The Natural Building Centre

Y Ganolfan Adeiladu Naturiol.

Updates

Discover our news and developments and follow the progress of our ongoing project to restore the C16th house and grounds of Plas Tirion.

A race against Spring.

We have started to reinstate the gardens here at Plas Tirion, getting the ground ready for planting and putting in the first trees.

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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

With gilded hair and traces of original pigment, this cherub has left our workshop now, repaired and reinstated as part of a beautifully carved limestone monument dated 1644.

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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

A chance to see highly skilled traditional craftsmen and women demonstrating their unique talents at Hiraeth, the traditional skills area, at the Conwy Feast festival on the 25th and 26th October.

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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

From the 1st of October we will be open Monday to Friday from 9.30 until 4.00 and Saturday mornings by appointment only.

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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.

I tried to kiss him but he hopped away.

Our traditional dry stone walling course this weekend unearthed a large and beautiful frog, a shaped gatepost and a hidden doorway. Hefin the tutor shared with us the story of the connection between stone walls and the frog prince legend...

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Tales of princes transformed into frogs or toads came about because baby frogs would creep into walls and live there until they grew so large they couldn’t get out. When walls like ours were dismantled and large frogs were discovered it was believed that they were enchanted prisoners.