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Job Posting - Managing Director, Hay Castle Trust

RECRIWTIO AR GYFER SWYDD Rheolwr Gyfarwyddwr Mae Castell y Gelli yn chwilio am ymgeiswyr â phrofiad amlwg o arwain yn llwyddiannus ar lefel uwch mewn sefydliad elusennol, treftadaeth neu ddiwylliannol i arwain y prosiect cyffrous hwn. Bydd gan yr ymgeisydd delfrydol brofiad yn adeiladu timau, dadansoddi hyfywedd ariannol, nodi ffrydiau cyllido, ynghyd ag atyniadau ymwelwyr a rheoli digwyddiadau. Bydd y Rheolwr Gyfarwyddwr, fydd yn atebol i Fwrdd yr Ymddiriedolwyr, yn gyfrifol am reoli staff, gweithrediadau, cynllunio cyllideb a busnes, codi arian, arddangosfeydd, rhaglen o weithgareddau, a chydymffurfiaeth gyfreithiol, adnoddau dynol a rheoleiddiol.

Cliciwch yma i weld ein swydd newydd yn cael ei phostio.

JOB RECRUITMENT Managing Director

Hay Castle is seeking candidates with a proven track record of successful leadership at a senior level in a charitable, heritage or cultural organisation to lead this exciting project. The ideal candidate will have experience in building teams, analysing financial viability, identifying funding streams, and visitor attraction and event management. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the MD will be responsible for managing staff, operations, budget and business planning, fundraising, exhibitions, programme of activities, and legal, HR and regulatory compliance.

Please click here to see our new job posting.

Sycamore Trees on Market Square

Sycamore Trees on Market Square Beginning on the 16th of September 2019 we are hoping to begin work to remove the two sycamore trees which overlook the market square.

All of the trees within the walls of Hay Castle are subject to Tree Protection Orders and we have a duty to ensure that they are cared for accordingly. These two particular sycamores have been assessed by an ecologist and it has been advised that they present a hazard due to their structural and physiological condition.

Approval to fell the trees was given by Brecon Beacons National Park with the condition that two trees are planted that will grow to a similar height. The ecologist who inspected the trees gave the following report:

Tree 11: Both stems are structurally compromised by the included union with one another and the north stem has a significant structural weakness where it has the cavity resulting from a lost limb at 6m. Added to this there is a probable Phytophthora infection and the tree is more exposed to prevailing northly and north- westerly winds

Tree 12: Both the south and northwest leaders are structurally unsound due to the significant hollowing of the trunk to >750mm below their union.

We wanted to make sure that you were aware of the reasons for the felling of these trees and to let you know of somewhat restricted access to Market Square for a couple of days starting on Monday 16th September as they are removed.

Hay Castle Films

Hay Castle Films
While the restoration work is going on we have been working with local primary schools on our "Making History Digital" project. Thanks to funding from Arwain, the Powys Leader Fund, we have been creating stop motion animations with school pupils.

The first school we worked with was Hay Primary which is just across the road. The year five and six pupils there learnt about the history of the Castle and Hay and then worked on turning some of the stories into films using iPads. We will gradually upload these films to our YouTube channel and share them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

In the meantime here are the first two films to be uploaded - a brilliant little animation which looks at Hay Independence, King Richard and the horse who was Prime Minister! Followed by a cut paper animation which tells the story of the castle on fire. Well done to all the pupils in year five and six who worked so hard on the project.

Winter Newsletter

Winter Newsletter Please click below to view the Winter Newsletter:

Winter Newsletter

Hay Castle Pop Up in The King of Hay Shop

Hay Castle Pop
Up in The King of Hay Shop

We now have a little pop up running in the King of Hay Shop on Castle Street. We opened up on October 18th and will be open again next Thursday 25th until 1pm. We have a fantastic model which was built by our architects RMA (Mica) and it shows what we are planning for opening in 2020.

Please do pop in on a Thursday morning and see us. The pop up is being manned by our fab volunteers who have also decorated the space with some very booky bunting! We will be opening up every Thursday morning that we can while the space is available.

