Listing bid as castle fears grow
19th Sept 1996

By Sian Wade
Abergele & St Asaph Visitor

A Derelict castle could be saved from destruction if plans to upgrade its historical status go ahead.

At a time when vandals are said to be tearing Gwrych Castle apart CADW could step in to upgrade the building from a grade two listing to a two star and even a one. And if the castle is re-listed, the building could be in line for additional funding for essential maintenance.

"CADW are being pressured by  Welsh Heritage to do something about the castle, and hopefully this could mean pressure being put on Conwy  to spend some money on the building, which is the first of the picturesque movement in Western Europe, said Coun John Pitt.

Since October the fairytale castle, owned by American businessman Nick Tavaglione, has bee home to New Age Travellers, but Conwy County Council have refused to spend the 4,900 set aside for emergency repairs, until the building and its surroundings have been vacated.

In recent weeks passers-by have reported slabs and tiles from within the castle being stacked up, believed to be for selling purposes, and there have even been suggestions of one of the turrets being dismantled.

A resident who does not wish to be named said "The whole place is being completely wrecked. It's disgusting that no one is doing anything about it- the damage may soon be irreparable."

Coun Pitt added: "It is total and utter vandalism. This is the worst possible scenario and every effort must be made to protect the castle."
Police confirmed that complains have been received, and that regular visits are made to the castle.

In the meantime he and a local resident Mr Neil Edward's are hoping to set up an action group.

A spokesman for CADW said: "We have received approaches from the local authority  and are in the process of reviewing whether upgrading should take place."
"When a higher grading is considered every effort should be made to conserve a building as much as possible."

We are pleased to inform you that the Castles listing status was raised to a Grade 1 Listed building.

Only 2% of the buildings that are listed in the UK ever reach the grade 1*.

I ask how can the Castle still be in a state of dereliction when it has one of the most historical grading given ?