Team reinstates Bedwellty design

Historic South Wales villa gardens recreated from old photographs as part of three-year project.

A landscape team has returned the historic grounds at Bedwellty House and Park in South Wales to their former glory after a £6m restoration project.

The regency villa in Tredegar is surrounded by an 11ha historic garden that was established in the early 19th century featuring trees and circular beds. Main landscape contractor UPM Tilhill recreated the grounds over a three-year project.

Initial restoration, funded mainly by the Heritage Lottery Fund, saw the removal of several trees because of their poor condition. However, tree surgeons managed to save several others.

Grade II-listed structures including an icehouse, bandstand and war memorial were repaired but a long shelter, kitchen garden, fishponds, grotto and cast-iron fountain had become overgrown and much of the original planting obliterated.

Project architect Sophie Teague of Austin-Smith:Lord used old photos and drawings to create a new scheme to reflect the park's original design.

UPM Tilhill contract manager Chris Williams said the house and park were intimately linked with Wales's social history. "We brought a nationally important site back to life with the architects, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and John Weaver Contractors," he said.

A council spokesman added : "The landscape and buildings are set to become a major tourist destination."

HOUSE AND PARK COUNTY RESOURCE

Bedwellty House and Park were built in 1818 for an ironmaster and the landscape was opened to the public in 1901.

The house became a council chamber, where Aneurin Bevan - founder of the NHS - started his political career. It is now a conference venue, while the grounds remain a public park.


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