Location I’m A Celebrity 2021: Everything You Need To Know About Gwrych Castle
I’m a celebrity … Get me out of here! will again take place at Gwrych Castle in Wales.
The castle, which was also used for I’m A Celebrity in 2020, is located in Abergele in County Conwy.
It has a rich history that includes everything from malicious spouses to an important role in WWII and even hosting training camps for champion boxers. You can read more about the incredible history of Gwrych Castle here.
Read more: I’m A Celebrity 2021, full lineup confirmed as show names stars heading to Gwrych Castle
The magnificent Grade I listed fairytale castle, which sits on a hill overlooking the Irish Sea and the Clwyd Valley, rose to fame last year when it became the unlikely home of I’m A Celebrity 2020, which usually takes place in Australia, due to the pandemic.
And earlier this year, ITV bosses confirmed it would be in use again due to “continuing uncertainty” around Covid-19 and international travel and a “very successful race” in 2020.
But how old is Gwrych Castle, who owns it, and is it open to the public for tours? Here are some things you might not know as he prepares to reopen his doors to I’m A Celebrity campmates.
Gwrych Castle is over 200 years old
Gwrych Castle is a Grade I listed country house that was originally built by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh between 1812 and 1822 in memory of his mother’s ancestors, the Lloyds of Gwrych.
When Bamford-Hesketh’s granddaughter, the Countess of Dundonald, died in 1924, the castle was bequeathed to King George V, but the monarch refused the gift. Later, in 1948, it was bought by Leslie Salts who opened Gwrych to the public for 20 years.
According to the official site of Gwrych Castle from 1968, it “functioned as a medieval entertainment center with games, banquets and markets taking place in the park” before being finally closed to the public in 1985 when began to fall into disrepair.
More recently, it was planned to spend £ 6million to turn it into a luxury hotel before it was sold to its current owners, the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, in June 2018.
ITV “accelerated repairs by two years”
The Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust was established in 1997, set up by President Dr Mark Baker when he was just 12 years old.
Restoration of the castle has been underway ever since, but becoming the unlikely star of I’m A Celebrity really helped speed up the process.
Considering that the restoration of the 2020 show at Gwrych Castle is two years ahead of schedule.
Speaking to the BBC, Dr Baker said: “We had everything in place – expert advice and specialist contractors – and we were just starting to raise money to get the job done.
“But ITV paid for major restoration work on things like the top of walls and window lintels. We are now about two years ahead of what we planned to be.”
Gwrych Castle boss “didn’t think” the show would return
Despite its success in 2020, the bosses of Gwrych Castle said it was a “big surprise” when ITV made its decision to return to Wales.
Due to the last-minute nature of the announcement, Dr Baker said they actually plan for I’m A Celeb not to return.
” We have planned [I’m a Celebrity] not to come back because there was nothing concrete, nothing decided, “he told North Wales Live.” As responsible owners of a historic site there is a tremendous amount of work to do, so we continued to work with whatever we wanted to restore the [site]. “
He added: “I think the situation abroad suddenly became quite difficult with Australia. A quick decision had to be made and we were always very welcoming for a return but we didn’t think that would happen. So when the news broke it was a big surprise and it was all systems go.
“It was so late in the day. We were all getting ready for them not to come back. And we were getting the backstage guide ready at that time with ITV. We were planning all the merchandise.
“The focus was not on the return of the show, but on how we might celebrate what had been at the castle in 2020.”
You can visit Gwrych castle
But it’s closed to guests at the moment while I’m A Celebrity 2021 takes place.
The site reopened in the spring of this year, and the public was able to tour the famous red phone booth and outdoor spaces, including the private washrooms and Kiosk Cledwyn’s Ye Olde Shoppe. You can read more about it here.
A statement on its plans to close and reopen earlier this year read: “Gwrych Castle will temporarily close at 5pm on September 5, 2021, as we host the second season of ITV I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! And must close to the public.
“All tickets purchased after September 5 for 2021 will be refunded. All annual passes will be extended for the duration of our closure. Our reopening date in 2022 will be released later this year, so keep an eye on our social media . “
Tickets available for next year include the popular Ghost Hunts, as Gwrych Castle is said to be haunted. You can read more about the haunted tales and ghosts of Gwrych Castle here.
Gwrych Castle has already been used as a set
Despite being put in the limelight by I’m A Celebrity, Gwrych Castle is no stranger to showbiz.
It has been used for a few TV shows and movies in the past including Prince Valiant.
Recently sharing a photo from the 1996 set on social media, Gwrych Castle’s official Instagram account wrote: “Prior to the arrival of I’m A Celebrity, Gwrych Castle was used to film a few TV shows and movies.
“Prince Valiant was filmed here in 1996 and starred Ron Perlman, Warwick Davis and Joanna Lumley to name a few!”
More recently, it served as the backdrop for Louis Vuitton’s new autumn-winter men’s campaign.
Areas of the castle used by I’m A Celebrity
The courtyard was the primary outdoor space for campmates in 2020, providing access to the telegraph and housing the toilets.
While the well-known red phone booth and campfire have been replicated, the usual background of plush greenery has been replaced with rocky terrain.
However, the set is expected to look better than ever after the expense of last year’s production was spent on renovating the 19th-century site.
I’m a celebrity … Get me out of here! starts Sunday November 21 at 9 p.m. on ITV.
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