GWRYCH CASTLE's history and travel information by
Picture by Robin Parker from

Gwrych Castle is a Grade I listed 19th-century country house near Abergele in Conwy County Borough, Wales. The castle and 236-acre estate are privately owned but a portion of the land is leased to Natural Resources Wales on a 999-year term.

The Lloyds (Lloyds) of Plas yn y Gwrych were the ancestral owners of Gwrych and could trace their ancestry back to the mediaeval period. They were part of the royal house of Marchudd ap Cynan, founder of the VIII Noble Tribe of North Wales.

The Lloyds also shared co-sanguinity with Llywelyn the Great. Situated within the Gwrych Castle Estate is a pair of Iron Age hillforts, a Roman shrine, lead and silver mines and mediaeval battle sites; the latter[5] are recorded on stone tablets at the principal entrance.

Gwrych Castle was built between 1810 and 1825 by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh (1787–1861), in memory of his mother Frances Lloyd and her ancestors. It incorporated an earlier house that had been in the ownership of the Lloyds since the late-medieval period.

From 1894 until 1924, Winifred, Countess of Dundonald, the Hesketh heiress, owned the estate and it became the residence of the Dundonald family (family name of Cochrane). The countess left the castle in her will to King George V and the then Prince of Wales (who later became Edward VIII).

However, the gift was refused and the castle passed to the Venerable Order of Saint John. In 1928, the 12th Earl of Dundonald purchased the castle for £78,000 (equivalent to £4,734,000 in 2019), selling the contents to meet the cost.