the Abergavenny – Brecon area of South-East Wales
This Conference will be organised by the ‘Village Alive Trust’ in the Abergavenny area and by Jeremy Lake and Sam Hale in the Brecon area.
We have not visited South Wales as a group since 1987 and we are pleased to have the opportunity to visit this area within and around the edges of the Brecon Beacons National Park where there have been some exciting recent restorations of historic farm buildings, including for innovative new uses.
The Friday evening registration and welcome for delegates will begin in ‘Village Alive country’, about 3 miles north-east of Abergavenny. The Village Alive Trust (see www.villagealivetrust.org.uk) was founded in Monmouthshire in 2002 to help private owners obtain grants and access best practice to conserve the fabric of their historic buildings, retaining each for its original purpose as far as possible.
The Saturday programme will be based around Ty Mawr, near Llangorse Lake, about 6 miles south-east of Brecon and some 15 milies north-west of Abergavenny via the A40 and A479 along the Usk valley. The site retains the foundations of an impressilve manor, rebuilt in the 16th century and dramatically sited next to Langorse Lake. the manor hd been demolished by the late 19th century, but the Great Barn and other outbuildings remain. The current owners run a business producing traditional and historical building materials and courses on how to use them, including the use of lime for mortar and plaster. (see www.lime.org.uk/history-of-the-farm/ ). After lectures which include overviews of the heritage of farmsteads acoss Wales, longhouses and the issues for re-use, we shall look around the Ty Mawr farm buildings and manor. The afternoon visits will be to two contrasting farmsteads displaying a model courtyard layout, ranges of 17th century and earlier longhouse-type dwellings, together with a rare set of buildings erected by the then Minisitry of Agriculture when the farm was taken in hand by the government during the second world war.
The Sunday of the Conference will start at their latest completed project, Grade II* listed Croft Farm Barn, which is noted for illustrating the introduction of framed principals in a cruck-trussed structure. The barn was built in the early 1580s as confirmed by a dendrochronology survey carried out by RCAHMW and is mentioned in the classic: ‘Monmouthshire Houses’ by Fox & Raglan (1951-4) as “the Barn at Great Trerhiw, Llantilio Crossenny”. It was nearly derelict before restoration and it is planned for community use and a learning space for heritage and viticulture (the owners of the barn run White Castle Vineyard). (see www.wineandheritage.org.uk)
Evening meals will be provided on both the Friday and Saturday evenings and lunches on the Saturday and Sunday, as well as other refreshments, all within the cost of the Conference, but overnight accommodation will be on a ‘DIY’ basis. Ty Mawr has a campsite at around £5 a night - mail to . The Programme and booking form are attached and you are advised to book as soon as possible. as accommodation close to the venues may be difficult to obtain due to the popularity of the area for walking.