Utilities and Possible Disruption

Utilities and Possible
The restoration of Hay Castle involves the installation of essential new utilities supplies to the site. These include electrical (Western Power Distribution), gas (Wales and West Utilities), water (Dwr Cymru) and telephone/broadband (BT). 

Western Power have already started their work to upgrade the electrical supply. They have excavated along Bear Street, Castle Lane, Bell Bank and the Butter Market carpark. This work will cause some disruption to residents and to parking. Western Power have issued a letter stating that while they "appreciate that these works have and will continue to cause disruption to the workings of the town (they) do aim to finish as soon as possible and are extremely grateful for  your understanding and continued patience." If you would like to talk to someone from Western Power please call 01874 614238.

A plan of the extent of the works is included below:

In the coming months the upgrade to services will include further works for gas and water which will affect traffic on Oxford Road. We will post any information along with updates and details about future works which may affect people in the area on this website. We thank everyone for their patience and cooperation during these essential works.
Below is the map of proposed works by Wales and West Utilities who plan to begin work in mid November. For any enquiries please call WWU on 0800 2946645.

Click here for PDF of planned works for gas

Scaffolding going up on the roof

Scaffolding going up on
the roof

Below is a little timelapse of the scaffolding roof going on at the end of September. Such a beautiful day and great fun to see the process.

This structure will now be covered in a lightweight form of tarpaulin which will allow roofers and other builders and craftspeople to continue their work protected from the weather over the coming months.


Restoring the Great Gates

Restoring the Great Gates

The great gates to Hay Castle have now been removed and transported to the workshops of John Nethercott & Co. in Discoed, near Presteign. Here they will be carefully restored over the coming year in preparation for their return to their home in 2020. The restoration of the gates involves highly specialised conservation work and we are fortunate to have the expertise in our local area.  This vital work has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with match funding provided by the Pilgrim Trust, the Friends of Hay Castle and the Aurelius Trust.
The gates are believed to be among the oldest in the country still hanging in their original gateway, although their precise age has so far eluded specialists.  Carbon dating and dendrochronology of timber samples has produced dates between the 14th and 17th centuries reflecting the different phases of the castle’s development.  

Work in Progress

Work in Progress Building work has now begun! During the first few weeks the work at Hay Castle will concentrate on demolition and preparation which includes removing some walls and floors and preparing for the erection of scaffolding which will go up over the summer.

A temporary roof will cover the main building entirely for over a year. Throughout the building period, there will be opportunities for the public to come on site to see the work in progress, and a programme of workshops and demonstrations of traditional building techniques will be offered.

Construction Company Appointed

Company Appointed

Hay Castle Trust has selected John Weaver Contractors for the £4.5 million restoration and refurbishment of Hay Castle in Hay-on-Wye.

Works are expected to begin in May 2018 with completion by 2020.

John Weaver Contractors are based in Swansea and are known for both new builds and their conservation expertise and craftsmanship.

Their previous works include high-profile heritage projects such as Glyn Vivian Art Gallery, Llanelly House, the Guildhall Swansea, and Prince Charles’ Welsh home Llwynywermwood. 

Nancy Lavin Albert, Managing Director of Hay Castle, said:

John Weaver Contractors was selected following a rigorous UK-wide procurement process, and we have total confidence in their ability to realize our vision."

John Weaver Contractors has an established apprenticeship programme in traditional building skills. Terry Edwards of John Weaver Contractors said:

“Conservation is an important part of our business, working on Grade 1 & 2 listed buildings, and we have ensured our apprentices have worked on these projects to gain essential experience in traditional skills.  The apprentices gain experience hard to find nowadays and invest in our company when they continue as tradesmen with us.  We are delighted we can mentor and train apprentices at Hay Castle.”

The local community is invited to ‘meet the builder’ during an open day on Wednesday 13th June at 5.30pm at Hay Castle.


Hay Castle Trust Have Moved to New Office

Castle Trust Have Moved to New Office We have now moved the office in preparation for the beginning of restoration work on site. You can now find us down the cobbles in the Gatehouse at the top of the Backfold. This is the old building by the zebra crossing on the cobbled drive up to the stables. Please do pop in and say Hello.

Join our Youth Forum

Join our Youth

If you are aged between 16-20, live in the local area and would like to be involved in the plans here at Hay Castle then why not sign up to join our Youth Forum?

