Llwyn Celyn English

Monmouthshire

Introduction

 If you wish to view these pages in Welsh, please click here

Os carech chi weld y tudalennau hyn yn Saesneg - cliciwch yma

Llwyn Celyn is a Grade 1 listed building, regarded by Cadw as one of the finest medieval hall houses in Wales. It was once part of the Llanthony Priory estate in the Black Mountains region of the Brecon Beacons National Park. It has been continuously inhabited since it was built in the 1480s, the last occupants moving out in 2014.

In recent times, the buildings became increasingly dilapidated. Although Cadw erected emergency scaffolding in the early 1990s, it began to suffer from rain and run-off from the hillside.  In 2007 Cadw approached the Landmark Trust for help.

Landmark drew up plans to restore the main house, and to create an educational and exhibition space for public and community use in the threshing barn. This is a complex and challenging project requiring the support of local bodies, local residents and partner organisations. Landmark has raised £4.2million to restore the site and carry out the associated programmes, including a 2.525m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A beneficial new use for Llwyn Celyn

A wonderful new Landmark sleeping up to eight people is being created in the main house, so that people can experience Llwyn Celyn for holidays and short breaks. The surrounding historic barns are being adapted for educational and community use. The site will become a beautiful and vibrant place where people will connect with their past, their environment and each other.

This cross section shows how Llwyn Celyn will be configured as a Landmark. There will be a fourth bedroom, and a kitchen in the extensions to the rear of this main house.


Supporters of Llwyn Celyn

We are hugely grateful to those who have already supported Llwyn Celyn, including:

Guardians:
Sir Hugo and Lady Brunner, Dr and Mrs J Bull, The Hon Elizabeth Cayzer, Mr R Eaton, Mrs F Fairbairn, Dr and Mrs J Gibbs, Mr C P Giles, Ms J Graham, Dr C Guettler, Miss J Hodgkinson, Mr and Mrs S Jordan, Professor R Mayou, Mr M Power, Mr G Ruthen and Mrs S Andrew, Mr B Sealey CBE

Patrons and other generous individuals:
Mr R Burns, Mrs M Haddow, Mr D Giles, Mr and Mrs M Gwinnell, Mr and Mrs C Hutt, Mr and Mrs G Kingston, Dr C Mitchell, Mr A Murray-Jones, Mr C Nugent, Mrs P Parker, Mr D Purcell, Mrs H Quarmby, Mr and Mrs D Quartermaine, Mr T Reid and Ms L Ambrose, Mrs P Spens, Mr Oliver Thomas, In Memory of Andrew Murray 

Charitable Trusts and Statutory Grants:
The Architectural Heritage Fund, Aurelius Charitable Trust, The Viscountess Boyd Charitable Trust, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Brecon Beacons Trust, Cadw, Country Houses Foundation, The Gunter Charitable Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, John R Murray Charitable Trust, Scouloudi Foundation, ShareGift

Heritage Lottery Fundy Logo                                      National Heritage Memorial Fund logo                                      CADW logo

We are also grateful to the generous Guardians, Patrons and other supporters who have chosen to remain anonymous and to everybody else who supported the appeal.

History

 If you wish to view these pages in Welsh, please click here

Os carech chi weld y tudalennau hyn yn Saesneg - cliciwch yma


Llwyn Celyn has stood for over five centuries

Llwyn Celyn is a Grade 1 listed medieval building. Once part of the Llanthony Priory estate in the Black Mountains it was built in the late 15th century. At this time, Wales was recovering from an unsuccessful revolt against the English, led by Owain Glyndwr.

Llwyn Celyn was built as a 3-bay hall (making it larger than most houses at the time), perhaps for an aspiring late medieval Welsh gentleman farmer. The building still has its late medieval floorplan, with cross passage and service rooms, central hall and solar wing.

A rare survival

As the cutaway illustration shows, the hall was originally open to its fine, wind-braced roof structure. In the 17th-century, a first floor was inserted into the hall, together with a staircase and chimney. The house has hardly changed since, and it is a classic example of the early evolution of domestic architecture.

Over the centuries, Llwyn Celyn acquired all the outbuildings it needed for self-sufficiency. There is a threshing barn, beast house, cider mill and malt and wheat drying kilns.  The status of Llwyn Celyn gradually diminished over the centuries after it was built, and modernisation all but stopped. This unaltered state makes Llwyn Celyn special.

