Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 15:19 UK

In pictures: Forgotten houses

The cover of Forgotten Welsh Houses

A book about abandoned Welsh heritage properties by Mark Baker and Michael Tree, has just been launched. It features 150 historic properties ranging from an abandoned train station in Cardiff Bay to medieval houses.

Troy House, Monmouth ( Picture coutesy of the Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments in Wales

One of the country houses featured which has seen better days is Troy House in Monmouth which was built by the Duke of Beaufort in the late 17th century and was one of the great houses of Wales up until the early 20th century.

Troy House, Monmouth

It later became a convent and a school. But Mr Baker said it has been empty for a number of years, had become derelict and is currently in the midst of a planning application for development on the site.

Ruperra Castle, Caerphilly

Ruperra Castle was built in the early 17th century by the Morgans of Tredegar. But it was burnt out in 1941 due to faulty wiring, said Mr Baker.

Ruperra Castle, Caerphilly

After coming out of the Morgan family it has since had a variety of owners. "There was a public inquiry investigating a planning application to build a housing estate around it," said Mr Baker. "But it's an important house and should not be risked."

Gwrych Castle, Abergele

Gwrych Castle was built in the early 19th century and was one of the first "castlelated" mansions to be built in Europe, Mr Baker said. But in the late 20th century the building was asset-stripped and fell into dereliction.

Gwrych Castle, Abergele

"This is a building I have been involved in a lot and we have successfully campaigned for it to be saved," said Mr Baker. "It was recently purchased by a company in Yorkshire who are planning to develop it into a country house hotel."

Hafodunos Hall, Llangernyw

Hafodunos Hall was designed by George Gilbert Scott and built in the 19th century. After leaving the hands of the Sandbach family in the early 1930s it has had a succession of owners and uses including becoming a private girls school.

Hafodunos Hall, Llangernyw

But in 2004 a large blaze at the house gutted the main block and Mr Baker said its future is now uncertain. He estimated that as much as 1bn could go back into the Welsh economy if such heritage buildings were improved.



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