We are honoured and delighted that our Patron HRH The Prince of Wales today visited our current restoration project, Llwyn Celyn. The Prince first visited the site in July 2014, and returned to celebrate the craftsmanship involved in its restoration.
The Prince has been our Patron since 1993 and this visit is the latest in a series of occasions which have marked his support of, and enthusiasm for, our work.
Located at the southern end of the Llanthony Valley in the Black Mountains, the Grade-I listed Llwyn Celyn was built in 1420 and has barely changed since around 1600. Possibly a prior’s house, it is rich in exceptional medieval features yet it was in a desperately perilous state of disrepair when it first came to our attention. With water from the hillside pouring through the house, it had been shrouded in emergency scaffolding for more than a decade.
Guided by our chairman Neil Mendoza, director Anna Keay and building surveyor and Llwyn Celyn project manager Richard Burton, The Prince toured the site and met craftsmen, key representatives from our contractors IJ Preece led by contracts manager Richard Williams and including joiners, masons and apprentices. He also met project architect John Goom and a representative from the Heritage Lottery Fund, who contributed £2.5 million of National Lottery money towards the £4.2million project cost.
The Prince admired the fine medieval features throughout the house, which in 2014 were barely identifiable; obscured by centuries of decline, but now carefully revealed and restored to their former glory following two years of restoration work. At the rear of the house The Prince planted a fruit tree as a lasting legacy of his support for the project.
Previously The Prince has shown his ongoing support for Landmark on several occasions, most recently by inviting us to attend his 70th birthday Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in May 2018 which celebrated his many patronages and the work they do. In February 2016 The Prince hosted a reception at St James’s Palace for a group of our supporters, at which we announced our plans to focus on particularly at-risk building types, and in June 2015 he visited our apartment in the farmhouse of Hougoumont in Waterloo, Belgium during centenary celebrations of the Battle of Waterloo. In January 2014 he visited Maesyronnen Chapel, only 20 miles from Llwyn Celyn, in November 2005 he hosted a fundraising event at Clarence House, and in November 2004 he both met craftsmen during the restoration of The Grange in Kent and Landmarkers for tea at Dolbelydr in Denbighshire.
The late-medieval house is accompanied by several ancillary farming outbuildings, whose restoration is still underway. Bookings for stays in Llwyn Celyn open on Saturday 7 July, and the whole site will formally open in the early autumn when it will become our milestone 200th Landmark.