The stunning South Wales castle with a haunting past
Whether an avid walker who enjoys the lush Welsh landscape, a ghost hunter, or simply looking for somewhere to enjoy a relaxing meal, Craig y Nos Castle is fascinating landmark.
Situated between the upper Swansea valley and the beautiful National Park of Brecon, Craig y Nos is a haunting mid Victorian landmark with a colourful past, notably as the home of once ‘Queen of Song’ Madam Adelina Patti.
Walkers will find it is central to a host of enthralling trails, rural lanes and off-road tracks in the stunning hillsides and vales. There’s also a restaurant and bar for some well-earned refreshment.
For anyone with a ghoulish or ghostly disposition, this is regarded as one of the most haunted castles in Wales and provides a perfect visitors’ destination with guided walks at the witching hour!
This neo-gothic castle was built in 1843 by High Sheriff of Brecknock, Captain Powell, the family’s tragedies began soon after, with the loss of his young son of cholera, followed by his wife and daughter within just a few years.
In 1878 the castle and its setting captivated the world’s leading opera star of the day, Spanish-born Madam Adelina Juana Maria Patti who bought the entire estate for £3,500.
It was a small price compared to the fortune earned by the acclaimed singer as she demanded fees of £5,000 paid in gold before every concert – almost £1milllion in today’s terms, which is even more than Madonna!
The prima donna spent more than £100,000 renovating and enlarging the estate, complete with a miniature “La Scala” theatre that could house 150 people. It was a designed as a private auditorium where she would entertain her guests.
Such was her extravagance that Patti even funded a railway station so her glitterati guests could enjoy an easy mode of transport to her home. Craig y Nos was the first private house in Wales to be wired for electricity.
Since her death stories have been told of her presence being seen or felt, gliding through rooms and drifting around the courtyard.
From 1921 to 1986 it became a hospital for those suffering with tuberculosis. The Welsh Office maintained Craig-y-nos Castle and its unique theatre until it was sold into private ownership.
For further details visit www.craigynoscastle.com
This article first appeared in South Wales windows, doors, conservatories and orangeries specialist Securahome’s newsletter Ffordd o fyw. To subscribe to Ffordd o fyw contact us here: http://www.securahome.co.uk/contact/