Walkers confronted

A group of walkers along the part of Pexwood Road within the castle grounds were confronted by one of the monks from the castle.

They were asked if thay had seen the signs. They replied “No”. They were told that they were trespassing on private land and were not permitted to walk there. The walkers continued on their route through the grounds.



We’ve posted a video of last Sunday’s walk around Dobroyd Castle. You should be able to view in the lower left hand side of this page.

If you can’t see it try clicking this link.

We were not stoped or obstructed on this walk.

The New Signs around Dobroyd Castle

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Dobroyd Castle Stroll

Join us for a stroll around the grounds of Dobroyd Castle.
Sunday 4th November 2007 – 1pm

Locals will know just how beautiful the grounds are at this time of year. As the “Trespassing” signs go up around the castle we will be taking the opportunity to assert our rights to walk through the grounds.

It should be a fun afternoon so you may want to bring your friends, children or dogs.

We will be videoing the event and posting it online here.

See you there.

Sunday 4th November 2007
Meet at the Pexwood Road gate at 1pm.

Castle mystery as monks quit – Todmorden News

From http://www.todmordennews.co.uk
Published Date: 30 August 2007

MONKS have left Todmorden causing concern for the future of a historical landmark.

The Losang Dragpa Centre, a Buddhist centre based at Dobroyd Castle, Todmorden has closed its doors after 12 years.
Fears have been expressed as to the future of the building, which fell into disrepair when left empty before the Buddhists arrived in 1995. And scheduled work for renovation of the roof has been left in the balance.
Todmorden Town Councillor and a Friend of Dobroyd Castle David O’Neill expressed his shock at hearing the news of the Buddhists’ sudden departure.
“I heard there had been a meeting last Friday at which they decided to close it and now it’s shut. I’m obviously really concerned about the building because I remember when it was closed for years before the Buddhists’ bought it. My first fear was they were just going to leave at once but there was someone there when I went up,” said Coun O’Neill, who lives close to the castle, which has been run as an approved school for boys by the Home Office and then as a privately run school for boys with emotional and behavioural problems before its transformation into a Buddhist centre.
“There were a number of people interested in turning it into a hotel or a computer centre before the Buddhists bought it but as far as I understand there was a covenant placed on the building by the Fielden family stipulating it must be used for educational purposes,” added Coun O’Neill.
In March this year the Buddhists celebrated their successful bid for funding to renovate the leaking roof and save the intricate stone-work, which dates back to 1869. The grant for £127,000 from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund would have gone a long way to funding the repairs and the Buddhists were hoping to raise the remaining funds to complete the scheme, which it is estimated will cost in the region of £200,000.
Trevor Mitchell, team leader for English Heritage in West Yorkshire, said he was aware the Buddhists were closing the centre.
“We have just found out about it. It’s early days and we will contact them formally about how they want to proceed.
“They have had a small development grant of around £10,000 or £15,000 to find out what needs doing. The risk to the public purse is relatively small,” said Mr Mitchell.
“But even though they have closed the centre it doesn’t mean they have walked away from the building. People are still there at the moment looking after it.”
During its time as the Losang Dragpa Centre the castle was home to about 20 monks and nuns at any one time and offered a range of activities for visitors, including meditation courses, weekend retreats, a cafe and annual summer fairs.
The castle was bought by the monks of the New Kadampa Buddhist Tradition for £320,000 in 1995. The tradition has centres in 40 countries worldwide with over 40 centres in England alone. In February this year the tradition acquired the 18th century 38-bedroom Chateau de Segrais set in 56 acres, just outside Le Mans in France.
No-one from the New Kadampa Buddhist Tradition was available to comment on the closure of Losang Dragpa Centre.

Bumper grant boost will save Dobroyd roof – Todmorden News

From http://www.todmordennews.co.uk
Published Date: 8th March 2007

WATER dripping into buckets does not aid meditation, however beautifully ornate the leaky roof.

But now, thanks to a grant of £127,000 from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Buddhists at the Losang Dragpa Centre at Dobroyd Castle, Todmorden will be able to repair the roof and save the intricate stone-work dating back to 1869.

“The Buddhists here have done a great job of renovating and redecorating the castle room by room over the years. But they’ve never had the capital to tackle the roof, which is a huge problem,” said Trevor Mitchell, English Heritage team leader for West Yorkshire.

Trevor explained the first step would be to bring in architects and surveyors to assess the situation as the flat roof leaks in a number of places, stone-work is suffering from water damage and the tower is showing signs of cracking. The grant will go a long way to fund the roof repair but the Buddhists will have to raise funds to complete the scheme, which will cost in the region of £200,000.

“There have been times when I’ve tried to meditate and all I could hear was dripping water. I’ve had to go up into the attic with a bucket to stop it dripping before I could continue,” said Kelsang Tsalden, who has been a resident at the Buddhist centre for seven years.

Members of the community have brought the castle back to life after it stood empty for a number of years. Paint has been stripped from ornate wood panelling and most rooms have had a face lift, but resident nun Kelsang Longku, admitted it was a never-ending programme, like painting the Forth Bridge. Even the leaky roof has been tackled by working parties of volunteers patching the cracked asphfalt but the roof coverings and drainage systems need to be replaced.

Gen Chokga, the centre’s resident teacher, said: “Receiving the grant is wonderful for us. It will mean that we can begin essential work to protect the fabric of this beautiful building, for the benefit of generations of Buddhist and non-Buddhist visitors alike. Without the help of English Heritage and HLF this would not be possible.”

The grant is part of a regional programme of support, totalling £1.6 million, for 15 churches and places of worship across Yorkshire and Humberside, to target eroded masonry, leaky roofs and damaged stained glass windows.

Fiona Spiers, Heritage Lottery Fund manager for the region, said: “By focusing on the most urgent repair needs, often with quite modest grants, this joint Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage scheme supports the efforts of local people and makes a significant difference to the long-term prospects for buildings like the Buddhist Centre.”