Mark Baker (author)

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Mark Baker (born 16 April 1985) is an author of several books on Welsh country houses and estates. His first book was published at the age of 13 in 1999 on the Rise and Fall of Gwrych Castle, Abergele by Gwasg Helygain, making him one of Britain's youngest published authors. He subsequently founded the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust at the age of sixteen in 2001 as well as spearheading a high profile campaign for the building's restoration. This proved fruitful when the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust precipitated the sale of Gwrych Castle by pursuing compulsory purchase action. This earned Baker recognition within the heritage world and he was made the youngest honorary life member of SAVE Britain's Heritage.

Baker was educated at Rydal-Penrhos School, Colwyn Bay and later attended the University of Wales, Bangor, in 2003; here he graduated with a BA in history and archaeology in 2006. Baker's MA was taken at Cardiff University, and he is currently working on a PhD, researching the development of Welsh Country Houses. Baker was made a member of the National Trust Committee for Wales in 2009.

In 2005 Baker published a history of Hafodunos, Llangernyw—a masterpiece of Victorian gothic architecture, which was followed by a detailed study of Wales' noted Jacobean house, Plas Teg, near Mold in 2006. The first pressing sold out at a total of thirty three copies and is now in its second edition.

On 1 September 2008, Forgotten Welsh Houses, co-authored with Michael Tree was published by Hendre House Publishing, sponsored by the Georgian Group and SAVE Britain's Heritage. This publication formed the basis for BBC One's 'Hidden Homes of Wales', broadcast in 2010, and for ITV Wales's Grand Declines, broadcast in 2012.[1] A Royal Home in Wales: Llwynywermod, a book detailing the history of the Llwynywermod estate that is now the Welsh Royal home of The Prince of Wales was published by Accent Press on 10 November 2008. As of September 2007, an official website has been launched detailing all of Baker's work to date. Future publications to be released include histories of Baron Hill, Garthewin, and Gwylfa Hiraethog.

Baker, as of November 2011, is working with Linda Lamb on a collection of songs based on the poems of Margaret Sandbach of Hafodunos which will be released as an album in 2012.[2] A book, based on Sandbach's life, will be co-authored with Welsh film maker, Dewi Gregory.[3]

Mark Baker at Gwrych Castle in 2006

Published works[edit]

  • 1999. The rise and fall of Gwrych Castle. Prestatyn: Mark Baker.
  • 2000. Gwrych Castle, Abergele and Llanddulas – A pictorial history. Prestatyn: Mark Baker.
  • 2003. The rise and fall of Gwrych Castle, including Winifred, Countess of Dundonald – a biography. Prestatyn: Mark Baker.
  • 2005. Hafodunos Hall, Llangernyw – Triumph of the Martyr. Prestatyn: Mark Baker.
  • 2006. The Myths and Legends of the Gwrych Castle Estate. Prestatyn: Brampton House Publishing.
  • 2006. Plas Teg – A Jacobean Country House. Hope: Brampton House Publishing. (Revised Second Edition released 2007)
  • 2007. Abergele & District – A Pictorial Past. Cardiff: Brampton House Publishing. (With Michael Roberts)
  • 2008. Forgotten Welsh Houses. Llanrwst: Hendre House Publishing. (With Michael Tree)
  • 2008. A Royal Home in Wales: Llwynywermod. Cardiff: Accent Press.
  • 2013. Y Plas: Story of the Welsh Country House. (With Dewi Gregory and Sian Price)
  • 2013. Margaret Sandbach: A Tragedy in Marble and Ink. (With Dewi Gregory)

A Royal Home in Wales: Llwynywermod[edit]

The front cover of A Royal Home in Wales: Llwynywermod

A Royal Home in Wales: Llwynywermod is the first book to explore the history of The Prince of Wales’ new home in Wales. Llwynywermod was purchased by the Duchy of Cornwall in 2006 and is currently undergoing restoration. Published to coincide with HRH The Prince of Wales’ 60th birthday celebrations on 14 November 2008, the book covers the entire history of the Llwynywermod estate from its founding days to being the Welsh residence of Prince Charles.

On Monday 10 November 2008, A Royal Home in Wales was officially released. The official launch was on 21 November at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.[4]

Notes[edit]

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