Heritage project restores historic manor to its rural roots

Rural heritageCompleting the restoration of the Grade 11* listed 17th century Llanyrafon Manor as a Rural Heritage Centre and tourism gateway for the Borough of Torfaen, is a project designed to represent and conserve a rural way of life which is significant to the area’s cultural, built and community heritage.

The project is being carried out for Torfaen Borough Council by John Weaver Construction.

Within the main building, it is intended that the history and significance of the Manor house and the families who lived and worked on the site is told. It will provide a venue for training opportunities for rural communities; farming families; micro and small enterprises and young people.

The outbuildings and the new build elements will accommodate community facilities to enhance the area’s sustainability and development. These will include; a café overlooking the grounds and Manor house, a tourist information point, a shop selling a selection of souvenir goods and local produce, and toilets, teaching and informal meeting spaces which could accommodate enterprise, cooperatives or micro businesses.Rural heritage

The external landscape will play a fundamental part of the attraction and will begin as soon as the visitor enters the site. Beautiful open spaces from which to enjoy the house and other architecture have been designed with the local community group to encourage visitors and other local residents to learn about the site’s rural heritage. A section will be given over for public use where people will be encouraged to enjoy this local gem and attend community events such as farmer’s markets.

Interpretative displays such as furniture of a timeless nature will be used within the ground floor of the manor house. Creative exhibition spaces will feature items such as small graphic panels inside drawers which can be opened up, tapestries and wall hangings, interactive picture frames and pamphlets of various periods interpreting particular issues of the times. This will help create an informal environment where visitors can enjoy the house at their own pace and extract the level of information they desire.

The second floor will be mainly for the use of the Rural Development Officers who will use the centre as a hub for the delivery of the Rural Development Programme in Torfaen. They will co-ordinate many of the training and learning activities held at the centre. A designated room for meetings and conferences will be available for formal sessions or private meetings and will be for hire. In addition, an education space will provide school parties visiting the site with a classroom environment in which to learn about the historical significance of the site.

Following an initial site visit by Ty Mawr Limes technical director Nigel Gervis, the Ty Mawr breathable, insulated Limecrete floor system was specified and installed throughout Llanyrafon Manor. For extensive internal repairs, Ty Mawr Woodwool boards and laths were used to provide the ideal background for both the company’s hydraulic and fat Lime putty plasters.

Over 100 years of construction expertise and craftsmanship skill lies behind the John Weaver name.

Today, this award winning company is pre-eminent in its sector and successfully combines these traditional values with modern materials and building techniques to undertake new build, refurbishment and conservation projects up to the value of £8million.

In addition, John Weaver has its own specialist joinery section and a highly flexible Small Works department.

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