VISITORS delved into the past and were given an insight into life during and after the Great war.

Bodelwyddan Castle and Park hosted a special open day to mark the opening of their First World War practise Trenches.

Visitors met historical interpreters, learnt about the challenges of building the trenches, what life was like for the soldiers within their cramped spaces and the hopes and horrors of trench warfare.

The replica World War I trenches have been created in memory of those who passed through Kinmel Park Army camp; They have been dug out alongside the remains of the original ones that were used by the army for training during the conflict. According to archaeologists, the trenches are the best-known surviving examples of their kind.

Speaking about the open day, Lorraine Lister – marketing officer for the Bodelwyddan Castle Trust, said: “It was absolutely fabulous, outstanding and so popular. Every tour was booked up.

“We were taking people into the trenches. It is an amazing project to be involved in – the interest is 100 per cent there, it is so unique, the whole experience.

“The word ‘wow’ was used a lot on the day. I was confident that it was going to be busy as I knew what kind of experience we could give people.

“The replica trenches are our own little memorial. One hundred years ago my great granddad Thomas Bowen was killed – the first day of the Battle of Langemarck, part of the Passchendaele campaign. I think he would be surprised that his great granddaughter now spends most of her time in a trench.”

During the experience, visitors were also able to learn about tales behind the naming of the trench signs and the construction.

Access to the trench is by prebooked guided tours, subject to availability, whilst work continues to develop the project. Bodelwyddan Castle Trust is currently looking for volunteers to ‘man the trenches’ so that they can become a self guided attraction.

Pictures by Steve Fenner