We are looking for a mix of people who would like to meet up and get involved in deciding what is going to happen in the future at Hay Castle.

We would like to meet those with a passion for history and heritage, anyone interested in digital technology and running coding or gaming workshops, future tour guides, anyone interested in retail and bookshops, designers, makers, photographers, writers...

If you think you would like to be part of our youth forum then please click below to fill in the form below and we will get back to you.
HTML Forms powered by Wufoo.



Hay Castle has received a major grant of £150,000 from the Clore Duffield Foundation to create a custom designed space for learning.

The award from the Clore Duffield Foundation will create a Clore Learning Space, a versatile and beautiful space to inspire learning and creativity. The space is designed by Rick Mather Architects, known for their excellent and innovative work on the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and the Dulwich Picture Gallery. It will be centrally located in the 17th century mansion, with large windows facing out onto the lawn with views of the Black Mountains. The characterful space will include seating and tables, a projector, closets, storage and wash-up room, and will be accessible, useable and inviting. The rooms will be used by groups of all ages to engage in a variety of activities, talks, courses and workshops.

Hay Castle Trust are excited to have a Clore Learning Space at Hay Castle. This is only the second such space in Wales, the other being at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. So it’s a real achievement to have met the Clore Duffield Foundation’s standard of excellence.

Sally Bacon, Executive Director at the Clore Duffield Foundation said 

We wish Hay Castle success with the project and hope that this grant will help make a difference to your community”.

For more information on the Clore Duffield Foundation please go to their website

Hay Castle Trust are Seeking New Trustees

The Trust wishes to recruit new trustees to join our governing body, the Board of Trustees. We are looking for individuals who share our vision, have drive and energy, are passionate about heritage, the arts and literature and are able and willing to contribute their time, skills and experience. Strong ties to the community would be an advantage. In particular, we are looking for individuals with significant experience in one or more of the following areas: 

  • Business planning and evaluation, including HR
  • Knowledge of company and charitable law
  • Arts programming
  • Fundraising
  • Serving as a charity trustee
  • Public relations and communications

Trustees are expected to commit to a minimum of four board meetings per annum (normally held at Hay Castle), plus additional meetings and responsibilities. The role generally requires a commitment of up to a day a month. It is a voluntary role; travel and other agreed expenses can be claimed.

If you are interested please get in touch by email to request a Trustee Pack:

(The deadline for applications is March 6th 2018)

January Update

January Update

We are now looking at appointing a contractor in February, after encountering delays with the tender process at the end of 2017.

We will update the website as soon as we have news on the successfully appointed contractor.

In the meantime please do have a look at our recent leaflet which was distributed locally, updating people on the project and where we are at the moment.

You can view as a PDF by clicking here.



CASTLE RESTORATION WORK PLANS Hay Castle Trust are currently tendering for a construction company.  It is expected that a contractor will be appointed this Autumn, with work to commence in October/November.  To view plans for the restoration work please click on the links below:

Click to view PDF of Ground Floor

Click to view PDF of First Floor

Click to view PDF of Second Floor

Click to view PDF of Platform and Roof

Renovation Work

Work The Castle is now closed until works begin in late summer.

Although there is no scaffolding up yet we are getting closer and closer to starting the much needed work on site. Five construction companies have been identified through a pre-qualification process and will be invited to tender in May, with an appointment of lead contractor being made in July 2017. Meanwhile, the final specifications of the technical design stage are being produced by the design team, which is vitally important both in informing the costs of the construction and in making sure that we get crucial items correct, such as drainage, electrics, heating and ventilation.

(photo by Adam Tatton-Reid)



In February it was announced that the Garfield Weston Foundation had donated £200,000 to the Hay Castle Restoration project. This is the largest charitable donation received in support of the project so far and represents a major step forward in securing the goal of £1.5 million in match funding.

The donation will help Hay Castle Trust to open the Castle to the public, welcoming people when the gates open in 2019. The donation will fund the restoration of the mansion and Norman tower and will help develop a rich programme of new learning activities for visitors, schools and community groups as well as a programme of traditional building skills and culinary training.

