We were honoured with a visit from our Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales to the Grade I listed Llwyn Celyn. The visit came on the same day as the Heritage Lottery Fund announced its initial support for Landmark’s rescue of the long-neglected 15th-century manor house in the Black Mountains.
His Royal Highness spent an hour touring the site, reaffirming his support for Landmark and our plans to restore one of the most remarkable late medieval houses in Wales. He was shown around the site by our Director, Dr Anna Keay, and met various members of the Landmark team as well as the house's previous owners.
Now in a state of dire disrepair, and in urgent need of restoration, Llwyn Celyn remains a rare example of a complete high status medieval manor house and farmstead. Scarcely changed since the 17th century, it has been continuously inhabited since the 1480s, the last occupants moving out only earlier this year.
We are delighted that the HLF have announced an initial support with a grant of £31,500 that will help us develop our proposals, leading to a second round grant application to the HLF for £2.5 million.
Our Director Anna Keay said: ‘Llwyn Celyn is a fragile treasure, a rare late medieval survival which is at risk of being lost. The house is of outstanding importance not just to Welsh and British heritage but also internationally. Thanks to the HLF, we now have a fantastic opportunity to develop detailed plans to restore the house and its historic setting. Its fabric has escaped modernisation and been kept fortuitously near-intact for centuries despite many years of decline. There is undoubtedly much fascinating material to discover about its history.’
Located in the Llanthony Valley, part of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Llwyn Celyn is a textbook case study of the development of the Welsh manor house, with fine ancillary barns. The house retains its original floor plan and much of its medieval joinery and decorative features including a carved passage screen and double headed ogee door heads with carved spandrels. Cadw and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority worked with us to secure a future for Llwyn Celyn, and in 2012 it was acquired by Landmark with joint grants from Cadw and the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
Following our restoration, Llwyn Celyn will be available for self-catering holidays for up to eight people, allowing visitors to experience the historic surroundings and scenery for themselves. The Old Barn and Threshing Barn will be adapted for interpretation and community use.
An extensive programme of research by a team of experts will now begin to understand still more about the history, development and current state of the building. This includes archaeology, structural analysis and documentary research. Local residents will also have the chance to contribute and learn new skills through a community history project.