Ruperra Castle

Duo to having a minor operation, I have not been able to get out and about this week so the photos you see here of Ruperra Castle were taken about three years ago on a sunny, Summer’s evening.

Ruperra Castle is a Grade II listed building that is situated between Cardiff and Newport in the borough of Caerphilly, UK grid reference ST 219 863. A word of warning: I’m not sure if this place is private property or not so I would advice keeping a sharp eye out for any warning notices. I saw none when I visited.

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Here is a short, truncated history of the place. Ruperra Castle was built in 1626 by Sir Thomas Morgan. It was destroyed for the first time by fire in 1785 and rebuilt. In 1909, Courtenay Morgan refurbished the Castle and built a new stable block to replace the one that was destroyed by fire in 1895.

Apparently William Randolph Hearst, the American newspaper owner, immortalised by the movie Citizen Kane wanted to buy Ruperra but was turned down. He later bought St Donuts Castle. By the 1930s,  the Morgan family had lost most of their money and Ruperra Castle was only used as a weekend hunting lodge.

By the time of World War II, the Castle was basically abandoned and was taken over by the British Army. In 1941 an electrical fault caused a massive fire and the whole place was destroyed once more.

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After the war ended the whole area was sold as farmland and the Castle has remained in ruin ever since. In 1998 Mr Ashraf Barakat bought the place. His application to construct nine flats within the Castle building failed when it was discovered that there were Horseshoe Bats nesting there. His other application to have the whole place knocked down and houses built was also turned down!

The castle is now up for sale, just £1.5 million pounds and it is yours. The Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust has been set up to obtain funds to acquire, repair, conserve, interpret and maintain the Castle buildings and surroundings. Here is the website if you would like to support them:-

www.ruperratrust.co.uk/

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The whole history of this beautiful place is tragic. I’m sure that if the Trust were able to take control of the Castle then it would be one of South Wales’ most popular tourist attractions.

Even in it’s isolated desolation, the Castle has an elegance and strength. The main entrance, in it’s present state reminded me of one of the sets from the 1930’s Frankenstein film. Inside it is just a mess and possibly dangerous, so be careful before going in. I looked out of an upper floor window and had a magnificent view of the setting sun through the trees that surround the property.

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Looking into the remains of sunlit rooms through the windows on the West facing side of the Castle, I imagined how glamorous the place could be if it were to be restored. Hopefully, one day this might happen. There was an old, abandoned Citroen C2 pram type car in the grounds which lent a surreal edge to the visit.

You can see more pictures of Ruperra Castle by clicking on one of the images on the right, which will take you to my Flickr account.

Thanks for reading, bye

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