Hay Castle in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, has opened its doors to the public for the first time in its 900-year history, following a major 10-year restoration and regeneration project, see www.haycastletrust.org
One of the great medieval defence structures on the border of England and Wales still standing, thanks to over £5 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and £2 million match funding from various trusts and individual donors, Wales now has an important heritage destination, a vibrant new centre for learning and the arts, and a space for the community to come together.
Andrew White, Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales, says: “Hay Castle has a rich 900-year history, during which time it has been burnt down, rebuilt and attacked by Owain Glyndŵr. Now, its future has been secured for generations and potentially centuries to come.”
Executive Director of Hay Castle, Tom True, adds: “Our aim is to reinvent the idea of what a castle should be in the 21st century. Once a symbol of control and destruction inhabited by few, Hay Castle is now a beacon of openness and creativity for everyone.”
At the top of the castle, from the Tower Viewing Platform, visitors will be treated to views of the Wye Valley and border landscapes. In the Dining Room, freshly made and locally sourced food and drinks will be available in the Hay Castle Café, whilst an eclectic collection of books, cards and gifts will be on sale in the King of Hay Bookshop.
From now until August 31, 2022, the castle will host the inaugural Portraits of Writers exhibition in its specially-developed gallery space on the second floor, developed in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery.
Guided tours take place throughout the day and a lift will allow access to all. Entrance is free but a small charge will be made for access to the main exhibitions, and Hay Castle will rely on donations from members of the public for its upkeep and maintenance.
Find out more at www.haycastletrust.org