10 August 2020 12:30

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I'm a Celebrity's location revealed as Gwrych Castle in North Wales

Image copyright PA Image caption Ant (left) and Dec could be hosting the 20th series from north Wales There'll be no showering under a waterfall in a bikini for the stars of this year's I'm A Celebrity as they could be setting up camp in a haunted Welsh castle. Producers are swapping the Australian bush for the UK - and Conwy's Gwrych Castle is said to have topped the list. The castle has more of a chequered history in its 200-year-old walls than any star to have graced the tabloids. Image copyright Karen Kenworthy Image caption The castle near Abergele was built in the early 19th century Gwrych Castle, meaning "Hedge Castle" in Welsh, was built on the site of a late medieval fortress near Abergele between 1812 and 1822 by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh as a memorial to his mother's ancestors, the Lloyds of Gwrych. The ghost of Countess of Dundonald, is said to prowl the castle ruins, after reported sightings of an angry woman in white.

During World War Two, the castle was used by the government to house 200 Jewish refugee children who had fled the Nazis. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Boxer Randolph Turpin (left) trained at the castle for his world title fight with Sugar Ray Robinson in 1951 In 1946, it was sold by the Dundonald family, ending nearly 1,000 years of family ownership. It was the backdrop for boxer Randolph Turpin in 1951, as he set up his training camp before beating Sugar Ray Robinson to become world middleweight champion. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Could this castle host I'm a Celeb? Gwrych was saved by 12-year-old schoolboy Mark Baker, who launched a campaign in 1997 to save the derelict folly, writing to Tony Blair and Prince Charles.

He formed Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust to raise awareness of its history and the trust finally bought the castle in 2018. Mr Baker would not be drawn on whether the hit ITV series is set to locate itself there but it's already the talk of the area. Image caption Dr Mark Baker has been fighting for Gwrych Castle since he was a schoolboy Richard Prideaux, a wilderness skills instructor from Ruthin, teaching survival, foraging and bushcraft, told BBC Wales the castle location could pose a very different set of challenges to the famous contestants of I'm A Celebrity's 20th series. It's the other side of the world, different hemisphere, it's going to be heading into winter here, so north Wales coast - wet, windy, cold - it depends how much time they're going to be standing around," he said. "Hanging around or showering in a waterfall in a bikini - I don't know how much of that is going to happen in November in north Wales." You might get an angry badger wandering through camp causing problems but in terms of insects and snakes and things like that there's not really anything on the hills of Abergele that I think are going to cause them many problems." Actress Vicki Michelle, who appeared on the show in 2014, suggested that producers may look to more medieval methods than jungle japes this year.

"Stocks - you know, when people put them in stocks and throw things at them - and then put them on the rack," she told BBC Radio Wales. will relocate to the historic grounds of Gwrych Castle in North Wales. The camp will be situated near the ruins of the 200-year-old Grade 1 listed country house which overlooks Abergele, a small market town situated on the north coast of Wales between the holiday resorts of Colwyn Bay and Rhyl, in Conwy County Borough. The Gwyrch Castle Preservation Trust, which purchased the site in June 2018, says the frontage is 1500ft in length, and there are 18 battlemented towers inspired by the great medieval castles of Wales. The castle stands in 250 acres of gardens and ground.

The preservation trust offers daytime visits to the grounds and nighttime ghost hunts to share the castle's fascinating history with intrepid visitors. The castle was built between 1812 and 1822 by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh as a memorial to his mother's ancestors, the Lloyds of Gwrych. When Lloyd died the Castle passed onto Robert Bamford-Hesketh and his wife, Ellen Jones-Bateman. Winifred, the couple's only surviving child, had an arranged marriage to a Scottish nobleman, the 12th Earl of Dundonald, who garnered fame by leading the charge at the Relief of Ladysmith, during the Boer War. The couple had a fractious relationship, with the Earl spending most of his time in Scotland, while Winifred remained at the castle. The Countess of Dundonald was an important patron of Welsh art, music and literature during the early twentieth century. When she died in 1924, she left the castle to to King George V, but the gift was refused and it was purchased by her husband. During World War II, the Government used the castle to house 200 Jewish refugees run by the Jewish Zionist youth movement Bnei Akiva. During Tavaglione's ownership, historian Mark Baker campaigned for the castle to be restored to its former glory. He was instrumental in forming the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, dedicated to ensuring the castle's future. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. On 13 June 2018, Gwrych Castle and its estate was finally sold to Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, enabled by a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. According to the preservation trust, the Countess's Tower is one of the most paranormally active areas in the castle, and is situated within the gardens which are said to be haunted by the Countess herself. The malevolent spirit of the Countess's tyrannical husband, the Earl of Dundonald, is said to still stalk the castle he stole from her after her death. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. 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. 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. 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. Since 1990, the castle has been up for sale time and again, being purchased by hoteliers and entertainment groups. In 2018, Gwyrch Castle was purchased by Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust. Is Gwrych Castle haunted? Reading over the history of Gwrych Castle on their website, you might just think of it as a pleasant tourist destination. In 2019, Gwrych Castle was the subject of a Mysteries of the Abandoned episode on the Science Channel. 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. 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. Winifred built Gwrych Castle's marble staircase. 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. A castle in Abergele is being tipped as a likely location to host the next series of ITV's I'm A Celebrity... ITV bosses confirmed the 20th series of the hit show, fronted by Ant and Dec, will be set at a ruined castle in the UK countryside. Gwrych Castle in Abergele is rumoured to be the first choice in hosting the popular ITV series after filming was moved from Australia to the UK because of the coronavirus pandemic. Like the regular series, viewers will still see the celebrities undertake gruelling trials and challenges to win food and treats in the lead up to one of them being crowned, for the first time ever, King or Queen of the Castle. Gwrych Castle dates back more than 200 years and is said to be haunted. The story behind the ownership of the castle is an interesting one after Mark Baker, who in 1996, as a twelve-year-old boy, founded the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust after being disheartened by its condition. The castle was purchased by Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, on behalf of the nation. The Director of Entertainment at ITV Studios said the team "pulled out all the stops" to try to make the series happen in Australia, but unfortunately with the pandemic, they said it was not possible to travel and make the show there. Last year, former Eastenders actress Jacqueline Jossa was crowned the winner of I'm A Celebrity. An ITV spokesperson said it was the most watched series of the year among the 16-34s demographic.