The Natural Building Centre

Y Ganolfan Adeiladu Naturiol.

The 1498 hall house.

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We have here at Plas Tirion an even older house than the main Elizabethan hall.  It’s an oak cruck framed hall house dendro dated three years ago by the Discovering Old Welsh Houses group to 1498.  It may have fallen out of residential use when the main house was built, possibly acting as a domestic service building.  It has been adapted and altered over the years, with a cow Byrne and pigsty built alongside it in the C19th, but the main body of the house although now stone clad and truncated still has many early features, including the original oak cruck frame.  A local archaeological group has been excavating the floor and have made some interesting discoveries including a William and Mary coin from 1695 and the remains of an C18th grain drying kiln.  This fits in with a reference in an old letter from the 1920’s which mentions the Old Brewhouse.  The archaeological work has been rained off this winter but we hope to get back out there this month. Plans for the full restoration for the building are being drawn up, and in future it will become accommodation for our courses. When work gets underway later this year, we will be using the building as a training aid for this year’s courses, providing hands on experience of traditional building methods.

 

 

Limewashing on a bright spring day.

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We originally limewashed the oak windows which are now a silvery grey and we applied a slurry coat and then five coats of limewash to the walls and chimneys. So, bright limewashed walls, the first spring flowers and a reminder of how the house looked before work began.

Digging up the drive for the third time

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Its been a beautifully warm month, the garden is growing, the bees are increasing and we are thinking of winter comfort.  By the beginning of autumn Plas Tirion will be warm throughout, for the first time in its five hundred years.  We will have to monitor the interior timbers for inevitable movement.

Bees and plants for pollinators

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With the help of the grant we planted up the old slate trough with bee friendly plants and added cowslips to the Mirabelle orchard that we planted last year.  After building a stand this weekend the hives are all set up and waiting for their new inhabitants, a good spot above a small stream in newly planted woodland, in the shade of sycamores.