The Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism has shared that Cadw is contributing a grant towards a structural survey and level four historic building record for Ruperra Castle.
On 29 November 2023, Trustees from the Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust met with Deputy Minister Dawn Bowden, Cadw representatives, and Hefin David - Caerphilly MS, to discuss Ruperra Castle and the petition submitted to the Senedd earlier this year.
The Deputy Minister shared that Cadw, (the Welsh government’s historic environment service) will be part funding a historic building survey and structural survey of Ruperra Castle which will start this month and be completed before the end of March 2024. This will also include selective de-vegetation so that the standing fabric can be inspected by a conservation accredited structural engineer and a level 4 historic building record produced by a professional historic building specialist. The owner of Ruperra Castle will also be contributing to this work which will give an up-to-date understanding of the condition of the structure, and any defects, to help inform the owner of next steps.
Cadw will also be facilitating a meeting with the Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust, and the owner of Ruperra Castle, to discuss establishing an agreement for collaborative working.
A spokesperson from the Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust said, “We are delighted that the structural survey will be taking place as it is the vital first step in securing the castle’s future and will also help to understand a safe area around the castle to get the public right of way re-opened. We are looking forward to meeting the owner of Ruperra Castle to discuss any opportunities for collaborative working. We’d like to thank the Deputy Minister, Cadw, and the owner of Ruperra Castle for making this happen, and are grateful to all our supporters and Members of Senedd that have shown their support and encouragement to raise awareness of this nationally important monument.”
Hefin David, Member of the Senedd for Caerphilly said: “This is good progress. I am pleased that Cadw and the Deputy Minister see the importance of supporting the owner and the Trust in working to protect Ruperra Castle, as a piece of our local history. I will continue to work with all parties and I think that a collaborative approach going forward will be a very positive step in keeping these valuable conversations going.”
Senedd petition and debate
The meeting with the Deputy Minister followed a Senedd debate in October 2023 asking for conservation management plans to be made compulsory for scheduled monuments at risk like Ruperra Castle.
Deputy Minister Dawn Bowden decided not to make conservation management plans compulsory for the 14% of scheduled monuments at risk in Wales but agreed to meet with members of the Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust to discuss the situation at Ruperra Castle further. The debate was recommended by the Senedd Petitions Committee after a petition by the Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust, campaigning to save the Castle, attracted over 10,500 signatures. Find out more about the debate which gained strong cross-party support