Work has begun on the Grade 1 listed building Llwyn Celyn in Wales that dates back to the late 15th century.
Located in the Black Mountains within Beacons National Park, the medieval hall house will be converted into self-catering holiday accommodation with the outbuildings converted to educational centres for use by the local community and general public.
Last year the Landmark Trust received £2.5M form the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore what is regarded by CADW, the Welsh government’s historic environment service, as one of the most remarkable surviving medieval buildings in Wales.
The grant, combined with the proceeds of over two years of fundraising efforts from the Landmark Trust, means the total cost of the restoration project is £4.2M.
Speaking on the award on the grant, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, Richard Bellamy, said: “This ambitious project is not simply about preserving a significant piece of Welsh history in the form of a medieval hall – it’s also about making the space a meaningful place for people today.
As well as providing a boost to local tourism, the project will give people opportunities to access the buildings and use the spaces to help people learn about heritage, gain new skills and support community events. We’re excited to continue working with the Landmark Trust on this fantastic project, and seeing the difference it will make when it’s completed.”
John C Goom Architects have been tasked with making sure Llywn Celyn retains its true spirit and historic character and revitalising the property’s farm buildings.
A new home has also been found for the native bats living there, with a ‘cave’ created within an outhouse.
The Main Contractors on the project will be IJ Preece. Managing Director, Jeremy Preece described the company’s involvement as the “icing on the cake” following work on other local landmarks in the area.
Mr Precce said: “”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.”
The Landmark Trust have been involved with Llwyn Celyn since being approached by CADW in 2007. The future of the building has been at risk for a number of decades and having fallen into severe disrepair in recent years.
The Trust acquired the site from its private owners in 2012 thanks to acquisition grants from CADW and the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
Following a development grant of over £30,000 in July 2014 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, experts have undertaken extensive research into the building using archaeology, structural analysis and documentary research.
Consultations have taken place on a wide range of areas for the building including bats, paint analysis, landscape and building archaeology, structural and quantity surveying.
The Landmark’s Trust Project Manager on Llwyn Celyn, Richard Burton, said: “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.”
Dr Anna Keay, Director of the Landmark Trust, commented: “Such remarkable historic buildings are irreplaceable. If no one intervenes then these rare buildings not only disappear forever from our landscape, but so do the stories that these sites tell us about the lives of our ancestors. By creating a new landmark, we ensure its survival for generations to come.”