Telling the story

Llwyn Celyn sits on a hillside at the mouth of the Llanthony Valley – a place that has for centuries attracted poets, artist and romantics and witnessed the struggles between English and Welsh rule.  Our project will not just save the site, but also tell its history - the story of the people who inhabited it during times of political upheaval and agricultural change.  Landscape archaeologist David Austin has researched the history behind the features and forms of the landscape immediately surrounding Llwyn Celyn. You can read his full report here. The Llanthony Valley and District History Group are engaged in gathering and recording images, articles and sources.  These will be logged on their website.

Heritage at Work

 

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With the skilled hands of expert craftsmen, Llwyn Celyn will be sensitively repaired

Landmark’s plans encompass the complete repair of the farmhouse and the fine ancillary barns. Restoration began in April 2016. Extensive repairs and sensitive alterations are being carried out by expert craftsmen from local contractors IJ Preece. The project is providing training for apprentices and volunteers in traditional building skills.


Understanding the building

An extensive programme of research by a team of experts will continue throughout the project to understand more about the history and development of the building. This includes archaeology, structural analysis and documentary research. Among the outbuildings, we’ve identified a cider house, a grain drying kiln and a little malt kiln.

Bringing the project alive

Throughout the 2 year project we will be featuring the work of expert craftspeople and holding open days and study days. The Latest Updates page will carry links to blogs and reports from site.We will also be making a series of short videos. Our first video ‘Llwyn Celyn – A Philosophy of Repair’ reveals how, as a team, we created an over-arching statement or aim, which we can use as a guide during the course of the restoration and conservation project. The video shows how these aims are put to the test by a variety of factors.

Sign up for our regular project updates to be among the first to hear about what’s happening on site.- llwyncelyn@landmarktrust.org.uk 

Heritage at Work 2017 - call for volunteers

After our successful Heritage at Work volunteer weeks in 2016, we are pleased to announce two more weeks in 2017 – week commencing 22nd May and 18th September. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone wishing to learn heritage skills and to contribute to a live conservation project. Volunteers work with us for a whole week on a range of building and landscape conservation tasks. Expert training is given by Ty Mawr Lime, plus other visiting craft experts. Volunteers who are not local can stay in the bunk barn at Llanthony, in view of the wonderful priory ruins. For more information email us.– but be quick as we have limited places.

Llwyn Celyn Heritage at Work week round up - September 2016

September was a busy month at Llwyn Celyn with our second Heritage at Work week, including a study day and open day. Over 20 volunteers worked with us, including a group of Young Heritage Apprentices from the Prince's Foundation and students from as far afield as Canterbury, who benefitted from expert training from Ty Mawr Lime and Jordan Heritage Roofing. Stone walling was led by John Barber whose dog Todd once again took up the baton and acted as volunteer mascot and expert rat catcher!

We would like to thank all of those involved for their tremendous work, enthusiasm and efforts. Read the full report here. We hope to announce the dates for the next Heritage at Work week before Christmas.

Community

 

If you wish to view these pages in Welsh, please click here

Os carech chi weld y tudalennau hyn yn Saesneg - cliciwch yma


Llwyn Celyn Community

Landmark is creating an educational and exhibition space in the Threshing Barn and an interpretation room in the Beast House.  A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and partnerships with local organisations, enables us to organise training and volunteer programmes. Already, we have hosted the Llanthony Valley and District Hedging and Walling Match, open days for local residents and welcomed groups of students, architects and history groups on site to view the buildings prior to the start of the restoration and conservation work.

Throughout the project we will continue to welcome groups and individuals during volunteer, training and open days. This page will bring you the latest news from Llwyn Celyn and report back from our events and activities, plus an archive of past events and newsletters.

Sign up for our regular project updates to be among the first to hear about what’s happening on site.- llwyncelyn@landmarktrust.org.uk 

 

 Other Diary Dates for 2017

Study Day 22nd September– A day for professionals, students, homeowners looking in detail at the work we have completed so far. To book a place on the Study Day please click here to find out further information.

Open Day 23rd September – A family friendly day with demonstrators, artists and experts. Drop by any time and see the latest progress. Please note, access may be restricted to some parts of the site. 


 Llanthony Valley and District Show Hedging and Walling Match - October 2016

We were delighted to once again host the Hedging and Walling match at Llwyn Celyn.   The weather was a bit on the gloomy side, but this certainly didn’t dampen the competitive spirit of all those who took part.  Hedge layers picked up from where they left of last year, completing the next stretch of our boundary hedge.  Stone wallers began on a new section of wall, along the ancient trackway that leads up to the site from the Forest Coal Pit rd.  This trackway is no longer in use, but the wall has for centuries been an important landscape feature, which we are slowly repairing and in parts, rebuilding.

