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Project begins on Victorian workhouse restoration

By Sue Austin | Llanfyllin | News | Published:

Work is underway to restore the historic Master's House at Llanfyllin's Victorian workhouse.

Scaffolding has gone up on the building thanks to Tanat Valley Scaffolding and now the stonework of the three-storey building is being re-pointed, using traditional lime mortar.

The work was due to start in the summer but had to be postponed because of the presence of long-eared bats in the roof space.

John Hainsworth, workhouse trustee, said: "The Llanfyllin Dolydd Building Preservation Trust plans to complete the roof repairs by the end of the year to secure the building’s future. More funds are needed to restore and fit out the interior so that the spaces can be brought fully back into use."

He said that the next stage will be to remove the roof covering, repair the joists and battens, replace the Welsh slates and install the new cupola that will crown the building.

Scaffolding around the Master's House

Funding has come from bodies including the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Pilgrim Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation and Cadw, while online fundraising and the Sponsor a Slate Appeal have brought in more than £4,000. Last month’s Food fair raised a further £713 for the appeal.

Mr Hainsworth said earlier this month Level Three trainees spent time at the Workhouse as part of a course in Heritage Roofing arranged by the Wales National Roofing Training Group, based at Caerphilly.

"They had travelled from as far as Newcastle and Cornwall. The roof of the octagonal Master’s House is complex and an especially fine example for study. The contractor, Richard Stephenson from Llanrhaeadr YM, demonstrated slating in diminishing courses as well as the mixing of lime mortar, whilst ecologist Dr Mike Worsfold explained the rules around bat conservation. A second group of trainees is expected later in the month."

Mr Hainsworth said that more funds were needed to restore and fit out the interior so that the spaces can be brought fully back into use.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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