North East Wales

Plan to recreate WW1 practice trenches at Bodelwyddan Castle

an ariel view of the trenches Image copyright Bodelwyddan Castle Trust
Image caption Some of the original trenches can be seen from the air

Practice trenches used to train World War One troops in Denbighshire before they went to fight in France could be recreated.

They could be built alongside remains of the original trenches near Bodelwyddan Castle used by soldiers based at Kinmel Park Camp in 1915.

Not much remains of them as they have filled in over time.

But it is hoped the new trenches will show visitors what life was like for those fighting on the Western Front.

Image caption The zig-zag pattern of the trenches can still be seen

Dr Kevin Mason, director of Bodelwyddan Castle Trust, said much of the Bodelwyddan estate was requisitioned by the British Army during the war.

"It [the trench area] probably stretched over 150 acres of land here, but much of it has been ploughed over," he said.

"Those that do remain are preserved because the castle was taken over by a girls' school, Lowther College in 1920 and the headmistress was a keen golfer.

"She used the area where the remaining trenches are for a 9-hole golf course, so that area wasn't ploughed up."

Plans for the new trenches have been drawn up by architect Philip Eyton-Jones who studied examples of recreated trenches in Belgium.

They have been submitted to Denbighshire council and will also have to be approved by conservation body Cadw.

If passed, the Ministry of Defence-funded project could open later this year - 100 years after Kimnel Park Camp opened.

Image copyright Bodelwyddan Castle Trust

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