As a child, Marian Evans loved playing at Llansteffan Castle in Carmarthenshire, South Wales as she grew up just two miles away.
So when Marian, now 42, saw it was up for sale, she decided to secretly buy the place with such special memories.
The businesswoman now lives in a farmhouse in the castle grounds and watches her young daughters play in the ruins – just like she used to.
The mum-of-two said: ‘I grew up as a kid with trips to the beach and the castle. My parents were complete workaholics so always on the farm working.
‘There were no holidays. Days out, if we were lucky, were down to the castle. It was a real treat, just being on the doorstep.
‘I felt incredibly lucky as a child, even though we had to work harder than any other children I knew. We used to climb the tower and just play, just being kids.’
Marian has had a successful career in the financial services sector and went on to oversee a book of business worth £58m.
She started out working for NFU Mutual – The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society – before running her Elevate Business Consultancy.
It was through her work that she found out, by chance, that the castle was up for sale.
Marian said: ‘I happened to be speaking to the land agents, coincidentally, on something completely unrelated about insurance advice.
‘I just commented that there wasn’t much of the estate left and how sad it was to see the old estate being sold off and he said the three lots were up for sale.
‘I drove home and I couldn’t get it out of my mind.’
Marian spoke to husband Rob before they decided they would make an offer 24 hours later.
She said: ‘We both thought “There’s no way it will come off..”‘
The castle was built by Norman invaders and has been crowned one of Britain’s most romantic ruins of all time.
It was captured twice by the Welsh rebel forces of Owain Glyndwr in 1403 and 1405.
In the 1490s King Henry VII granted the castle to his uncle Jesper Tudor but it later declined and went on to be used as farm buildings for 400 years.
Now, the family is bringing the farmhouse and castle ruins back to life, and although happy to be revealed as the owner, Marian wants to keep the details of the sale confidential.
She said: ‘People who want to purchase something like that tend to do so for a status reason, a symbol, but anybody who knows me knows that couldn’t be further from my DNA.
‘We put a caveat on the sale that we didn’t want anybody to know. It was a confidential purchase and we managed to keep it quiet for quite a long time.’
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