Back from the brink with a land­mark project

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Heritage -

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

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