The Natural Building Centre

Y Ganolfan Adeiladu Naturiol.

Book your place for our free CPD event

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The technical team from Ty Mawr Lime will be joining us at Glasdir for a CPD on their award winning LABC registered breathable, sustainable, insulation systems for roofs, walls and floors.  Please look at our training and events page for more details and how to book your free place.

Safeguarding Cwmorthin, an abandoned village near Blaenau.

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Tai Llyn is a terrace of  quarrymens cottages from the 1860s, slowly tumbling down.  The cottages were built to house workers for the Cwmorthin slate quarry, which is located to west of Tanygrisiau.  Quarrying started here in 181o and in 1860 it was connected to the Ffestiniog Railway. It was once home to around 200 people but was finally abandoned in the 1940’s.

A community group from Blaenau are applying for a Heritage Lottery grant to consolidate this unique site which includes two chapels, cottages and an older farmhouse.  The buildings are deteriorating fast and funding is needed to halt the decline before the historic village disappears forever.  Ned visited this week, catching the valley in the sunshine, to give advice about beginning a plan to manage the consolidation of the terrace.  Its a good walk if you would like to follow the work in progress.

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St Michaels Church, Betws y coed

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This month we are repainting the interior of the Church, using white breathable Claypaint, to be ready for the candlelit carol service on 29th December.  Although some electric lighting was added several years ago the church is lit by candles during services.  It is a very peaceful and atmospheric Church, the oldest building in Betws y coed, and worth visiting to see the lifesized stone effigy of Gruffydd ap Dafydd Goch who died c 1365.

The weather we’ve been having

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Its mid November and one of our last weeks of outside lime-work.  Pushing our luck a little, better to be cautious that risk losing all to frost, but the mild weather has meant we have managed to work later in the season than we would usually recommend.  Now its time to get on with all those inside plastering jobs and a roof here on the old C15th cottage at Plas Tirion that needs stripping before it falls, seen in the last photo.  The cottage has an oak cruck frame, soot blackened from its early days when it would  have had a central open fire with the smoke escaping through the thatched roof.  It has been dendro-dated to 1495 and although it was once the main house before the later one was built in 1568, it is referred to in letters from the beginning of the century as the old bakehouse.

A very enjoyable day making baskets with Mandy Coates

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I loved the unique names of the processes – running the stems through your hands to make them more pliable is called taking the spite out of the willow, and the smell of the cut willow – sweet and resinous like beeswax.  It took surprising concentration and focus to weave and all felt pretty proud of the results.