A woman thought her husband wanted to divorce her when he asked her for a “serious chat”. Instead, he told her that he had bought a castle for her.
Terry Edgell fulfilled his wife Jude’s childhood dream by secretly buying her a dilapidated Welsh castle for £775,000. The couple was looking for a holiday home in Spain but decided to view 200-year-old Penllyn Castle near Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, out of curiosity. Terry later secretly put a bid in for the castle.
“I thought he was going to say divorce and he was very quiet, but he said: ‘It’s too late, they accepted a bid on the castle’. I didn’t believe him, so I checked on Rightmove and it said ‘sold subject to contract’. I said: ‘Is that us?’ and he said yes,” Jude was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.
She said, “I wasn’t cross, I was happy because I’d always loved it but I was very scared as well, I knew it was going to change things. I’ve always known about the castle, I have lived by it, but never been in it.”
Jude continued, “I remember when I was about 25 riding by it and I thought: ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe people live in houses like that.’ When I walked into the drawing-room on that first day all the hairs came up on the back of my neck, and I still get that pull now, that connection.”
Due to Terry’s long-working hours as CEO of Premier Forest Group, the majority of the renovation project has been left up to Jude. She set up a team of specialist trade workers including a site manager, specialist conservation architect, archaeologist, heritage specialists and an engineer.
The work on the castle has been going on for three years and the couple looks forward to moving in in 2024.
The castle was built in 1790 for Lady Barbara Vernon and was then left to her friend Miss Emilia Gwinnett. It featured in a 2006 episode of Dr Who when actress Pauline Collins played Queen Victoria.
Jude described the budget as a “rolling sum” and added, “It will never be worth what it’s cost us in our lifetime. It’s a labour of love, it’s not about value.”