Bringing together a team for a project is directed by the nature of the site itself and by our aspirations for it. A vast range of defects and problems exist at Llwyn Celyn, and because each building will be put to a slightly different end use, the project requires a careful understanding and grasp of a range of conservation, restoration, ecology and access issues, coupled with a sympathetic and creative approach to their re-use. The site is also on a steep slope, with water running down the hillside and through all the buildings - creating a whole other set of challenges. Indeed, this project is arguably one of our most ambitious to date.
The team who will be responsible for the work need to be fully synchronised in order to ensure that schedules are stuck to and that work progresses in tune with the seasons (crucial when working with materials like lime mortar), whilst also allowing flexibility for those inevitable 'unknowns.' Working with old buildings demands that you embrace discovery, often when you least expect (or need) it.
John C Goom Architects have cleverly conceived the re-use of all the buildings on site, breathing new life into utilitarian farm buildings, and ensuring the wonderful medieval hall house retains its true spirit and character whilst donning a new layer of comfort and warmth. Even the bats have been accommodated in a new 'cave' within an outhouse. John C Goom Architects were founded in 1994 and are widely experienced in conservation, repair and adaptation of historic buildings.
"Whether it is repair, conservation or new design, we believe it should be done honestly and creatively, with an appreciation of the inherent qualities of character, history and place and the social and cultural context."
A family run business since 1961, IJ Preece are our main contractor, and are well known in the local area, having worked on a range of projects in the Welsh Marches, Monmouthshire and Powys. Their first project for Landmark was St. Winifred's Well in the 1980s. They also carry out regular maintenance on a number of Landmarks but being awarded the Llwyn Celyn project is definitely the "icing on the cake." Jeremy Preece heads the Company as Managing Director:
"Each new conservation project tends to throw out its own particular new challenges and we derive great satisfaction from having a talented skill base that can meet these challenges with enthusiasm and diligence. At the close of our conservation projects, it gives us great pleasure to look back and feel we have been part of a history by helping to extend the life and usefulness of that particular buildings."
IJ Preece employs 28 craftsmen, ranging from carpenters to electricians. Supporting young apprentices is an important part of the company's ethos. Richard Williams will be our Contract Manager and John Preece our Project Foreman. We look forward to working with them and their team at Llwyn Celyn.
The Landmark Trust team have been engaged with Llwyn Celyn for many years, since CADW first approached us in 2007. It has taken the dedicated attention of our Head of Business Operations, our Historian, our Regional Surveyor, the Fundraising team and the Marketing and Communications team to be where we are now. Many hours have been spent pouring over plans and applications, and drawing together expert advice and analysis. External consultants covering diverse areas of expertise such as bats, paint analysis, landscape and building archaeology, structural and quantity surveying, have been called in to help us to create a scheme that satisfies many levels of interrogation by other experts and meets our own exacting standards.
With all our consents now in place - and as work moves on to its next exciting phase - key staff will stay with the project to its completion.
Richard Burton, our Project Manager, will manage the project for Landmark. He will have an overview of the entire works ensuring that the end result befits our aspirations.
“The restoration and repair of Llwyn Celyn is one of Landmark’s most ambitious projects. It is currently in a very precarious state, supported by scaffolding and exposed to the elements, but we absolutely believe it is worth intervening before it disappears from the Welsh landscape and the nation’s history forever.”
Richard will be aided by Project Co-ordinator Jane Lockwood-Taylor.
Kasia Howard will organise volunteers, students, visiting groups and artists in residence to name but a few, to ensure that the Llwyn Celyn project is an opportunity to share knowledge, encourage the next generation of heritage enthusiasts and train young apprentices.
Caroline Stanford, our Historian, will continue to research and investigate the site, engaging with other professionals such as Archaeologists.
John Evetts and our in-house furnishing and crafts team will carefully bring the furniture and fittings in the medieval house and ensure authenticity and comfort welcomes all those who visit Llwyn Celyn.
Keep up with all the latest updates on our Llwyn Celyn page
Follow our Llwyn Celyn Facebook and Pinterest pages for photos and stories from the site