County Voice

Reconsolidation works to the walls of the gatehouse at Castell Dinas Brân

Essential repair work to the medieval walls of the gatehouse structure on Castell Dinas Brân is taking place over the coming weeks. Scaffolding is being erected ahead of repair works by a specialist company using traditional lime mortar techniques.

The gatehouse tower is the only enclosed and roofed area of the castle and the reconsolidation works will enable the public to access the tower when it is opened up for special events. This will provide visitors with an enhanced visitor experience and understanding of the previously closed off interior of the gatehouse.

The works have been funded by Cadw and the National Lottery Heritage Fund through the Our Picturesque Landscape project a landscape partnership scheme tasked with restoring a number of features within the Dee Valley.

Castell Dinas Brân with its hillfort and Mediæval castle is an iconic site in the Dee Valley being a Welsh castle dating from the 13th century and attracts approximately 50,000 visitors each year who access the site along two main footpaths. The majority of the wider land around the castle is a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest for its species rich grassland and geology.

Councillor Win Mullen James, Cabinet Lead Member for Local Development and Planning, said: “This summer offers a very exciting opportunity to run some activities at the castle alongside the reconsolidation works to show how Castell Dinas Brân has been such an inspiration for visitors over the centuries to explore and, appreciate its setting within the picturesque landscape of the Dee Valley. We are thrilled to be able to undertake repair works which will help protect the castle structure and enable the gatehouse tower to be opened to the public for special events in the future. We would like to thank our funders Cadw and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for making this possible”.

Ashley Batten, Cadw Inspector of Ancient Monuments said; “The twin-towered gatehouse at Castell Dinas Brân has few direct parallels.  It is assumed to date to the 1260s and to be the work of Madog ap Llywelyn of Powys.  Seemingly more architectural than defensive in its design it comprises two narrow projecting towers.  The southern tower retains its vaulted space while much of the external masonry has been lost over the intervening centuries.  This has left the fragile stone core of the structure exposed to the elements and a few architectural fragments vulnerable to erosion.  This specialist conservation work aims to protect this precious masonry and consolidate the remains for future generations to understand and enjoy.”

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