The day also welcomed a group of refugees from Swansea, organised and accompanied by Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees. These 'Away Days' are a life line for many people who are living a life in limbo in our towns and cities.  A day in the countryside is a wonderful remedy and an opportunity to meet friends, enjoy new scenery, develop language skills and in this case have a go at wood carving, spinning and stone walling.  You can read the report by HBTSR here.


Llwyn Celyn Heritage at Work week round up - September 2016

September was a busy month at Llwyn Celyn with our second Heritage at Work week, including a study day and open day. Over 20 volunteers worked with us, including a group of Young Heritage Apprentices from the Prince's Foundation and students from as far afield as Canterbury, who benefitted from expert training from Ty Mawr Lime and Jordan Heritage Roofing. Stone walling was led by John Barber whose dog Todd once again took up the baton and acted as volunteer mascot and expert rat catcher!

We would like to thank all of those involved for their tremendous work, enthusiasm and efforts. Read the full report here. We hope to announce the dates for the next Heritage at Work week before Christmas.


 Llwyn Celyn Heritage at Work week round up - June 2016

Kasia Howard (Engagement Officer) was busy overseeing school children, volunteers, craftspeople and more as they all participated in traditional craft skills and learnt about the historic site. Our enthusiastic volunteers wasted no time getting stuck in, participating in activities such as dry stone walling and repointing. The Study Day, a sold out event,  gave guests a chance to tour the site and talk with the project team about restoration, conservation and repair issues. 

For a full round up and more images of the activities please click here 


 The Llanthony Valley and District History Group

In August 2014, we started a local history project which has now become the Llanthony Valley and District History Group. The group is open to anyone interested in finding out more about the history of Llwyn Celyn, the Llanthony Valley and its landscape. The HLF grant also includes funding for the group to produce a guide book.

During monthly meetings participants discuss and share their interests. There are usually brief talks or presentations too.  Landmark's in-house Historian, Caroline Stanford is actively involved with the group. The group welcomes new members: contact local coordinator Pip Bevan pbevan@mokoro.co.uk for more details.

The Local History group celebrate the news of the HLF grant

The history group celebrate the news of our successful Heritage Lottery application in July 2015.


 Llanthony Valley & District Show Hedging and Walling Match

We were delighted to host the Llanthony Show's 2015 Hedging and Walling Match at Llwyn Celyn in October. Walling competitors had to complete a 2 metre section of wall to a height of 1.4m using a mixture of old stone from the original ruined wall and newly quarried local stone.  Hedging competitors had to lay 3 metres of hedge. The juvenile hedge, planted about 10 years ago was laid for the first time – and this traditional process will ensure that it matures to form a stock proof barrier, with plenty of new growth at the base.  

Competitors had 7 hours to complete their tasks – under the watchful eye of the judges.  The competition is not just about the end result, the process is judged too.   Glorious autumn sunshine warmed the valley and kept the competitors and spectators in good spirits. 

For the full round up story of the day including pictures and results please click here

Competitors at the walling match


Gwent Wildlife Trust

Gwent Wildlife Trust have been working with us to improve the enviroment around Llwyn Celyn making it a better place for our bat population, encouraging greater biodiversity and helping the site sit more comfortably in the landscape. Click here to find out about our hedge planting activities. 

Gwent Wildlife Trust has also been helping us to deliver schools workshops.  Their Strawberry Cottage Reserve is next door to Llwyn Celyn and is wonderful place to learn about the local flora and fauna.


Arts Alive Wales

PEAK is an initiative by Arts Alive Wales to bring contemporary art to the Brecon Beacons. Our programme of artist's residencies and events are part of the PEAK programme.  Click here to find out more about our artists.

 

 

Artists in Residence

 

If you wish to view these pages in Welsh, please click here

Os carech chi weld y tudalennau hyn yn Saesneg - cliciwch yma


Artists in Residence

Four artists and one writer have been commissioned to create new work in response to the restoration and conservation work at Llwyn Celyn.  Each will interpret the site in their own way, capturing the activity, history, processes and materials. 

The artists’ residencies are part of PEAK, an ongoing programme of Contemporary Art in the Black Mountains, organised by Arts Alive Wales in Crickhowell.

Latest Updates