Back from the brink with a landmark project
building rescue. On the edge of the Brecon Beacons, it’s an Aladdin’s cave of historic craftsmanship, materials and artefacts. It also celebrates what Landmark does best: taking on extreme conservation challenges. From the outset, rain poured through a gap between the pitched gable roofs, and during a downpour a stream would run across one of the rooms.
“The roofs didn’t slope into each other, as they would today,” explains architect John Goom. “It was as if the carpenters making the timber-framed roof didn’t talk to the stone masons making the walls.” When the crucible-shaped home was windowless, the howling wind would have swept through, drying it. But as it was gradually enclosed, dampness built up between the inner and outer walls.
The crumbling shell told a story of a building that had been battered by the elements but was still standing. The muddy hillside had slipped over the centuries against one outer wall, and the pressure caused the doors, windows and walls to twist. “However, it was remarkable in its completeness,” says Goom. “The roof timbers were in surprisingly good condition.”
The original fireplace had been in the centre of the hall and the smoke would wind its way out through the gaps in the ceiling. Even though the hearth was later moved, the timber above remains blackened. The remnants of sandbags were discovered and a pair of shoes from the 17th century were found concealed under the eaves, most likely to ward off witches. They have been put back in their hiding place – you can never be too careful.
No one knows who the property was built for, but it’s assumed to be someone of status and attached to the nearby Llanthony Priory.
The remote valley was ravaged by plague, and was caught up in the Welsh uprising led by rebel Owain Glyndŵr
Inside Llwyn Celyn, which costs £909 for a four night stay