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Wednesday, October 27, 1999 Published at 06:27 GMT 07:27 UK

UK: Wales

Teenager leads castle preservation campaign

Gwyrch Castle, Abergele, is a Grade One listed building

A 14-year-old boy who wants to grow up to become a historian is leading a personal campaign to save a Welsh castle.

Mark Baker, who suffers from a bone disease, will hand over a book he has written about Gwrych Castle to Conservative leader William Hague.

The teenager from Prestatyn fell in love with the Grade One listed building at Abergele three years ago and has been campaigning for its preservation ever since.

He will meet Mr Hague at the House of Commons on Wednesday to raise awareness of the landmark.

The mock medieval castle was built as a picturesque monument by Lloyd Bamford Hesketh in 1816.

It is recognised as one of the most important buildings at risk in Britain.

It has been empty since 1928 and is now little more than a shell.

There has been a lengthy legal dispute over Gwrych Castle's ownership and action is required to save the building before it deteriorates any further.

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