Brando's Feature: Clearwell Castle

Coat of Arms Clearwell Castle in the Forest of Dean

(September 16, 2000) Badfinger had lived at the 7 Park Avenue residence in Golders Green for several years, when the cramped quarters finally became a little too cramped. In the spring of 1971 the band rented a new home. This home was slightly larger than their previous homestead. It was a castle. Literally. The band rented Clearwell Castle in the Forest of Dean and lived in, recorded at and basically enjoyed their time at the residence. The band lived their for about six months. What follows are some recent photos of Clearwell Castle and some information on what's going on there these days.

Outside Clearwell Castle

The following photos are from outside Clearwell Castle. Five of the outdoor photos are linked to much larger versions of the same photo. These photos (the five that link to larger photos) are courtesy of Malcolm Smith, who took these photos, and others not included here, at a wedding that recently took place at the castle. (Note: If you'd like to see some of the other photo's of the wedding that was captured by Mr. Smith's camera at Clearwell Castle then click here on this through the lens of Malcolm Smith link.

Badfinger's Residence: Clearwell Castle
Coat of Arms Outside Clearwell Castle
Outside Clearwell Castle Outside Clearwell Castle
Outside Clearwell Castle Outside Clearwell Castle

The next batch of photos feature the interior of the castle as it looks today. These days the castle is used strictly for festive occasions, usually weddings. There are over 300 events there each year, only one event per day, thus the castle and it's grounds are your parties for the day. The cost to use the castle varies depending on the time of year and the day of the week. If you plan to use the castle on a Saturday in June the cost will be $6530. The cost for a Tuesday in February is $2177 (dollars, not pounds).

Since I do have the price list for every day of the year, I estimated (using only the 300 days of usage) that Clearwell Castle now brings in over one million dollars ($1,027,387 by my estimation) each year in rental income. This cost does not include the prices for the meals or spirits. Remember, Badfinger had the opportunity to purchase this castle for 30,000 pounds (approximately $43,500) in late 1971. Granted, it would have had to take someone with the vision of using it as such a facility to realize the income.

The interior photos feature a reception room and the room where the actual weddings take place. Perhaps members of the band or visitors to the castle can recall the rooms from Badfinger's stay at the castle.

Inside Clearwell Castle

Badfinger's Residence: Interior of Clearwell Castle
Coat of Arms Inside Clearwell Castle
Inside Clearwell Castle Inside Clearwell Castle

The following are more exterior photos of Clearwell Castle. The photos show the castle at night, from a distance in the day and a road leading into the castle grounds. The photo of the castle lawn is listed as the "croquet lawn" in their brochure. This may have been the very lawn that Badfinger rehearsed on when they first moved into the castle.

If you would like to book Clearwell Castle for your wedding or a friends weddings: They are almost entirely booked for 2001 and 2002. Your best bet is a 2003 wedding! So plan early. Also, there are restrictions on who can actually marry at the castle. If neither partner in the wedding is from the UK then there are forms to sign and other legal matters to contend with, but it can be done.

Badfinger's Residence: Exterior Photos of Clearwell Castle
Outside Clearwell Castle Outside Clearwell Castle
Outside Clearwell Castle Outside Clearwell Castle

Note: Facts concerning Badfinger's stay at Clearwell Castle were sourced from the book "Withou You - The Tragic Story of Badfinger" by Dan Matovina

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