The £300,000 (not millions, as have been reported) paid by ITV to film in the castle will kickstart a new bout of Gwrych’s renovation. “It’s not a vast amount, but it’s enough to replace some of the roofs – and it has made the profile of the castle far greater for its funders. It’s not just an obscure castle in North Wales any more,” says Dr Baker, who aims to restore the castle and open it to the public, so they can see its trajectory “from medieval to Georgian to Arts & Crafts, including its cascade of 52 marble steps by the architect Detmar Blow”.
He is also on a mission to track down lost treasures, from portraits to fireplaces, all pilfered when the castle was asset-stripped a decade or so ago. And – hopefully providing greater luxury than the current celebrity residents are experiencing – there will be self-catering apartments in the main house, “so people can have the great experience of staying in this castle,” says Baker, who is never far from its walls himself.
He lives on the seafront in the castle’s beach house Ty Crwn, which he discovered as a “burnt out wreck” and has faithfully renovated in 19th century style, making it available to rent through AirBnB when he’s elsewhere.