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Death-watch beetle 'threatens' Welsh Castle

Hay Castle is thought to be the oldest Norman castle in Wales Credit: Wales News

Rescuers are spending £5m in a battle to save a 900-year-old castle which has survived sieges and wars from a new enemy - death watch beetle.

The medieval Hay Castle, thought to be the oldest Norman castle in Wales, is being eaten away after withstanding centuries of attacks.

Now the battle plan using £5m lottery cash has been launched to save the imposing castle on the Welsh-English border.

A team of architects aim to save the castle towering above the small town of Hay-on-Wye - now famous for its bookshops and annual literary festival.

"The most vulnerable part of the building is the derelict part of the mansion which hasn't had a roof since 1939.

It's hanging on by hook and by crook. Ivy is holding it together but destroying it at the same time. The walls are flapping about and are not stable.

When the restoration project is finished it's hoped it will be possible for visitors to stroll around the castle walls and enjoy a bird's eye view from the top.

– Juliet Aston, Rick Mather Architects


Hay Castle open to the public

Guided tours of the castle will give visitors access to the whole building

Hay Castle, one of the great medieval defence structures on the border of Wales and England will open its doors to the public this weekend.

Built in the late 12th century, the castle has been privately owned for 800 years and is rarely open to the public.

Visitors will get a chance to explore the building and hear the Trust's plans for the future.

Prince Charles and Camilla to visit Hay Festival

Prince Charles and Camilla will visit Hay on Wye before attending a performance at the Wales Millennium Centre Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be in Hay on Wye today visiting local businesses and perusing the wares at the town's Thursday market.

Among the stops on the Royal visit will be family-run country store FW Golesworthy & Sons, the town's largest bookshop Richard Booth's Bookshop, the vacant Cheese Market and Hay Castle.

Prince Charles and Camilla will then tour the Hay Festival site, before joining authors at a School Library Association reception.

Prince Charles, in his role as patron of The Prince's Countryside Fund, will meet local farmers during the visit, while the Duchess will be introduced to schoolchildren at the launch of the Summer Reading Challenge.

The Royal couple will finish their visit by attending the opening night of the Welsh National Opera's new production of Wagner's 'Lohengrin' at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.