Page last updated at 06:51 GMT, Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Plastic wrap for castle makeover

Roch Castle
Roch Castle in Pembrokeshire has been wrapped in plastic while it undergoes a total refurbishment

A 13th Century Pembrokeshire castle has been completely wrapped in plastic as it undergoes a total refurbishment.

Roch Castle near Haverfordwest, once damaged in a Civil War siege, is being turned into a corporate retreat.

Contractors have wrapped the 100ft (30m) tall building in sheeting to protect the stonework as most of the internal floors and roof are replaced.

The castle has been bought by a company which will develop a six-bedroom facility, including a gym room.

The Retreats Group is owned by St Davids-born architect Keith Griffiths, who runs a practice in Hong Kong.

He said his company bought the castle last year and work started in March.

"The old concrete floor put in in 1900 has rusted away.


"We are having to cut that out and replace it along with some of the steel."

Mr Griffiths said the roof and windows were also being replaced and the stonework re-pointed so the castle had been wrapped in sheeting to protect it.

The plastic will be in place for around four months while that is completed, with the castle to open for business next year.

He said he was aiming for the "high end corporate client" market.

It is thought the castle was built early in the 13th Century, probably during the reign of Henry III.

It was damaged in a siege during the English Civil War and it was not until 1900 its then owner, the first Viscount St Davids, embarked on the rebuilding it as he needed a country seat in the northern part of Pembrokeshire.

The Retreats Group also owns Penrhiw Priory and The Twr-y-Felin Hotel, both in St Davids.

Mr Griffiths said he was keen to safeguard the county's heritage and turning them into retreats gave the buildings a sustainable future.

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