trust property which would attract visitors and also has Landmark Trust-style accommodation.

“We have carried out emergency work to prevent the collapse of walls and a great deal has been done through people’s goodwill and by volunteers, as well as professionals and craftsmen who have given their time.”

Dr Baker was inspired to form the trust 21 years ago, aged 12, after passing the castle every day on his way from his Prestatyn home to Rydal School.

He hopes the castle, which still has 300 acres (121 hectares) of grounds surrounding the walls, turrets and towers, will eventually offer holiday accommodation.

Gwrych Castle was built by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh from the early 1810s and completed by 1822.

It was a stately home for more than 100 years with its own stables, brewery, dairy, bakery and ice house and was visited by Queen Victoria before she took the throne.

It was also used to house Jewish child refugees during World War Two and after the war it became a theme park complete with a zoo and a small private railway.


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