Llansteffan Castle Owners Television Series on S4C
The number of ‘love locks’ left on the walls of Llansteffan Castle is testament to it’s significance to many loved up couples. It’s magical location overlooking Carmarthen Bay estuary and the small coastal village is central to many a romantic tale, and one local couple is committed to making sure it is part of many more love stories for years to come.
The vision is to offer picture perfect wedding ceremonies at the site of the Norman castle, that’s now in ruins, but will Marian and Rob Evans fulfill the ambitious dream? Will they be able to offer everything needed for a special day from the remote location? All whilst keeping a family, work and their other businesses going, during the challenges and restrictions of a global pandemic?
Thanks to a brand new series on S4C, Teulu’r Castell, we get to live the dream alongside the small family with the big plans. Cameras have followed Marian, Rob and their daughters Ffion and Catrin over the last 12 months. They bought the farm estate, that happens to include the castle and a forest three years ago and wedding ceremonies are just one part of the venture – they also need to renovate the rest of the sprawling estate and develop Marian's mentoring business.
"Growing up, I was here as often as possible,” said Marian. “Mum and Dad had a dairy farm in Llangynog so we couldn’t go very far for days out. Everything we needed was here; the beach, the castle, ice cream, chips.”
"Then, when Rob and I started going out, we would often go to the castle for walks. We have fond memories of falling in love there. It’s meaning has changed; from being there as a child, to being a special place for us as a couple and now of course, it's a place for us as a family, but it’s always been significant in my life.”
Marian has set-up many successful businesses over the years, and has even won the ‘Inspirational Woman of the Decade’ title. Rob’s expertise as a Civil Engineer has proved invaluable for the massive project and his DIY skills are certainly being put to the test.
Despite the size of the project, the family managed to keep it a secret for a while.
"When we first bought the castle, it was a bit of a shock that we had achieved it," said Marian. “Then we felt really embarrassed and wanted to keep it quiet. I remember saying, how can we make sure no one finds out?. I could hear this little voice saying, 'Who do they think they are?'.”
But it was impossible to keep something so exciting a secret in a small village, as Catrin their youngest daughter soon realised: "I didn’t tell my friends at school, they've come to me and asked, 'Catrin - do you own the castle?'. When Mum and Dad told us, we thought don’t you have to be royalty to do that? Wow!”.
"Not many people get the chance to buy a castle, so I'm really happy about it," added her sister Ffion.
With only a handful of Welsh castles in the hands of private owners, the family work closely with Cadw, who are responsible for safeguarding Wales's historic sites, to ensure any developments are sympathetic to the site. How will they manage?
Will the venture be a huge success or a catastrophic failure for the family? Follow their journey on Teulu’r Castell on S4C every Thursday night at 9.00 to find out.
The series will be available to watch, with subtitles, on S4C Clic and BBC iPlayer.
Teulu’r Castell Thursday, 21 April, 9.00 English subtitles available On S4C Clic, BBC iPlayer and other platforms A Little Bird production for S4C