Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Local History Month

September will soon be upon us, and that's the month for all sorts of interesting local history events as part of Brecknock History Month.
Hay History Group met recently, and finalised what they would be doing to contribute.
There's going to be a talk at Cusop Village Hall by Dr Mark Baker on Gwrych Castle and The Welsh Country House, on Saturday 23rd September. Gwrych is quite a bit north of here, just outside Abergele, but a fascinating place to visit. I remember it in the 1970s, when it was run as a visitor attraction, with a miniature railway through the grounds, pony rides, a potter, and jousting every afternoon. We were once there when the Sealed Knot stormed the castle, too. Since then, it fell into disrepair, but now there's a Preservation Trust trying to restore it to its former glory. The talk can be booked through the Hay History Group website, and tickets are £4 each.
There's also going to be a pop up museum showing Hay Castle's archaeology, in the Parish Hall, and a talk on Old Gwernyfed Estate since 1600 by Colin Lewis, who has just written a book on the subject. Tea and cakes are also promised on the Sunday afternoon.
The Hay Tours will also be running over the Hay History weekend - on the Railway, Major Armstrong, the bookshops, and Heritage. These are free, but should be booked online.

Meanwhile, there's concern about St Mary's Churchyard, which has become very overgrown, making it difficult to get to some of the gravestones. They are considering a working party to help clear the brambles. They are also interested in mapping all the graves in the cemetery. WET Morgan, once vicar of Llanigon, made a study in 1926 (he was very interested in local history and a member of the Woolhope Club). The book is in Brecon Museum, and the History Group hopes to be able to digitise it and put the information on their website.

And at the Castle, there have been opportunities to learn traditional building techniques as the restoration progresses. Recently there was a day on lime plastering. They've also installed a "bat cave", and two bats have already been seen in the area.

The Dark Skies Festival has had to wind up their affairs, as they no longer have the services of the astronomer who was leading it. Therefore they have decided to donate the surplus money in their account to Hay History Group, and they wish their £320 (approx.) to go to a specific history project.

The next meeting of the Group (after the History Weekend) will be on 29th September, at Cusop Village Hall at 7.30pm, when Mari Fforde will talk about Matilda de Breose.


Unknown said...

A Record of the Gravestones, Tombs, & Momuments at St Mary's Churchyard Hay on Wye
Available at Church & Tourist Office

Eigon said...

Thank you!