On 23 September over 110 people enjoyed our annual “Open Doors” event at Ruperra Home Farm in partnership with Cadw.
Four walks were led on public rights of way to view Ruperra Castle by trustees. Guests enjoyed refreshments by the Rudry Old Griffin Kitchen and were entertained with archery and musketry by the Marchers Stuarts re-enactments back at Home Farm.
We thank all of our members who volunteered to help at this event.
We are delighted that you can now view the Ruperra walking map in two of Natural Resources Wales carparks:
Huge thanks to Natural Resources Wales who helped to make this possible alongside funding from the local community.
You can’t visit Ruperra Castle as it is privately owned and a dangerous ruin but there are public footpaths which allow good views of the Castle. The closest car park is the Woodland car park at Coed Craig Ruperra which is a 30 minute walk. Download walking maps and find out more about visiting the area
Improving walking routes around Ruperra Castle
We are often told that people are unsure which paths are rights of way and get lost trying to find the Castle. We want to improve sustainable access so that everyone can enjoy our heritage and countryside, which can have a positive impact on wellbeing.
We have raised over £1,200 of our £4,000 target and have already:
• produced a new map of the area showing sustainable access routes on public rights of way
• shared the map with the community, making it available to download from our website and by giving away 5,000 new map leaflets for those who need a physical map to follow and keep
• put up map signage in local carparks.
Our next steps are to:
• create an information panel about the Castle at a good viewing point
• introduce Ruperra Castle waymarkers on some walking routes.
Donate to our campaign
Thank you to everyone that came to see us at Machen Show on Saturday 2 July. It was wonderful to meet new people and hear about their support for Ruperra Castle.
We registered new members of the Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust. Find out more about membership which provides you with monthly updates about the work of the Trust and opportunities to get more involved with our campaign to save the Castle.
We also sold our historical books about the Castle.
The children were so creative in imagining a future for the Castle. Congratulations to Harley (aged 9) and Maxwell (aged 6) for their winning Lego entries (pictured).
On 1 February 2022, the area around Ruperra Castle become a statutory protected Grade 2 registered historic park and garden which you can now view on Cof Cymru.
This is because the Statutory Register of Parks and Gardens in Wales of Special Historic Interest came into force. The new register replaced the non-statutory one that was first launched in 1994 in response to the growing awareness of the historic importance of designed landscapes and of their vulnerability to development pressure.
All registered historic parks and gardens that are of special historic interest are graded using a system like that used for listed buildings (I, II* and II). The historic layout, features and architectural ornaments of a park or garden are considered together when determining a grade.
The deer and landscape park plus the formal garden and pleasure grounds around Ruperra Castle have been recognised as Grade 2: parks and gardens of special interest. These make up around 67 per cent of the total number of registered parks and gardens in Wales. Regardless of their grade, all registered historic parks and gardens are treated equally within the planning system.
The image from Cof Cymru shows Grade 2* Ruperra Castle and surrounding outbuildings. It is also recognised as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, Site of Special Scientific Interest and now Grade 2 deer and landscape park plus formal garden and pleasure grounds.
Each registered historic park and garden is given a record where you can read a description and reason for designation. These can now be seen alongside Listed Buildings, Scheduled Ancient Monuments and World Heritage sites on Cof Cymru — National Historic Assets of Wales on Cadw’s website.
Registered historic parks and gardens
The new register was the culmination of several years’ work by the Royal Commission and Cadw working in partnership to update and enhance the records for the 400 sites across the country on the register, mapping the boundaries, writing statements of significance to justify their inclusion on the register, and liaising with the owners.
Registration identifies parks and gardens which are of special historic interest to Wales and helps to recognise all the special qualities so they can be protected for the benefit of future generations.
Historic parks and gardens are a fragile and finite resource that can be easily damaged or lost. It is important to raise awareness of their significance and to encourage those involved in their management to treat them as valuable and distinctive places. Through their care and commitment to safeguarding these precious assets, we will all be able to enjoy these historic parks and gardens of special historic interest now and in the future.
Wales became the first nation in the UK to recognise that historic parks and gardens should be protected in the same way as listed buildings and scheduled monuments, after passing the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016.
Find out more about registered historic parks and gardens
View Cof Cymru
Ruperra: A document of 1559 refers to 'Rhiw'r perrai' the 'hill or slope of pear trees' but their exact location was not known.
In 1654 Constantin Huygens the Dutch Ambassador had come for a meeting with Lord Protector Cromwell in London. The Dutch born widow of Sir Lewis Morgan of Ruperra arranged a visit to the new Castle for the son of the Ambassador, Lodewijck Huygens, who refers to fruit trees in the garden:
“…Around noon we reached the very beautiful Rhiwperra House. The mansion is square with a round tower on each corner which adds a closet to almost every room. There is a large and lovely hall to the right of the entrance and a number of other fine rooms. There is a very fine garden on the right with very attractive parterres and walks …and another garden with a large number of fruit trees …laid out on the slope of a hill, which one climbs gradually by six or eight steps at a time, upon reaching the highest step, one would never guessed how charming the view is towards the Severn across this very beautiful and fertile valley.”
An old pub sign from the Ruperra Arms in Bassaleg depicted children scrumping for pears (pictured).
Some people tell us that it is very difficult to grow pears in the area. We are going to try by planting some pears on a South facing slope on the hill in the Coed Craig Ruperra woodland next door to the Castle.
Do you know anything about Ruperra pears? Do you successfully grow pears in the area? We’d love to hear from you, email: email@example.com
The walk from the Church to the Castle takes about 45 minutes, along public footpaths and over the Iron Bridge. The reason the Sunday morning service still starts at 11.15 and not 11.00, was originally to enable the servants of Ruperra Castle to clear away breakfast and walk to church in time to meet the family who would arrive by coach.
The church is happy for walkers and cyclists to use the toilet anytime, which is situated in the building at the back of the graveyard behind a red door. Please respectfully leave it clean and tidy!
To arrange a visit to view the chapel and hatchments please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are unable to visit you can take a virtual tour and view the hatchments and chapel: Heritage – St. Michael & All Angels Church, Lower Machen
The Church have also produced some remarkable books on the Chapel and Hatchments which are available for delivery for a donation. Find out more about the remarkable books
View maps and find out how to visit the area