Vanished Wales: What happened to Dunraven Castle near Southerndown on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast?

The Glamorgan Heritage Coast is a spectacular stretch of coastline where nature meets history.

But there’s one impressive landmark you won't see here anymore.

Dunraven Castle was a majestic mansion that occupied a site steeped in history. Grand residences had existed on the site for centuries.

More of a Gothic stately home than an actual ‘castle’, it was owned by the wealthy Wyndham family, whose male heirs had been granted the title Earls of Dunraven.

The manor house is gone, but Dunraven's exterior walls remain.

During the 19th Century, the family mansion was remodelled as a castellated hunting lodge, a deliberate redesign aimed at dazzling visitors with the building's opulence and grandeur.

During the First and Second World Wars, Dunraven Castle was used as a Red Cross hospital.

By the 1950s, the Earls of Dunraven had little day-to-day involvement with the building, and it was rented by the Workers Travel Association, a non-profit organisation that offered affordable holidays to low income working families.

In 1963, the contents of the castle were sold off and the entire building was demolished.

Speculation remains about precisely why the castle was destroyed so dramatically.

The house was demolished after its contents were sold off.

Author and historian Graham Loveluck-Edwards told ITV Cymru Wales’ Vanished Wales programme: “It was a result of a falling out between the local authority and the last custodian of the castle.

"He was really not happy with how the council kept knocking back his plans for what he wanted to do with the site.

"Most of the contents were auctioned off, like a very glamorous yard sale. Then out of frustration he had the place destroyed and all the stone sold off as a quarry."

All that now remains of Dunraven Castle are a scattering of atmospheric ruins, perched on the clifftops of Southerndown.

Watch Vanished Wales on ITV Cymru Wales at 7pm on Friday, February 16, and catch up afterwards on ITVX.