A CASTLE which gained national public exposure after hosting I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! has been awarded a huge £2.2million cash injection. 

Gwrych Castle received the money from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) as part of their Covid-19 Response Fund.

The money will save the ruin from "imminent collapse" and enable the Gwrych Preservation Trust to reinstate the roof on the main building; the castle has been a "roofless ruin" for 30 years. Floors will also be installed.

The trust said the restoration project will be the "largest in Wales" and one of the top five in the UK. 

Dr Mark Baker, Chair of Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, who has been nominated in the ‘outstanding individuals’ section of the 2023 National Lottery Awards, said: “This vital grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, coupled with match funding from the Richard Broyd Charitable Trust, truly is a lifeline for Gwrych Castle in order to overcome the ongoing setbacks to the castle’s restoration that were caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The buildings are in perilous condition following the pandemic, during which development plans were limited and significantly delayed by the lack of funding streams and restrictions on construction work.

"This combined with extreme weather conditions has contributed to a decline to the roofless main building. With this substantial funding award, we can reverse the critical situation that the site is currently in, allowing Gwrych Castle to be returned to its former glory and offering our visitors the best experience when they come to learn about the fascinating heritage it has to share.”

The impressive Grade I listed building, near Abergele, has been identified by Cadw as an "irreplaceable cultural asset."

The castle, which hosted ITV's I'm A Celeb in 2020 and 2021, is one of several Welsh heritage assets that have been successful in securing funding from NHMF.


Dr Simon Thurley, Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, said: “I am thrilled that the National Heritage Memorial Fund are able to support Gwrych Castle Trust with this vital grant to safeguard its future, particularly after the challenges that the global pandemic has thrown at the structure and the people who devote such care to it. Gwrych Castle is a testament to the rich heritage of Wales, and the UK more widely, and is a notable example of how heritage shapes our lives and the places in which we live.

“We’re tremendously proud to have provided a lifeline for some of Wales’s incredible heritage sites and assets through the Covid-19 Response Fund – from castles and churches to libraries – helping them to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.” 

Gwrych Castle, described as a magnificent example of Gothic architecture, was built and designed between 1812 and 1822 by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh FSA as a memorial to his family, around an earlier house. The historic site was retained within the same Welsh family for a thousand years and celebrates elements of the finest British castles.

The design of castle pays homage to the ancient castles of the UK with its gothic windows, crenellations, battlements, and towers. It was based on King Hywel Dda’s early-medieval Welsh law of a ‘princely court’ of nine parts with the main house containing the ‘Great Hall’ and the family’s private apartments.

In 1845, the castle was extended with a new bedroom wing, staircase and porch, with the Craces furnishing the interiors. A chapel, designed by George Edmund Street was added to the house in 1870s and much of the gardens were planted, whose Monkey Puzzle and Yew trees still remain today.

The state apartments were later redesigned including the construction of the marble staircase which forms a key part of the restoration work that the NHMF funding is making possible.