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WATER coming in through the chimney is becoming an issue at Stradey Castle, and could damage a prized painting according to a planning application.

The castle’s owners have applied to Carmarthenshire Council for listed building consent to carry out repairs to chimneys, including putting in new damp proof courses.

A heritage impact assessment submitted as part of the application said the building near Pwll, Llanelli, would not have been affected to such a degree by water ingress in the past when fireplaces at the base of the chimneys were more frequently used.

The report said staining had become apparent at the grade-two listed castle’s entrance hall.

“In this case specifically there is a concern that if this particular leak is left untreated, the prized painting beneath will be irreversibly damaged,” it said.

The roof structure could also be affected in the years to come if the water ingress was not dealt with, it added..

The report said the proposed work would disturb little or none of the building’s original fabric, and that the chimneys’ scale and form would not be modified.

The castle has been owned by the Mansel Lewis family since its construction in the 1850s, has a parkland and gardens, and is virtually unchanged since it was built.

The venue is open for private tours and wedding hire, and has been used for film and television productions, including BBC drama Decline and Fall a couple of years ago.

The heritage impact assessment added: “The benefit of halting and preventing further future water ingress outweighs the potential impact the proposal would have on the significance and value of Stradey Castle.”

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