Guardians adopt town castle

22nd June 1995

By Sian Wade
Abergele & St Asaph Visitor

Two young men, self-appointed guardians of Gwrych Castle, are battling to save the monument from
vandalism and dereliction.

Over the past five years two Abergele residents, who wish to known as Chris and James, have become aquatinted with the derelict castle and its mysteries, and have even set up their own organisation - The Friends of Gwrych- in an attempt to preserve and protect the building.
After three recent arson attempts on the castle Chris and James have done all they can to prevent anyone gaining entry by boarding up all the windows and doors with timber and wire they found laying around the grounds. And their efforts have been welcomed by the emergency services.


"It's such a lovely place, with so much character and wildlife, but unfortunately we've got to keep it locked as it's in such a bad state of repair," said Chris, carefully walking across rotting floors.
"We've done a lot of work here over the last couple of weeks -it's been a lot of recycling a lot of material to stop people getting in. The only thing we have bought are padlocks for the gates," added James.

The two young men check the Castle every night and most of their weekend are spent trying to sort through the rubble.


"we know the place so well, but everyday we see something new," added James. "It can be quite depressing, but we don't do it no one else will - we can't allow Abergele's biggest asset to just fall apart."

Chris and James hold the keys and are the first people to be called when anything happens to the Castle.
Senior Fire Safety Officer Geoff Rayner said:  "It's very public spirited of them to take an interest in the Castle and make regular visits to make sure the building is secure".

Chris and James are now urging people to inform the police if anyone is seen misusing Gwrych Castle or the grounds.

Our key holder days came to an abrupt end when the council told us that we were trespassing and with things were going missing we could be in the firing line.

With that we said goodbye, two weeks later the travellers moved in and the place was totally stripped to the bare stone.   

I'm still trying that will never go away!

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