Aberglasney 26

Llangathen, Wales

Brief Description

After an extended period of neglect the house and gardens were taken over by a restoration trust in the 1990s, highly publicised, excavated and extensively restored using modern designers including Penelope Hobhouse and Hal Moggridge.

History

Bishop Rudd acquired an earlier property and built 'a handsome seat' here from 1600, including an elaborate Cloister Garden in rustic style. Neglect in the 20th century brought house and gardens to the point of dereliction until rescued by the Aberglasney Restoration Trust.

Visitor Facilities

The site is open daily (except 25 December). http://www.aberglasney.org/index.php?page=times_and_prices

Detailed Description

The earliest elements are a gatehouse, associated foundations and decorative roadway of the 16th century. South of this is an arcaded court, of uncertain origin and very modified. Archaeology has dated this to the period 1600 to 1630, during the ownership of Bishop Rudd and his son Sir Rice. The house lay to its east and the forecourt to the north was flanked by a yew hedge; the branches later swept down to form a tunnel. The owners from the late-17th century for a century were the Dyers, one of whom was the poet John. By the late-18th century a terrace walk was established atop the arcade and two walled areas and a pond had appeared. In the 19th century major additions were made to the house and a drive was formed from gates at the entrance off the road to the north-east, across the north face of the house and round the west and south sides of the house to service areas. Informal woodland walks were created. After an extended period of neglect the house and gardens were taken over by a restoration trust in the 1990s, highly publicised, excavated and extensively restored using modern designers including Penelope Hobhouse and Hal Moggridge.
Features
  • Topiary
  • Avenue
  • Description: The yew tunnel is one of Aberglasney's most celebrated features. A row of yew trees initially planted as a hedge was trained to form a tunnel by bending the upper branches to the ground where they have taken root. Until recently this feature was often described as of great antiquity but dendrochronology revealed an age of not more than 250 years. By the 1990s the neglected yews had grown as tall as the house but a programme of pruning over several years has restored it to its 19th-century appearance.
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  • Gatehouse
  • Description: To the north-west of the house is a rectangular tower formerly part of a longer range of buildings. It resembles the gatehouse at Corsygeddol, Gwynedd. The passage through the archway is paved in diaper pattern resembling that in the Cloister Garden at Aberglasney. The ruined gatehouse tower is believed to have been retained in the 18th century as a garden folly.
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  • Aviary
  • Description: A series of six brick-built aviaries with iron-bar cages was built to house ornamental pheasants. Later they accommodated hounds, but fell into disrepair until restored in 2004.
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  • Pool
  • Description: The stone-edged rectangular pool to the west of the Cloister Garden, sometimes referred to as the stewpond, appears in the Ordnance Survey map of 1887. The Tithe Map of 1840 also shows a pool on this site, and it is probably of much more ancient origin.
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  • Ornamental Fountain
  • Description: A sunken garden newly created in a former farmyard area centres on a stainless steel hemisphere in a rectangular pool designed by William Pye.
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  • Arch
  • ery Ground
  • Description: A depression in the North Lawn marks the site of the Victorian archery butt. In her youth Aberglasney's heiress Mary Anne Emily Jane Pryse (born 1849) was a proficient archer and took part in many local archery competitions.
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  • Glasshouse
  • Description: The ruined servants' wing and central courtyard have been glazed over to create a 'winter garden' named the Ninfarium featuring exotic plants tolerant of temperatures greater than 6? Celsius.
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  • House (featured building)
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Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

The site is open daily (except 25 December). http://www.aberglasney.org/index.php?page=times_and_prices

Directions

Just off the A40, East of Carmarthen. Brown signs from Llandeilo, A48 etc.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Llangathen
History

Detailed History

Bishop Rudd acquired an earlier property and built 'a handsome seat' here from 1600, including an elaborate Cloister Garden in rustic style. Subsequent families modified the house around 1720 and in the 1840s. Neglect in the 20th century brought house and gardens to the point of dereliction until rescued by the Aberglasney Restoration Trust which was formed in 1994. The spectacular restoration process was the subject of the popular BBC2 series 'A Garden Lost in Time' and the garden opened to the public in July 1999.
Associated People
Contact

Telephone

01443 336000

Official Website

Click Here

Owners

  • Aberglasney Restoration Trust

References

References

Contributors

  • Penny David