An Afternoon at Gregynog

An Afternoon at Gregynog

What better place than the beautiful surroundings of Gregynog when meeting up with a friend.

Nestled in the hills of Mid Wales, by the village of Tregynog, Gregynog Hall sits in an estate of 750 acres including ancient woodlands and a national nature reserve. The original estate was a vast 18,000 acres, but much of the estate was broken up and farms, cottages and woodland were sold off in 1913.

The front of Gregynog Hall.
The front of Gregynog Hall.

There has been a house here since the 12th century, but the current mansion house was rebuilt in the 1820s in a mock-Tudor style. In 1920, the Davies sisters, Gwendoline and Margaret (granddaughters of the Welsh industrialist and Liberal politician, David Davies), acquired the property and set about turning it into the headquarters of their arts enterprise. They wanted to bring music, art and creative skills to the people of Wales, and they did!

A water feature in front of the house.
A water feature in front of the house.
A bee on lavender.
A bee on lavender.
A butterfly on buddleia.
A butterfly on buddleia.

The house was filled with music, art (including paintings by artists such as Van Gough and Monet), fine furniture and ceramics. In 1922 they established Gregynog Press (now known as Gwasg Greynog) – and produced high quality, limited edition books using traditional methods. In 1933, they established the Gregynog Music Festival (Gŵyl Gregynog), Wales’ oldest classical music festival, which is still going today (although it was understandably cancelled this year).

A woodland walk at Gregynog.
A woodland walk at Gregynog.
An old building down a lane in the grounds.
An old building down a lane in the grounds.

In the 1950s, Gregynog was bequeathed to the University of Wales. However, in June 2019, it was transferred to the Gregynog Trust with the hope of regenerating the hall and estate. It will be interesting to see what they do.

A statue in the garden.
A statue in the garden.

Unfortunately, due to the current virus restrictions, we were unable to go inside on our recent visit, but I have been inside before. I stayed overnight as part of a sixth form school trip a long, long time ago!

A side view of Gregynog Hall.
A side view of Gregynog Hall.
A rear view of Gregynog Hall.
A rear view of Gregynog Hall.

It was great to have a proper catch-up with my friend in such glorious surroundings. We took our time looking around the estate, but there is much more to see so a return visit will be in order soon. I would recommend printing off a copy of the map before you go, so you don’t miss anything.

Something to look out for is the giant hand sculpture by Francis Hewlett.

"Hand" by Francis Hewlett, Gregynog Fellow 1977.
“Hand” by Francis Hewlett, Gregynog Fellow 1977.

Hand sculpture.

It’s certainly worth a visit. There are several walks you can do and sights to see. Usually, the cafe and gift shop would be open, but at the moment you would have to make do with taking a picnic.

Gregynog Hall, Tregynon, Nr. Newtown, Powys, SY16 3PL

25 comments

  1. Carol says:

    It’s a fantastic story and wonderful manor house. I’d love to roam there. I’m so happy it has a trust to help maintain and preserve this beautiful architecture.

  2. Hi Nikki,

    I do so hope that Covid19 hasn’t damaged any plans the trust had for the property, as that would be such a shame. This is a place that so needs to be kept for the nation to enjoy, and at the moment, finding outdoor spaces to meet with friends and family is vital. It remains to be see what will happen during the winter months, and I see that even the National Trust are going to be making huge savings right across the board!

    I love that sculpture, it looks so tactile. I know the hall is a reproduction building, but it looks like a amazing place to have stayed, although I guess that wouldn’t have registered quite so much as a young person.

    It looks as though you and your friend had a lovely catch up meeting and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

    Yvonne xx

  3. Eunice says:

    I love black and white houses and this looks gorgeous, especially the front view 🙂 The gardens and grounds look good too but I’m not so sure about the hand, it looks a bit scary to me.

  4. jeanie says:

    This place looks fabulous outside and (I can imagine) in! What a remarkable history — I should love to visit. I couldn’t help but wonder if those Davies were any connection to my second great grandmother, a Davies born in Wales. I need to do more research on the location but I hope that if I’m ever allowed to travel to the UK again (before I’m too old to do so!) that Wales could be on my itinerary!

    As always, your photos are just gorgeous, especially the butterfly!

  5. Kelly says:

    The view from the rear really shows the grand scale! It appears you had a lovely day for roaming the grounds. That hand sculpture is great!

  6. Sophie says:

    Oh wow, this place looks beautiful! It’s great to learn a little bit about the hostory too – they seemed to achieve so much! It’s a shame you couldn’t go in this time, I’m sure it’s amazing inside x

    Sophie

  7. What a lovely location for a catch up with a friend. I love the old building that you came across – very quaint and I can see why it’s now a place for art & creatives – and creative thinking….the hand sculpture is gorgeous.

  8. What a fabulous place, Nikki. Yet another one for the list! No problem taking a picnic somewhere like that. I love the hand – and I’m sure it’s not THAT long ago that you went there on a school trip 🙂

  9. What a stunning house! For a 1800s take on Tudor its actually very authentic looking. Shame you couldn’t go in the house or cafe, looks like it was perfect weather for enjoying the gardens, grounds and a picnic.

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