Helen Whitear

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Helen is an archaeologist who specialises in landscape and traditional buildings. She grew up in South and West Wales, studying at Trinity College Carmarthen and then Lampeter University, and has since worked in contract archaeology and heritage management in this area. She lives with her husband and two young children in a 19th Century (unlisted) terraced cottage near Llandeilo, work on which led to her particular interest in the intrinsic 'green' credentials of traditional buildings, and a firm belief that they are often misunderstood. She wants to show that better treatment of our older buildings can have environmental as well as cultural benefits, and dispel the idea that we have to choose between preserving them as impractical 'museum pieces' or modernising them out of all recognition. She is keen to raise awareness that our many wonderful traditional and vernacular buildings can form part of a solution to long term sustainability in Wales. 

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

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