The Gardens of Gregynog

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Gregynog

Gregynog

Unless you know of Gregynog, chances are you’ll never just happen across it because it is tucked away in mid Wales. Yet the Gregynog estate, all 750 acres of it, has been described by CADW as one of the one of the most important gardens in Wales. Now as Gregynog prepares for the spring, it is a useful time to remind people that it exists – or introduce it to a wider public.

Up past Newtown in Powys sits the village of Tregynon. And about 6 miles away is one of the most spectacular houses in Wales, Gregynog. Now a conference centre used by universities in Wales, it was once owned by two rich sisters who bought the house just after WWI although the site has had dwellings on it for more than 800 years. Here, in a mock Tudor mansion, they developed gardens and encouraged the arts. Eventually they owned the largest collection of impressionist and post impressionist paintings outside France. When I stayed there in the 1970’s I had a Rodin to gaze at as I breakfasted. Earlier the likes of George Bernard Shaw and Joyce Grenfell had come to music festivals where composers like Holst, Elgar and Vaughan Williams came and Beecham conducted. And those music festivals still occur each summer

The printing press established by the sisters was revived in the 1970’s and early Gregynog printed books sell for considerable sums but the press isn’t open to the public nor is the house.

But the gardens are also what draws people throughout the year. Up until now they have been free but from April 15th, there will be a £3 entry charge in order to help meet the cost of the upkeep. Even though the gardens have been open for years, not all has been accessible. Now four new colour coded paths can help guide visitors through particular parts. Unless, of course, you fancy walking through all 750 acres. For this year there are 20,000 new bulbs that might take your fancy. Or the 400 roses. Perhaps the Giant’s Hand a sculpture that reaches out of the ground or the lily lake. And within the grounds is a site of special scientific interest where the lichen that predate the Industrial revolution can be found.

Click here for more about Gregynog

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