6 December marks 80 years since Ruperra Castle was gutted by fire during the second world war. To commemorate the event we are telling stories from our book, Ruperra Castle War and Flames 1939-46.
So many people remembered exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news that Ruperra Castle was on fire. The following morning came the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.
"Of course there was a black out as well and there were fire engines stuck all over the fields without getting to the castle. They drained all the water in the ponds as well. It is a myth that there was a huge fire extinguishing system in the castle, a huge water tank in the roof with chains hanging down the walls to release the water when pulled, but nobody knew about it, although the chains had been noticed previously. Whether rusted up or never been checked. In any case, they didn’t save the Castle anyway.”
Although Game Keeper Blackburn had gone up from his house to the castle and told the driver of the first engine to follow him to the pond on the drive from the Cardiff road, the reflection of the light of the fire in the water had attracted them to cut off across the grass. Stuck in the soft earth they could not go further.
80 years on and Ruperra Castle is still a ruin at risk of collapse - help Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust save the Castle and surrounding buildings and gardens by campaigning to secure them to use for community benefit, and to ensure a better future for our precious local heritage. Help us secure a future for this important monument - become a member before the end of 2021 and we will send you a free copy of our book – Ruperra Castle War and Flames 1939-46. You can also buy the book separately for £6.