Background - Welsh Community and Heritage 

Adfer Ban a Chwm was set up as a building preservation trust concerned with two issues: the large number of derelict vernacular stone buildings in the western end of the Brecon Beacons plus the growing need for affordable housing for local families.

In this area, there are a great many derelict vernacular buildings slowly falling into disrepair and taking with them the history, heritage, culture and stories of their communities. Over the years it has become clear that people have had to leave their communities because they cannot compete for homes on the open market or have had to move in with relatives or friends in order to remain.

During the 30 years that the founders of ABC were restoring and living in a watermill and its associated buildings in the Brecon Beacons, they watched both of these issues grow. Until finally, they decided to see if they could combine these two critical problems and come up with a solution that would save the communities from becoming depleted due to the lack of housing while at the same time saving the built environment from disappearing. In June 2008 they set up ABC to operate within the Brecon Beacons National Park (initially in Carmarthenshire and Powys), to restore these derelict stone buildings and, if appropriate, turn them into affordable homes for local families, and if not, turn them into some other community use.

ABC’s vision links together community, regeneration, heritage, history, culture, environment, sustainability, employment, and the revival of local building skills.

During 2017 ABC ran a series of community events and workshops as part of our Grass Roots Heritage Project.  These events were focused around Myddfai and Llanddeusant in the north-western corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The many abandoned traditional buildings which came to light during our Historic Landscape Mapping Programme, helped to inform the focus of the workshops and events throughout the year.

The last year has been an amazing opportunity to celebrate and share this very local heritage. It’s been really good to take time to appreciate some of the fascinating hidden histories which are right on our doorsteps, but which are often overshadowed by ‘big heritage’ like castles and stately homes. Our community events meant we met lots of new people and were able to provide support and advice about looking after older buildings that survive in this part of rural Wales, and also hopefully inspire those involved in the project about the rich cultural heritage that these small abandoned buildings represent. Adfer Ban a Chwm worked with over twenty volunteers who helped to record some of the buildings identified through our mapping programme, and talked to many local people throughout the project and at our five key events.

See our news section and project pages for more information

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Copyright © Adfer Ban a Chwm (ABC)

Felin Uchaf, Llanddeusant, Llangadog, Carms. SA19 9UH
helenw@abcwales.org.uk

Charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Company no 6591116. Charity no 1124385