The Natural Building Centre

Y Ganolfan Adeiladu Naturiol.

Taking it down before it falls down.

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The cottage has an original oak cruck frame, hidden beneath a later stone and slate tiled construction. The original house was almost certainly thatched, with an open central hearth and no chimney. The later added chimney was completely hidden from view beneath vegetation. The slates are laid in random diminishing courses, they will be carefully measured, numbered, removed and stacked in courses for eventual replacement in their original position.

A race against Spring.

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The remains of the original gardens exists as a top terrace and lower garden surrounded by tall dry stone walls, slowly being repaired in sections, and filled with rough grass, brambles and nettles. There are two blocked up doorways at each bottom corner, and two perfectly aligned entrances to the left and right of the house on the top terrace.

With the help of the small people we have cleared the top, created a gravel terrace, dug beds, and planted an avenue of crab apples, cordon apple trees, and started training espalier pears.

In April we will repair the bottom section of wall and put back the old wrought iron gate that came from the long overgrown entrance to the old driveway.

Faces from the past

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You may only know Ned through his work at NBC, but he continues his work as a conservator. This wall monument to Bridgett Kinaston came from St Oswalds Church in Malpas, Shropshire. It was removed to our workshop for extensive repairs and has now been reinstated in the Church.

A date for your diary

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We are bringing together such an interesting  group of people for the festival, who will each be demonstrating their unique skills throughout the weekend.  Some are friends met through our own work repairing the fabric of historic houses, other we knew by reputation, all work to a high degree of skill, often in workshops or on top of buildings, out of view.  At the festival we will have the chance to enjoy seeing how roofs are thatched using reed and heather, watching an axe being struck from a billet of tool steel, pots thrown, bowls turned, baskets woven and a small  timber framed house, specially made for the show being lifted and pegged together.  For the full list of exhibitors take a look here…

http://www.conwyfeast.com/art/traditional-skills/

Adrian FareyRichard JordanMandy CoatesSarah Berry

Our Autumn/Winter opening hours

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Early October 2014 017

As the mornings and the evenings get darker we shorted our opening hours and carry on repairing the house.  Gutters need adding to the porch and the room that the bursary students and the lime course students started needs finishing.  We are using cork plaster here for the first time to add insulation.  We are planning more work to the garden, now that the low retaining walls have been completed in the front we will add a row of espalier crab apple trees between the top terrace and (what we hopefully call) the meadow.  Soft fruit will be planted this autumn and more bulbs.  Tulips and aliums for next spring and 200 native daffodil bulbs to go into the newly planted woodland above the house.