Old House Clinic

33% of our current housing stock in Wales is of ‘traditional’ (ie solid-walled) construction, so we know that about one in three people in Wales live in an old building. In rural areas this percentage is likely to be slightly higher, with many buildings that are still homes today surviving from the 19th Century and earlier. We know that living in an older building comes with a particular set of challenges, but as these buildings are such important parts of our communities and our cultural identity, ABC want to support people who live in one in making the best choices about their care, repair and maintenance.

In May 2017 ABC held a day which focused on the difficulties participants were facing with their old buildings.

With support from The Lime Company of West Wales (TLC) four old properties were visited with their owners during the day, and a fifth old building was reviewed through photographs provided by the owner. Cliff Blundell of TLC joined the group touring the old properties, providing his assessment and recommendations for appropriate actions in each case.

Over the years, so many traditional buildings have suffered from inappropriate treatment. From visiting these four local buildings during ABC’s Old House Clinic it was clear to participants that small changes in maintenance and materials could make a huge difference to the health and upkeep of the buildings. Everyone involved reported that the course had changed their views for the better on traditional buildings and many felt that they would use the knowledge and pass information on to friends and family.

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