Looking back at 2016

A year in review

2016 was a busy year for Landmark. 70,000 people stayed in our historic buildings, over 20,000 visited them for open days and over 100 charities applied for free stays in Landmarks as part of our 50 For Free scheme. We’ve rounded up some of the highlights, from the start of work on a tiny cottage high up in the Welsh hills to the launch a brand new membership scheme for the under 30s.

Focus on new buildings

In February, we renewed our commitment to save irreplaceable threatened historic buildings at a special event at St. James’s Palace hosted by our Patron HRH The Prince of Wales. We announced our intention to focus on challenging categories of buildings that contain threatened yet inspirational pieces of Britain’s past that the nation is in danger of losing forever.



Signal boxes across the country are in danger of being lost forever. Photo: James Wells


These categories are:

-    20th-century military structures such as control towers or bunkers
-    Small and significant industrial buildings
-    Seaside and leisure building such as pavilions and villas
-    Transport and communications structures like signal boxes
-    Remote and unchanged rural domestic houses and crofts
-    Buildings whose restoration may contribute to urban regeneration, especially in Midlands and Northern cities

You can read a full recap of the St. James's Palace event here.



Works begin at Llwyn Celyn

 After two years of fundraising from our own generous supporters, combined with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we were thrilled to finally begin work at Llwyn Celyn in May. The ambitious project, based in the Llanthony Valley in Monmouthshire, encompasses the repair and revitalisation of a whole complex of profoundly dilapidated historic buildings.

The Cider House and Cow Shed have been completely re-roofed, with salvaged stone tiles augmented by others newly cut in the next valley. The main house, now completely enclosed in secure scaffolding, has been stabilised using Cintec anchors drilled into the walls, some of them metres long.


The team on site at Llwyn Celyn

These works have been augmented by the enthusiasm of our wonderful volunteers at our two ‘Heritage at Work’ weeks. Working alongside experts, volunteers took part in a range of activities including dry stone walling and repointing. In a varied calendar of activities, over 300 people enjoyed expert talks, artist’s workshops and craft demonstrations as local friends and Landmark enthusiasts from further afield were welcomed to witness this evolving project.

Meet the team behind Llwyn Celyn here, or read more about our Heritage at Work weeks here.

Two new Landmarks


Casa de Mar, San Fruttuoso

In May, we were delighted to add Casa de Mar to our collection of Italian Landmarks. Nestled among the pine trees and olive groves in a cove on the Portofino Peninsula, the former fisherman’s cottage looks out over the roofs of a Benedictine Monastery and the Mediterranean Sea. It is perched high above the Abbey of San Fruttuso which dates to the 10th century and is managed by our partners, the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI).

For our 198th Landmark, we took on a classically-inspired pavilion designed by leading Georgian architect James Wyatt. The Birdhouse is nestled in woodland above an enchanting picturesque landscape in Shropshire. The folly was restored in the 90s by the Vivat Trust, who sadly went into liquidation in 2015. Following refurbishment and redecoration led by our crafts team, Wyatt’s little pavilion is once again available for holidays.


 The Birdhouse, Badger Dingle


We think these two buildings make excellent additions to Landmark’s panoply of buildings and we hope to reach our 200th building in the next few years…

Casa de Mar sleeps 4 and is available to book from £42 per person per night. Click here to book your stay.
The Birdhouse sleeps 2 and is available to book from £34 per person per night. Click here to book your stay.

Cobham Dairy

We turned our attention to another Wyatt building in October. Cobham Dairy, standing derelict in the grounds of Cobham Hall in Kent, is our latest fundraising appeal. The 19th-century Dairy was conceived to represent a tiny Italianate chapel topped with a bell tower, and with four corner pavilions. Its picturesque exterior concealed living quarters for a Dairymaid and a central dairy, whose exceptional plasterwork and finishes make it as suited to aristocratic tea parties as to butter production.


Cobham Dairy, Kent

We’ve already made a flying start to fundraising thanks our supporters.  Donations have so far totalled over £110,000 which will be matched by our generous insurers, Ecclesiastical Insurance, bringing the total raised to £220,000. You can find out more about the project here, including a tour of the dairy with Landmark Director Anna Keay and Landmark Ambassador George Clarke.

Young Landmarkers


The Young Landmarkers launch event inside the historic 13 Princelet Street

September saw the launch of Young Landmarkers, our new membership scheme for those aged between 18 and 29. For £25 per year, members receive access to exclusive booking offers, complimentary merchandise and invitations to social events. We officially launched the scheme at 13 Princelet Street, our Landmark in Spitalfields. Scores of young professionals, including those from Historic Scotland and the Victorian Society, mingled with others from broader cultural institutions such as the V&A and Tate.

We’re busy planning events, offers and more for 2017 and we can’t wait to share details.

Work begins at Coed y Bleiddiau

Work began at Coed y Bleiddiau, a small 19th-century cottage on the Ffestiniog Railway in the Snowdonia National Park. Our surveyor is overseeing a sixty-week programme of repair and restoration with a completion date of December 2017. Once finished, this little Landmark high up in the hills will sleep four.


Coed y Bleiddiau

When spring arrives the team on site will move onto clearing debris from the house and removing polystyrene wall linings and rotten flooring. We’re already started making some interesting discoveries on site, including a newspaper dated 1919 that was under the floor of the future ground floor bedroom. To read the full story, click here.