Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bobby Brown "On Our Own" (Ghostbusters II) ~ Chase Ghosts at Bodelwyddan Castle in Wales

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By Dipika Patel

There's nothing like some ghostly rumors to make a trip to a castle more exciting - and for those heading to Wales on family holidays, a visit to Bodelwyddan Castle could be particularly thrilling.

Located in Denbighshire, the castle has a long history punctuated with mysterious sightings and events that have been attributed by some to the world of ghosts and spirits - and it has even been featured on Living TV's Most Haunted.

Bodelwyddan Castle also has a raft of other attractions - most of which aren't quite as scary - sure to keep visitors' attention on their days out in Wales.

But will you see something you won't quite believe on your visit to the castle?

Bodelwyddan Castle - a history

Bodelwyddan Castle was originally built as a manor house way back in the 15th century.

The Williams family began their association with the building some 200 years later, although it only became the castle it is today in the 19th century.

In the 1850s, the lead mining activities that were the main source of income for the Bodelwyddan Castle estate began to decline, resulting in financial misfortune for the Williams family.

The estate was reduced in size and it began to be used as a training ground for soldiers fighting in World War I.

It was then sold to Lowther College, which turned the castle into a private girls' school that operated until the 1980s.

The county council stepped in and acquired the estate during this decade, turning it into the visitor attraction that it is today and drawing crowds of tourists every year.

Bones, apparitions and things that go bump in the night

There have been numerous reports of ghostly occurrences at Bodelwyddan Castle - most of which cannot be easily explained.

Some have seen a spooky woman in the Sculpture Gallery, while others have spotted what has been described as a 'blue lady' in the Terrace Tea Room and shadowy people wandering along the corridors in the castle.

Another sighting has been made of what is claimed to be a soldier in one of the castle galleries, perhaps harking back to when the estate was used for war training purposes and housed an officers' mess and recuperation center.

Strange lights and noises have also been recorded around the castle.

It is not clear what is behind all of these things as all of Bodelwyddan Castle's records were destroyed in a fire in the 1920s.

However, some human bones were found close to one of the castle's chimneys in 1829. It was discovered that these bones were actually built right back into the wall - so they are still there to this very day.

Visitors can hear more explanations and theories by accessing an audio tour as they walk around the castle.

Other castle attractions

For those who would rather not spend their UK days out ghost-hunting, Bodelwyddan Castle has - thankfully - many other attractions to keep visitors occupied.

As it is one of the National Portrait Gallery's regional partners, tourists will be able to view a wide range of 19th century artworks at the castle, along with furniture from the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Pieces of sculpture from the Royal Academy of Arts and items dating back to the castle's time as a girls' school can also be seen.

Special exhibitions and events are held throughout the year, while the unusual sight of practice trenches used by World War I soldiers is a must-see while out and about in the castle's grounds.

Near the castle

Once you've exhausted all of the exciting sights and activities on offer at Bodelwyddan Castle, there's much else to see away from the estate.

The coast isn't far from the castle, so why not stay in a hotel and spend a day in one of the popular seaside towns in the area?

Rhyl and Prestatyn have seven miles of beaches between them, making them ideal destinations for those rare occasions when the sun breaks through the dismal British summer!

Away from the coast, Denbighshire is home to a wealth of other attractions - just a few of the highlights include the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, as well as Chirk, Denbigh and Flint castles and some spectacular scenery.

If you are looking for family holidays and specifically UK family holidays then consider Wales. Head over to Visit Wales for advice and information on holidays in Wales including UK holidays and UK days out.

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