Found in North Wales close to mountains and the sea this is a building designed by a man much better known for his connection with Victorian London and the forerunner of the famous black taxis that transport millions of people every year.
Situated near to the village of Bodelwyddan, the castle was built around 1460 as a Manor House, by the aristocratic Humphreys family of Anglesey.
It was brought from the Humphreys family by Sir William Williams, who was the Speaker of the House of Commons for two English Parliaments during the reign of King Charles II. The castle that we see today was rebuilt by Sir John Hay Williams, a descendant of Sir William Williams, when he employed architects, Joseph Hansom, (inventor of the Hansom cab) and his partner Edward Welch.
Bodelwyddan Castle has been described as one of Hansom’s most ambitious projects. The castle underwent further changes when Sir Herbert Lloyd Watkin Williams-Wynn, 7th Baronet and Welsh politician, inherited it from his heirless cousin in the 1880s.
The cost of maintaining such an estate became too much for the family and in 1920, it was leased to ‘Lowther College’, a private girl’s school that went on to purchase the castle five years later.
FIRST WORLD WAR
During the First World War the building was being used as a recuperation hospital for wounded soldiers and the grounds were used by soldiers based at the nearby Kinmel Camp for trench warfare training.
The castle was finally brought in the 1980s, by Clwyd County Council and forming a partnership with the ‘National Portrait Gallery’ and the ‘Royal Academy of Arts,’ it was turned into a visitors centre.
In 1994, part of the estate was leased to the Rank Organisation for the development of a luxury hotel. It is now run by Warners, part of Bourne Leisure.
The castle and its grounds are not part of the hotel complex and are open to the public.
GHOSTS AND HAUNTINGS
The castle has a long history of paranormal activity and with over 500 years of history many ghostly sightings have been recorded.
A lady wearing an elaborate blue dress has been seen disappearing through a wall. There have been sightings of WWI soldiers, as well as a dark figure in the cellar and children dressed in period clothing. Noises have been heard including, the sound of a piano playing.
The castle and grounds have been investigated by many paranormal groups and it has been a location featured on Living TV’s, Most Haunted and the American paranormal reality television series, Ghost Hunters International.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Station Road, Delamere, Northwich
Cheshire, England, CW8 2HZ
+44 (0)1606 889 231
- Address: Engine Hill (Rd), Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, England, United Kingdom, LL18 5YA
- GPS: 53.261554288970984,-3.502192497253418
- Phone: 0044 (0)1745 584 060
- Part of UK: Wales
- Sat Nav Postcode: LL18 5YA
- Entrance Fees: Yes
- Disabled Access: Generally very good / Access to castle & gardens
- Visibility from Road: Visible but from a great distance
- Image Credits: Header Image: Gail Johnson