Petitions appealing to the Welsh Government to buy Pen y Bryn for the Nation

Two petitions have recently appeared on the internet appealing to the Welsh Government to buy the manor house at Pen y Bryn for the nation.   The assumptions underlying these petitions arise from statements posted on the Facebook page ‘Protect and Preserve Garth Celyn’ and a linked website.

Many of the signatories to these petitions, particularly those from overseas, may be unaware of the protection afforded to historic buildings in Wales which offers reassurance to those concerned at any potential threat to Pen y Bryn. They may also be unaware of recent archaeological work in Abergwyngregyn which throws light on the likely site of the court or ‘llys’ of the Welsh Princes.

It has been suggested that Pen y Bryn is threatened by inappropriate development.  However, the house is protected by law as a Grade II* listed building http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/historicenvironment/protection/buildconservation/?lang=en on the grounds of its importance as a fine 15th-16th century Welsh manor house.   Any work to the structure or any of its internal fixtures and fittings would require listed building consent.   In the case of this category of listing, any such permission would only be granted if the applicant can show that the proposed changes have no detrimental impact on the historic or architectural importance of the house or site.   There is therefore no question of inappropriate development being allowed at Pen y Bryn.

Reference has been made on the ‘Protect and Preserve Garth Celyn’ Facebook page and in the press to the purchase of the land adjacent to Pen y Bryn (part of which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and so protected) by a ‘Bahraini business man’.   In fact, the new owner of this land is British, lives in Abergwyngregyn and is a well-integrated and well-liked member of the village community.

The rationale for the petitions is based on the claim that Pen y Bryn is the undisputed site of the court or llys of the Welsh Princes.   The evidence supporting this claim is based on local tradition and myth and on a controversial interpretation of local place names.   However, there is significant archaeological evidence to support the suggestion that a nearby site on the western side of the Afon Aber was the site of the llys.   For an account of the excavation of this site in 2010 and of the artefacts uncovered, together with a balanced assessment of the evidence for the actual site of the llys of the Welsh Princes, click here to go to the Snowdonia National Park website.

 

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The village is in Showdonia National Park, at junction 13 of the A55. There is free parking at the bottom of the village and paid parking nearer the falls.

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