This year, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! will be far from the Australian Outback and instead taking place in a haunted British castle.
I’m A Celebrity fans were thrilled to hear the news that the annual reality competition would definitely be returning in 2020, despite fears that the global pandemic would halt production on the show.
Typically, the I’m A Celebrity stars and their family members would be flown out to Australia for filming. As travel restrictions continue, Australia was off the cards. So instead, the I’m A Celebrity production team have chosen a new location closer to home. It has been confirmed that the new season will take place in Gwrych Castle in Wales. But where is Gwrych Castle? Why is it rumoured to be haunted? Find out everything you need to know about the Welsh castle here!
Where is Gwrych Castle?
Gwyrch Castle is a Grade I listed country house in the town of Abergele in North Wales. This is not too far from Snowdonia National Park and so there’s a chance the I’m A Celebrity stars could be taken out to Snowdonia for challenges.
The castle was was built by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford Hesketh, heir of the Lloyds of Gwrych in the 19th century. It was one of the first castles to attempt to replicate European medieval architecture. This build incorporated the family home; the Hesketh family had owned this area for nearly 1,000 years.
Since 1990, the castle has been up for sale time and again, being purchased by hoteliers and entertainment groups. However, the castle was constantly left in a state of disrepair and none of the plans were ever actualised. In 2018, Gwyrch Castle was purchased by Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust.
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Is Gwrych Castle haunted?
There have been reports over the past century that Gwrych Castle is haunted by ghosts. The castle also operates a ghost hunt run throughout the year, where you can try to track down the phantom inhabitants.
Reading over the history of Gwrych Castle on their website, you might just think of it as a pleasant tourist destination. However, it has had a rather spooky past which the celebs will all have to face this autumn.
In 2019, Gwrych Castle was the subject of a Mysteries of the Abandoned episode on the Science Channel. The episode was called ‘Haunting of Heartbreak Castle’.
In the episode, historian Mark Barker – who is credited with founding the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust – explores the castle and the reasons for its creation. Mark explains that after the loss of his mother, Lloyd Hesketh created it in her honour.
In 1894, Lloyd’s granddaughter Winifred Cochrane, Countess of Dundonald got control of the castle. She died in 1924, and a few years later her estranged husband – who she had banished from the castle – purchased the property and destroyed all of Winifred’s belongings. It is at this point that reports came forward that apparitions of a woman on the grand marble staircase appeared. Winifred built Gwrych Castle’s marble staircase. One of the most famous sightings was made by a boxer named Randolph Turpin. He was training in the gardens when he saw a woman in white crying. When Randolph asked her what was wrong, she disappeared.
Gwrych Castle’s history explored
After years of representing a place of despair, Gwrych Castle became a place of hope. During the Second World War, the British government used the castle to house 200 Jewish refugees. This refuge was run by the Jewish youth movement Bnei Akiva.
It played a central role in Operation Kindertransport.
After the war, the castle was put up for auction and kicked off the back-and-forth sales which continued up until 2018.
WATCH I’M A CELEBRITY… GET ME OUT OF HERE! THIS AUTUMN 2020 ON ITV