Segment: Gwydir Castle
Episode: Viking Ep 6 – British Isles Explorer
Air Date: 24th November 2019
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane
Located in the Conway Valley, the remarkably restored Gwydir Castle is a location well worth checking out.
- The castle was once the centre of a massive estate, covering some 150km2. The ancestral home of the Wynn family, descendants of the Kings of Gwynedd. The first owner was recorded back in 1356 – a Welsh knight named Howell ap Coetmor.
- Peter Wellford and Judy have been running the restoration of the castle, having arrived at the castle in 1994. Both were in their 20s, with Peter coming from a historical art background and Judy from a conservation one.
- Upon arrival, they had a mixture of feelings – horror at the appalling conditions of the castle, as well as an instant love for the site.
- This was once one of the most significant houses in Wales, arguably the most prominent of the Tudor period.
- There are some significant trees throughout the garden – 3 trees that were planted to commemorate the 1625 wedding of King Charles 1st.
- The home is beautifully furnished, with pieces collected from the period giving guests a wonderful insight into the history of the castle.
- The panelled dining room was actually sold off back in 1921, along with another room. Peter and Judy contacted the auctioneers to find the rooms, and were able to locate one in New York.
- The gardens have remained with the structural plants for guests to admire. The restoration has filled the garden out to a similar standard of its past glory.
- This is a Viking privileged access tour – having the home owners share their story with you directly is a very special experience.