Posted on 17 March 2010
Karen Armstrong (right) at Gregynog's construction site
Visitors to a new courtyard café and reception area at Gregynog Hall at Tregynon, near Newtown, will be welcomed by a dragon carved from Gregynog Estate wood above an oak entrance porch.
Karen Armstrong, Gregynog Hall’s director, is hoping to unveil the dragon and open the new Egon Ronay style courtyard café and reception area, which includes a shop, in time for Easter.
Work on the listed Grade II building includes reopening an original doorway and reinstating a walkway between the courtyard and the rear of the impressive black and white hall.
The reception area shop will focus on Welsh products and garden related themes, including Ewenny Pottery, which sisters Margaret and Gwendoline Davies collected when they lived at Gregynog Hall.
The hall was given to the University of Wales in 1960 by the late Ms Margaret Davies, granddaughter of Victorian tycoon David Davies of Llandinam. A major event is planned for May to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the deed of gift to the university.
Miss Armstrong is also seeking museum accreditation for the property, with the hope that some of the important works of art collected by the Davies sisters could return to Gregynog for exhibition.
Keen to raise the profile of Gregynog as a premier tourist attraction, she revealed that an estate admission fee, administered via a car parking charge of £2.50 a day, will be introduced this spring to help fund the upkeep and development of the property and its beautiful gardens and grounds.
“It’s a very exciting time for Gregynog Hall with a number of key developments in the pipeline,” said Miss Armstrong. “I believe this historic property has immense potential as a visitor attraction here in the heart of Wales.”
She is investigating the potential for a sustainable timber powered heating system for the hall, wants to develop the walled garden as an organic teaching centre for young people and raising environmental awareness on the 750-acre estate, where a Forest School has already been established.
For more press information please contact either Karen Armstrong, Director Gregynog Hall, on 01686 650224 or Duncan Foulkes, public relations consultant, on 01686 650818.