Coed y Bleiddiau – bookings open March 2018
After eighteen months of repair and restoration in all weathers, Coed y Bleiddiau, a former railway superintendent’s cottage on the Ffestiniog Railway is nearing completion. It was built in 1863, almost halfway along the 40-mile stretch of narrow gauge track railway which carried slate from Blaenau Ffestiniog, once the largest slate mine in the world, down to Porthmadog harbour.
Our team have undertaken the painstaking process of repairing original joinery and retaining timber which might have been condemned as beyond repair. The repair of the Victorian porch and the creation of a new kitchen took place in our workshop, thanks to our talented craftsmen, Mark Smitten and Luke Rose. Furnishings manager John Evetts has been planning how to best evoke the cottage’s rich history through its interior decoration.
It’s a magical Landmark, not just a fragment of a bygone age, but one with contemporary resonance: Welsh narrow gauge railways were immortalised in the children’s TV classic Ivor the Engine, and the railway is today a popular tourist attraction. A break in this idyllic spot on the slopes of the hillside is a world away from the overcrowded industrial towns and cities which once relied upon its slate to build houses and factories.
Coed y Bleiddiau sleeps 4 and will cost from £240 for four nights, equivalent to £15 per person per night. Bookings will open to Patrons on 20 February, Friends on 24 February and to everyone on 3 March.
Llwyn Celyn – bookings open June/July 2018
Covered in scaffolding for ten years, Llwyn Celyn now shines like a beacon at the mouth of the Llanthony Valley as we prepare to open this fascinating house for bookings in July. One of the mysteries of our largest restoration project to date has been the date of the building. Timber dating through oxygen isotope analysis has given us a date of 1420-21, some sixty years earlier than we thought, and places its construction soon after the disruptions of Owain Glyndwr’s rebellion against the English Crown.
As for our own works of reconstruction, the main house is fully weathertight once more. All the roofs on site are now nearly complete, most in hand-dressed stone tiles supplied from a local quarry. You can watch some of the roofing techniques in one of our training videos:
Llwyn Celyn’s bats have also officially taken up residence in their new, bespoke quarters in the Cider House. Work will forge on through the spring and we are confident Llwyn Celyn will be finished by early autumn 2018.
Llwyn Celyn sleeps 8 and will cost from £1,024 for four nights, equivalent to £32 per person per night. Bookings will be released on 30 June to Friends and 7 July to everyone.
2019 bookings release dates
We’ll be releasing online bookings for the second half of 2019 for Astley Castle, Belmont, The Birdhouse, Clavell Tower and Martello Tower to Landmark Friends at 9am on Saturday 24 February and to everyone at 9am on Saturday 3 March. Patrons will be able to book by phone and online from 20 February.
Fundraising appeals - Fairburn Tower and Winsford Cottage Hospital
One of Scotland’s finest tower houses stands alone in countryside outside Inverness, virtually floorless and roofless. In 2018 we will launch our appeal to save Fairburn Tower from ruin. Many features of the imposing 16th-century building still remain, such as its vaulted undercroft with intact gunports, turnpike stairs and later stair tower, bartizans (or roof turrets), fireplaces and floor-ways.
This is an ambitious project but one with potential to become a wonderful Landmark. Keep an eye on our website in the spring for more details.
In 2018 we are also hoping to complete fundraising for Winsford Cottage Hospital, a unique example of an unaltered, purpose-built Victorian cottage hospital designed by the brilliant C.F.A. Voysey. Once restored, the main spaces of the building will become a comfortable and welcoming Landmark for six, while four rooms in the east wing will be set aside for community use. Help us raise £170,000 in the next 6 months to save this extraordinary building.
Works to start at Cobham Dairy and Dunshay Manor
Dunshay Manor in Dorset
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were able to raise nearly £1 million to save the exquisite Cobham Dairy in Kent. We can now press ahead with plans to start work in early 2018, and return this Grade II* model to a form that its designer James Wyatt would recognise.
We are also preparing to embark on another restoration project: Dunshay Manor in Dorset, down a lane just beyond Corfe Castle. Bequeathed to us over a decade ago by renowned sculptor Mary Spencer Watson, the house has undergone a great deal of repair work over the past four years. Now we will undertake the final phase of repair to make it a Landmark. This Grade II* manor house dates back to the late-16th century, with an Arts and Crafts refresh undertaken in the early 20th century. We know Dunshay Manor will make a wonderful family-sized Landmark and we will bring you more news once we start work in the summer.
Handbook survey – please contribute
In 2018 we intend to publish a new version of our Handbook; the 26th edition of this much-loved publication. If you use the Handbook we would like to read your feedback, for instance on the information within it you find most useful. The survey takes 5 minutes to complete at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LTHB2018 and will be open until 4 February.