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About Hay Castle Trust and the plans for Hay Castle

Preservation of an Ancient Monument
Hay Castle is very much under threat. The castle and manor are in desperate need of conservation to prevent further deterioration. The Norman keep is unstable and unsafe for entry. The famed archway is impassable. The east wing of the Jacobean manor remains roofless and derelict, and its decorated stone walls are collapsing.

Hay Castle Trust aims to ensure the permanent preservation of this historic site. Development funding was awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2014 to help progress plans for the project. During the development phase Rick Mather Architects were appointed and initial concepts were thoroughly explored and researched. Detailed plans have been drawn up for the project's delivery which would see the Medieval and Jacobean buildings rescued and conserved, as well as creating an exciting, multi-functional space to engage and inspire through arts, culture, history, education, and a range of heritage building skills and culinary training.

The plans include a viewing platform in the Norman keep, giving people the opportunity to experience the fantastic views of the Wye Valley and the borderlands. The great gateway will be opened up again to allow access from the town side. Samples from the gate are undergoing carbon dating which could prove the door to be the oldest working defensive gate in Wales.

The second floor will house a high standard exhibition space which will be able to display items from major national collections. Next to this will be a reading room and archive where the Castle's history can be explored in depth. On the first floor will include an education space which will be available for a huge range of activities - for young and old alike.

The ground floor will be a flexible space available for events, meetings, talks and more. The coach house and stable will become a characterful cafe. The cafe, along with private hires, will enable a self sustaining future for the Castle and ensure its maintenance and care. 

In December 2015 plans for HLF Stage 2 were submitted and were approved in May 2016. The architects have since continued their work on the technical design and building contractors will be tendered during Winter 2017. Alongside this we also have to raise at least £1.5 million in match funding.

To view the plans click here

Public Access & Education
The Trust is committed to access. We plan to open pathways throughout the garden and through the archway welcoming visitors year round. Inside the derelict mansion we will include a lift which will allow access for all. We envision creative ways to highlight the history and architecture of the Castle’s 900-year life, as well as educational programmes and training opportunities.

A New Centre for Culture
The site of Hay Castle is inspiring. One can easily imagine the Jacobean manor becoming a vibrant centre for history and the arts, with an atrium, designed to complement the existing stonework, as a stunning venue for exhibitions of all kinds.  The buildings and the grounds are perfectly suited for musical and dramatic performances, cultural events performing arts, cultural events and workshops. The possibilities are indeed exciting.

About Hay Castle Trust


NANCY LAVIN ALBERT is a former television executive, with business, retail and marketing expertise and an eye for the arts and education


JUSTIN ALBERT is Director for Wales of the National Trust, Europe’s largest conservation charity, protecting historic places and green spaces

LYNDY COOKE is Founding Partner of Hand Held Events, cultural events and festival consultancy

ANDREW CRAVEN is a fundraising specialist and director of a charity consulting firm as well as partner in an international tourism and accommodation business

PETER FLORENCE is Director of the Hay Festivals

PAUL GREATBATCH is an investment manager specialising in emerging economies and supporter of cultural venues, events and organisations

ELIZABETH HAYCOX (Chair) is a bookseller who restored Richard Booth’s iconic bookshop in Hay creating a popular centre for culture, food and cinema

ROBERT LANCE HUGHES has a background in contemporary architectural design and investment, restoration of listed buildings and the funding and promotion of social housing

Our address to write to is:
Hay Castle Trust
Hay Castle
Hay on Wye

Registered charity no. 1144524

Hay Castle Trust is grateful to have received funding from the following:

(Photographs Colin Stark)

Visit Hay Castle and have your say in the future of this ancient monument.

Hay Castle Trust is a registered charity that was formed in 2011 to preserve this historic site and provide a future of cultural enrichment, educational opportunities and community enjoyment.
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