The permanent preservation of the site will help the town to help attract more visitors and the traditional building and heritage programmes will offer the rare opportunity to work on a historic site of such significance. 

Commenting on the grant, Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation said “The grant comes with the best wishes of the Weston family and the trustees hope that the project will bring economic and social benefits to the area.”

Wales -Year of Legends 2017

Wales -Year of Legends

There are 641 castles in Wales, more per square mile than anywhere on Earth. They come in all shapes, sizes, and states of repair. Some have been lived in continuously for a thousand years. Others are tumbledown ruins in remote forests. There are castles on cliff tops, castles with gardens, haunted castles, castles with museums, castles on beaches — and every single one comes with its own rich history and legends.

This is our Year of Legends. Yes, Wales is an ancient landscape, with thousands of years of history and myth. But it’s also an epic land of thinking and high adventure. Everywhere you go, there are innovative ideas, in old places. It’s a great place to enjoy here and now. This year we’re creating new legends. Want to come and find yours? Welcome to our Epic Land.

To find out more click here

Summer Raffle Update

A huge thank you to everyone who supported the Summer Raffle by donating prizes and buying tickets. Also to those who attended the Summer Concert. The Raffle and the concert raised over £2000 which will go towards the renovation project.

Thanks to Hay Music for organising the concert and to the following local organisations and businesses who gave prizes:

Hay Festival
Hay Music
Llangoed Hall
River Cafe
Richard Booth's Bookshop and Cinema
The Swan
WJ George Butcher
Whitney Toll Bridge

........................................................................ ....................................

A raffle will be drawn on 21 August, and some wonderful prizes have been donated by area businesses and organisations. You could win a one-year pass to the Whitney Toll Bridge, a night at Llangoed Hall, a Golden Ticket to all events at the Hay Festival Winter Weekend, a splendid Sunday brunch at the Swan at Hay, a cinema pass for a year at Richard Booth’s Bookshop Cinema, A gift voucher from Golesworthy's in Hay, lunch at the River Café in Glasbury, a Christmas turkey from WJ George Butchers or tickets to next year’s Hay Chamber Music Festival.

Raffle tickets will be on sale at the Thursday Market on August 11th so do pop over to Jason's furniture and sock stall in the memorial square where we will be based. If you would like to sell some tickets please do email

You can also buy them through JustGiving - just make sure you leave your name and a contact:


Project Manager appointment notice

Project Manager
appointment notice

Hay Castle Trust wishes to appoint a Project Manager consultant to undertake work envisioned as follows:
Provide project management services to advise on OJEU procurement process to tender for a contractor, manage the tender process and project manage the pre-construction and constructions phases of the project from RIBA Stage 4 (technical design) through RIBA Stage 6 (handover and close out).

Details are on the Sell2Wales website



Heritage Lottery Fund awards Hay Castle £4.46 million

Heritage Lottery Fund awards Hay Castle £4.46 million

Fantastic News! Hay Castle has been awarded £4.46 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund. More details below...

As thousands of literary festival goers make their way to Hay-on-Wye today a recognisable local landmark is about to steal the limelight. Thanks to National Lottery players, the future of one of Wales’s most important monuments has been secured.

Hay Castle, one of the few continuously occupied Medieval strongholds in the country and an important example of a Marcher Castle, had fallen into disrepair, but an award of £4.46million from the Heritage Lottery Fund will save and restore the castle and accompanying Grade 1 listed mansion. 

Nancy Lavin Albert, managing director of Hay Castle, said, “We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund which does crucial work saving irreplaceable buildings across the UK. We are extremely grateful to all our supporters for their generous donations to this ambitious project. The Trust’s aspiration is to create an inspiring place for people to enjoy their heritage and the arts, learn new skills and participate in cultural and community events.”

The award will enable the Hay Castle Trust to save and consolidate the castle ruins; provide access to the keep; restore the mansion; reopen the ancient gate; create a museum-standard gallery, educational space and café; and provide flexible spaces for use by the local community and public. 

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, Richard Bellamy, explains why supporting this project is so important: “While an incredibly ambitious piece of work, there is so much more to this than simply restoring and preserving a significant piece of Welsh history – it’s also about ensuring Hay Castle continues to be a meaningful place for people today."

