A CUSTODIAN of Penrhyn Castle in Gwynedd has shared what it’s like to live in a flat at the property built in the 1800s.

Emily Pearson, collection assistant at the castle, featured on the Channel 4 programme National Trust: My Historic Home, which first aired in February but was repeated on April 1.

When it was filmed, Emily was eight months pregnant, and can be seen during the episode practising pushing her pram up the castle’s 47 steps to her flat.


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She and her dog, Willow, live on the top floor of the 200-room castle, in a flat which boasts six rooms, but no curtains in its lounge.

Discovering that she was pregnant on the day she moved in “made for a really fun moving day”, she said.

North Wales Chronicle: Emily PearsonEmily Pearson (Image: Channel 4)

Emily added: “All my friends and family want to come and visit - they just think it’s really cool.

“It’s really cool having that address on your post, or when you’ve got to give your address at the doctor’s, and they go: ‘Seriously?’”

The “extravagantly lavish” castle includes specially designed furniture, including a one-tonne slate bed which Queen Victoria is rumoured to have refused to sleep in.

Emily is also seen cleaning Lord Penhryn’s dining room; “one of the most imposing rooms in the castle”.

Only one-third of the castle’s rooms are accessible to the public currently, though Lord Penhryn’s sitting room – which Emily admits is “definitely grander than my flat” – will soon become an exhibition space.

Later in the episode, Côr y Penrhyn choir visit the castle to perform, though some of its members initially have mixed feelings about being there.

In 1900, after a dispute about union rights, pay, and conditions, Penhryn quarrymen went on strike - lasting three years, it became one of the longest industrial actions in British history.

“My grandfather slaved to pay for this place,” one member says.

Descendants of the quarrymen are still members of the choir to this day, and still sing the hymn that their forefathers sang in protest.

Choir members told the programme of how mortality rates were high and workers had few rights under Douglas Pennant’s rule.

It was Emily’s first time hearing the choir, which she described as “so impressive and overwhelming”.

She added: “It’s everyone’s castle now; it’s not just for Lord Penrhyn… that’s exactly what it should be.”