Grass Roots Heritage: Community Workshops and Events 2017

During 2017 ABC ran a series of community events 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 Mapping Programme helped to inform the focus of the workshops and events throughout the year. 

A Celebration of Historic Myddfai 

In March 2017, Adfer Ban a Chwm hosted a day of talks, walks and activities in Myddfai Community Hall. The event aimed to encourage sharing and recording of the lived histories of local buildings within Myddfai community. It also aimed to help local people whose homes are old buildings keep them in good condition, and cosy during the winter. Throughout the day people dropped in to hear from speakers on traditional buildings, and meet with heritage professionals from Dyfed Archaeological Trust (DAT), as well as sharing their own stories and memories of the area.

With local historic maps provided by DAT, visitors were able to search for their homes and spot the differences in the landscape, buildings and place-names. A short talk was given about the local Historic Environment Record, a publically accessible database which is held and maintained by DAT. The talks showed people how to access this resource as well as contribute to it. If you'd like to learn more about the Historic Environment Record, contribute to it yourself, or find out about the wider work of DAT please visit their website at www.dyfedarchaeology.org.uk

Nell Hellier, Project Officer with ABC and Tywi Centre Manager, gave informative talks on the best ways to maintain your own historic home. Tips included how to deal with damp and drafts, advice on how to make old homes cosier, as well as some suggestions for best practice in repairs and maintenance on older buildings.

Adfer Ban a Chwm's landscape archaeologist and executive director Helen Whitear led a guided walk through Myddfai village and surrounding landscape. The walk took in Myddfai Parish Church and many old buildings which are still homes, and looked at the broader landscape history of the area with reference to visible historic landscape features. Helen undertook ABC's Historic Landscape Mapping Programme during 2016 and 2017, which identified over 200 previously unrecorded derelict and abandoned buildings, just in the western (Carmarthenshire) area of BBNP. The walk took in some of the buildings recorded during the mapping programme that were once homes, many of which are now 'lumps and bumps', forgotten in fields and by the roadside. Helen discussed the value of our rapidly disappearing abandoned buildings, as a resource for understanding Wales' cultural past, and also spoke of their direct relevance to the modern need for sustainability in building materials and practice. 

"I've heard some fascinating stories today which show how important these small buildings are to our local heritage. I think we need to shout louder about how important they are to the wider history and culture of Wales before they disappear completely and it's too late" Helen Whitear, Executive Director ABC.

Our thanks to Myddfai Community Hall for hosting the event, to project partners Dyfed Archeological Trust, and to the Tywi Centre, and to all those who came along to learn and share their memories and stories with us. 

 

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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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