Wales

19th Century Bodelwyddan Castle could become private home

Bodelwyddan Castle Image copyright Dot Potter/ Geograph
Image caption The castle was bought by the former Clwyd county council in the 1980s

A 19th Century castle could once again become a private home.

Bodelwyddan Castle was put on the market earlier this year, and its trust said it would keep the property open to the public for as long as possible.

Since then, the mansion and art gallery have been shut with the gardens and parkland staying open.

The agency handling the sale said some interested parties wanted to convert it to a private home while others were considering a wedding or events venue.

Bodelwyddan Castle Trust chair Helen Papworth said limited income meant it could not stay open any longer.

"We have looked at other ways we might become self-sufficient but just could not carry on," Dr Papworth said.

Colin Jennings of Lambert Smith Hampton, the agency advising the trust on the sale, said there had been about 10-15 viewings.

In 2017, Denbighshire council announced it would be axing the trust's £144,000 annual grant which led to seven of the trust's 13 staff losing their jobs and the closure of an exhibition of 130 paintings from the National Portrait Gallery.

Image copyright Bodelwyddan Castle Trust
Image caption The castle is set in 260 acres of land

The first castle on the site was built in about 1460 before it was rebuilt in the 1830s. The Grade II-listed building was a hospital for wounded soldiers in World War One and then a girls' school known as Lowther College from 1920 to 1982.

Though the grounds are now closed a skeleton staff will remain for security and maintenance.

It has been valued at more than £1m, and the trust hopes to use the money to further its educational aims and display its own collection of artwork elsewhere.

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