Cadw step in to help save Ruthin Castle


Josh Morris

Emergency works are to be carried out on one of Denbighshire's finest medieval castle to save it from collapse.

Wales's historic environment service Cadw have stepped in to clear the castle's walls of vegitation and help stabilise the ruins against further damage.

The castle was started in 1277 and has survived attack by Owain Glyndwr and parial demolition following an 11 week seige by the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War.

The work is a holding measure to prevent further collapse of the Castle walls and the Victorian follies and tunnels built onto and within them until the recently formed Ruthin Castle Conservation Trust is able to develop an ambitious project for their large scale conservation and public access.

Due to the fragile state of the ruins the work is all being undertaken by specialist rope access contractors who have cleared a huge amount of heavy vegetation from the walls, revealing this spectacular monument in its full glory for the first time in decades.

Work has now begun pinning, propping, shoring and strapping the crumbling walls to stabilise as much masonry as possible.

Mayor of Ruthin Geraint Woolford said: "They've done a fantastic job so far in taking all the vegetation off the curtain wall at the back to expose what's there. They've done a really good job.

"Cadw have stepped in to secure the place until the rest can be done. It's exposed things we haven't seen for many years on the walls so it's a job well done.

"Will Davies from Cadw gave us the most fantastic presentation I've heard in relation to the castle, he know every stone that's there, where it came from and what year it was put in,

"It's nice to see the project is moving forward, it's nice that Cadw are involved and hopefully the future is bright for securing this amazing monument for future generations."

The Ruthin Castle Conservation Trust - which was created last year - is also now looking at taking over the lease of the ancient monument.

The Trust’s mission is to encourage, engage and inspire the community of Ruthin and beyond to join together in supporting the restoration, and sustainable conservation of Ruthin Castle and its gardens, grounds and associated buildings, using its heritage qualities to create an historic educational, tourism and leisure environment.

County Archaeologist Fiona Gale, said: "It's wonderful to at last see work happening at Ruthin Castle, the medieval masonry is amazing but has been in a very poor condition for decades, two years ago there was a small collapse.

"Cadw are putting funding in to kick start this fantastic project and to address the worst areas of damage. It is great to see this happening and great for the town of Ruthin.”

Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, said: "I’m delighted that there’s so much good will and passion towards the future of Ruthin Castle among the local community and I wish the Trust well in their future work to share the story of Ruthin Castle. 

"Although emergency works at our ancient monuments are rare and are used as a last resort, Cadw’s work at the site will prevent further loss of the site and will hopefully attract further funding for the Trust."

See full story in the Free Press

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