“With the support of National Lottery players, there is a great opportunity here to make the castle accessible to all, enabling people to learn about their heritage, while at the same time providing a welcome economic boost with new jobs being created and an improved tourism offer.” 

In addition to the award of £4.46million by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Trust has also raised over £1million with the help of its supporters. However, £900,000 still needs to be raised by the end of this year in order for work to begin on site in 2017.

Elizabeth Haycox, chair of the Hay Castle Trust, added, “Hay Castle is currently in a critical state of disrepair so this announcement today is great news for the town, both culturally and economically. In addition to seasonal tourism attractions, the Trust is developing a year round programme of activities focusing on literature and Hay’s unique position as a Book Town.” 

When the project is complete, Hay Castle will be open to the public for the first time in its 800-year history.


name="anchor-one">.</A>A series of test pits
are being investigated at the Castle which will help form the plans for
the renovation and locate necessary items such as a lift and possible
soak-away drainage. Three pits have been dug within the derelict section
and on May 9th a soakaway test was excavated in the gravel area on the
southern lawn.

Archaeologists Peter Dorling and Dai Williams have dug the interior pits by hand with the help of a willing team of volunteers. The soakaway pit however required a little more power behind the spade and so a JCB was called in. Everyone was surprised, and quite relieved, that the JCB was able to dig a 2m hole without disturbing any archaeology. Cadw archaeologist Will Davies was also on hand to supervise the excavation. Engineers then filled the pit with three bowsers of water to test the permability of the soil for the suitability of a soakaway. 

Peter Dorling and Dai will now return to more sedate methods of digging whilst they prepare around nine more sites for investigation.

The archaelogical investigations at Hay Castle have been funded in part by a grant from the Brecon Beacons Park Sustainable Development Fund.

If you would be interested in volunteering to help with archaeology please do get in touch - email

Barbara Erskine Talk at Hay Castle

Barbara Erskine Talk at Hay Castle Sleeper's Castle - Barbara Erskine Talk for Friends of Hay Castle

Tuesday 28 June at Hay Castle
Refreshments from 5.30pm, talk starts at 6pm

Two women, centuries apart. One endless nightmare tearing Wales apart - and only they can stop it.

Sunday Times bestselling author Barbara Erskine returns to Hay in the year that marks the 30th anniversary of her sensational debut bestseller, Lady of Hay.

Friends are invited to an evening with author Barbara Erskine to launch her new novel, Sleeper's Castle, published by Harper Collins. You will have a chance to talk with Ms Erskine about her book and her long-standing interest in Hay Castle and the colourful figures who lived here. 

If you are a Friend of Hay Castle and would like to attend this event at the Castle on Tuesday 28 June at 6pm please email and we will add your name to the guest list. RSVP is essential.

If you are not yet a Friend or your membership has lapsed - please see our Friends page on the website

Hay-On-Wye, 1400 - War is brewing in the Welsh borders. For two hundred years, the Welsh people have lain under the English yoke, dreaming of independence. And finally it looks as though the charismatic Owain Glyndwr may be the man legend talks of. In the walls of Sleeper's Castle, Catrin finds herself caught in the middle of a doomed war as she is called upon to foretell Wales's destiny...And what she sees, is blood and war coming closer...Hay, 2015. Miranda has moved to Sleeper's Castle to escape and grieve. Slowly she feels herself coming to life in the solitude of the mountains. But every time she closes her eyes her dreams become more vivid. And she makes a connection with a young girl, who's screaming, who's reaching out...who only Miranda can help. Is she losing herself to time?

Photo copyright: Karolina Webb

Spring Newsletter

The Spring Newsletter 2016 is now available to read with updates about events during Hay Festival, funding news and archaeology updates on the Castle. If you would like to sign up to receive the newsletters quarterly please do so here.

Hay Castle features in CPRW Magazine

Hay Castle features in CPRW Magazine This month the Castle features in the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales' magazine, 'Rural Wales'. Activities Director Mari Fforde, wrote a piece about the history of the town, Castle and the project vision. Read the whole article and rest of the magazine here.

Hay Castle is now closed while building work takes place

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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