Village Alive Trust

WHAM! The Village Alive Trust’s latest project wins support from the Heritage Lottery Fund

The Village Alive Trust, has been awarded £78,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its WHAM! Project based at White Castle Vineyard, which deals with wine and heritage in Monmouthshire.

Led by Trust volunteers from the local community and vineyard partners Robb and Nicola Merchant, the Wine and Heritage Alive in Monmouthshire (WHAM!) project will restore the grade II* Croft Barn which is currently on the listed buildings ‘at risk’ register, and make use of the building as a learning centre for wine growing skills and heritage activities.

Talk: Introduction to the Archaeology of the Black Mountains by Frank Olding

Members of the public are invited to join The Village Alive Trust for its annual meeting at Llandewi Skirrid Hall, near Abergavenny on Thursday, November 8th at 7.30pm when guest speaker Mr Frank Olding will give an ‘Introduction to the Archaeology of the Black Mountains'.

Village Alive grants for the projects Bringing Your Village Alive and Sense of Roots

The Trust was appointed as the delivery agent (2011 – 2013) under the Monmouthshire Rural Development Plan for two grant schemes: Bringing Your Village Alive and Sense of Roots. Most of the grants have now been annouinced.

Bringing Your Village Alive

Sense of Roots

October 2008: Trust to give building conservation awards

THE Village Alive Trust, a local building preservation trust, is aiming to recognise historic building conservation work carried out by others in Monmouthshire by offering Awards for Building Conservation.

Since 2004 the Trust has secured grant-aid to rescue listed agricultural buildings such as the Cwm Farm Cider House at Llangattock Lingoed. The current project is the restoration of the Grade II* corn barn at Great Tre-rhew Farm, Llanvetherine.

The Trust’s vice-president, Edward Holland, who is projects advisor for The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, said: “The Trust acknowledges that there is good historic building conservation being carried out across Monmouthshire, and we are delighted to be launching this series of Awards for Building Conservation. We hope it will promote best practice and will encourage those who have worked hard to complete a successful historic buildings project.”

The award will relate to specific nominated buildings and is principally intended to commend the owner or person who commissioned the work, but by association will also commend the professionals involved in the project.

September 2008: The Trust's work is featured in Herefordshire Life

Well House
Well House

THE rolling countryside of Monmouthshire contains many natural treasures for locals and visitors to enjoy and the county’s built heritage of ancient castle ruins, churches, former mills, whitewashed cottages, solid farmhouses, barns, and the occasional manor house adds to the rural idyll.

Hundreds of Monmouthshire’s oldest buildings in private ownership have been listed by Cadw (Wales’ equivalent of English Heritage) for their historic and architectural significance. Marvellous for those of us who need only to observe and enjoy these treasures, but a potential millstone of expensive maintenance for their keepers who are charged with the upkeep of our national heritage, and face legal action if they fail!

The community of Llangattock Lingoed, near Abergavenny, was faced with closure of its small historic Grade I church several years ago when surveys revealed extensive restoration was needed – costing over £600,000. A landmark on the Offa’s Dyke footpath, St Cadoc’s now gleams white with protective lime-render and inside visitors can see medieval wall paintings uncovered during the repairs. The campaign to save the church through grant-aid and match funding was spearheaded by new deacon Rev Dr Jean Prosser, now a non-stipendiary parish priest.

June 2008: Medieval Fair at Great Trerhew

Damp weather failed to dampen the enthusiasm of Cross Ash School’s maypole dancers who delighted visitors at the Medieval Midsummer Fair staged on June 21st, 2008 by The Village Alive Trust at Great Tre-Rhew Farm, Llanvetherine near Abergavenny by kind permission of Trevor and Anne Beavan and family.

The main activities took part under cover in a large barn decorated with the maypole, colourful bunting and greenery while medieval enactment group, Teulu, valiantly recreated a camp and staged a battle in an adjoining meadow. Village Alive Trust members dressed up in medieval costumes kindly loaned by Usk Castle Pageant.

Llangattock Lingoed church members provided teas and a bar. Local cider, perry, wine, Shepherd’s ice cream and farm sausages were also on sale. Stalls included hand crafted walking sticks; locally-made baskets; spinning and weaving; bee-keeping; Redcastle Nurseries, Monmouthshire Stone Candle Holders, net-making and photography.

Emergency work on Great Trerhew Barn completed

Great Tre-Rhew Barn Preservation

A contract was awarded to Thorteck Ltd to undertake, as a first phase, emergency repairs to three of the gables. Work started on 12 February 2007 and finished on 31 March.

The on-site pre-contract group meeting:

Anne and Trevor Beavan (owners), Patti Griffiths (Village Alive), Stefan Horowskyj (architect) and Steve Burchell (Thorteck)

Demolition of two of the gables was soon well under way . . .

. . . quickly followed by their rebuilding . . .

. . . and completion.

A start has also been made on securing the north gable and stopping further ingress of water to safeguard the building and allow work to continue on the site...

June 2007: Great Trerhew - White Castle trail leaflet launched

A SECOND Land and Legends Trail exploring Monmouthshire’s cultural heritage has been launched for walkers to enjoy, this time in the Llanvetherine area, taking in White Castle and Great Trerhew Farm.

The Village Alive Trust, a local buildings preservation charity based in the Llangattock Lingoed area, launched the trail on Saturday. Trust member Eric Evans contributed illustrations and text to the trail leaflet.

The project has been funded by adventa, Monmouthshire’s LEADER+ rural development programme funded by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, the Welsh Assembly Government and Monmouthshire County Council.

The trail consists of two circular walks, one of 2.2 miles and one of 1.75 miles, using either White Castle car park or Llanvetherine lay-by as start points. There are interpretation boards at several points and the trail leaflet, which will be stocked at tourism outlets, contains information on the castle, water mill site and corn barn that can be seen along the walk.

June 2006: Maypole, Morris, music and a market at the Midsummer Revels

SUNSHINE added the final touch to The Village Alive Trust’s popular Midsummer Revels event at Great Trerhew Farm, Llanvetherine on Saturday when visitors enjoyed traditional country entertainment throughout the afternoon and evening.

The event took place by kind permission of the Beavan family. Visitors were able to see the historic Grade II* listed corn barn at the farm which is still used as part of the modern farming enterprise. The Trust is aiming to help the owners restore the endangered barn to ensure its continued use in agriculture. Successful bids for grant aid for the project will also ensure public access to view the building on specified open days.

As well as two stunning displays of Maypole dancing by Cross Ash Primary School pupils, the Revels included entertaining performances by Full Moon Morris dancers and local musicians. Talented young singers and musicians who had travelled from Kingsbridge Community College, Devon with their teacher, Sian Beavan, performed throughout the event.

September 2005: Well-house restoration celebrated by Village Alive Trust

THE first restoration project undertaken by The Village Alive Trust charity - an 18th century grade two listed well-house at Cross Ash - has been officially unveiled amidst praise from Monmouthshire's conservation officer.

Edward Holland, Monmouthshire County Council's conservation manager, said: "The Well House at New Inn Farm is an extraordinary building and a distinctive historic feature in the area. Its rescue and restoration is greatly welcomed and the enthusiasm and success of the local Building Preservation Trust in carrying out this project is a model for how other buildings at risk around the county could be saved."

The well house had a reservoir capacity of about 17,000 litres and once supplied water to the former coach house at New Inn, which lies on the Cross Ash to Grosmont road. The building had partly collapsed with the remaining structure overgrown before The Village Alive Trust took on the restoration project with the support of owners, Ed and Dorothy Baylis.