TV & Movies

I’m A Celeb: Where is the castle in Wales? Inside ‘haunted’ Gwrych Castle

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I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is back on ITV for a very unique series and the campmates have been sleeping in a real Welsh castle. Gwrych Castle is the new location for the reality competition series, and it was chosen due to the inability to travel to Australia during the coronavirus pandemic. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know about where you can find the stunning Gwrych Castle.

Where is the I’m A Celebrity castle?

In November 2020 fans got a first-look inside the ancient landmark, Gwrych Castle, which was to become home for the 10 celebrities.

The change in location has gone down in history as the show has always been known for its Australian setting.

But the change has been well-received by fans, in particular those who come from the local area of Abergele, in North Wales.

The Grade I listed castle, which dates back to the 19th century, can be found in Abergele and it was recently taken over by the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust.

The charitable trust took over ownership of the site in 2018, and they have since had high hopes to turn it back into a popular tourist attraction.

The castle is situated within an isolated nook in the market town of Abergele, which is close to the coast as well as a couple of holiday resorts.

The town was the home of a Celtic monastery back in the 13th century, and the area itself is steeped in history, with Gwrych Castle being just one of its historical landmarks.

The locals welcomed ITV crews with open arms, as they had truly embraced Welsh culture, with the charitable trust’s chairman, Mark Baker, saying they had respected Welsh customs.

He also gave some insight into the history of the castle and told some of the most famous ghost stories.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk he said: “When you have got somewhere with 2,000 years of history, there’s been a lot of births, marriages and deaths.

“One of the famous stories in folklore was the Countess Winifred of Dundonald, she was seen by Randolph Turpin [famous boxer] who was training at the castle in 1951.

“He was training in the gardens and early one morning he went running and he came across a woman dressed in red crying, he asked her what was wrong and she looked up at him and disappeared.”

He also said there had been some unusual dog trinkets which had been found within a Roman shrine, and dogs are a huge part of Welsh folklore.

Baker added: “People have seen ghosts of dogs on the top walks of the castle and we have had some dog deaths, where dogs have been spooked by something and tragically jump from the towers. One of the old books says about the ghosts of dogs, which are common in Welsh mythology.”

Baker set up the trust when he was just 12-years-old, and ever since he and his team have made it their mission to preserve the historical and architectural heritage of the site.

They have just started a campaign called Turn the Lights and Taps On, which will provide the castle with running water and electricity for visitors, and all the details of the campaign can be found on the trust’s website.

The castle is temporarily closed for the purpose of filming of I’m A Celebrity, but this has not stopped fans from researching the stunning site.

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Baker explained how the town has adorned itself with I’m A Celebrity themed decorations, and everyone is getting into the spirit of the series.

The picture-perfect castle is surrounded by stunning gardens, and it remains a landmark for residents to be proud of.

The town of Abergele is within the Conwy County Borough of Wales, and the castle forms part of a 250-acre estate.

The castle quickly became known as the showpiece of Wales and, as Baker mentioned, it was a training venue for the English World Middleweight boxing hero – Turpin.

Since the castle was rescued by the preservation trust, the local town has supported the charitable work and members of the public who have any information regarding its history are invited to get in touch via the trust’s website.

On August 27, 2020, the social media sites for the castle confirmed the 2020 series of I’m A Celebrity would be filmed there, with ITV offering to help out with the preservation project.

They have offered to add permanent roofing, as well as fix the walls and floors to make the site safe and secure for the celebrities and future visitors.

The filming of the series in Abergele has also done wonders for the local economy, with Baker saying hundreds of jobs have been saved.

Fans have praised this year’s choice of location, with one saying on Twitter: “It’s absolutely stunning, whoever has made it look like that has done a cracking job, props to everyone who’s worked on it.”

Another fan said: “Loving the castle so much better than the jungle… well done to the producers and the team looking forward to this season.”

I’m A Celebrity 2020 airs daily on ITV

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