After receiving substantial grant funding for a full
restoration, Bedwellty House is scheduled to re-open to the public
in May 2011. The extensive work to restore the House back to its
former glory has been managed by Blaenau Gwent County Borough
Council and undertaken by the capable hands of contractors John
Weaver who in turn have employed specialist craft people.
The future of Bedwellty House is
bright with plans for it to become a focal point of the town
encouraging visitors from far and wide. The new Manager hopes to
hold many events such as open air concerts, exhibitions and private
functions, weddings, etc.
Many changes will be seen not just
in appearance but also in the use of the House. Besides the return
of Tredegar Town Council with its bi-monthly meetings in the
Council Chamber, Bedwellty House will now become the new home of
Tredegar Registrar. This beautiful setting offers people the choice
of various sized venues for wedding hire - Assembly Room, Miner's
Room and of course the Bandstand.
So that's the future of Bedwellty
House but let us have a look at its history now and how it came to
be a jewel in Tredegar's crown.
Bedwellty House started as a small
farm called Coedcae Y Cynghordy owned by Ludwig Rees. Samuel
Homfray, Ironmaster at Tredegar Iron Company, purchased the
property and its first renovation took place in 1809. But 1818 saw
an extensive rebuild of the House extending it to the residence
fitting for an Ironmaster.
The 26 acres of woodland in which
the house was set were leased from Lord Tredegar and when in 1899
it was rumoured that Tredegar Company were to relinquish its lease
the then Town Council expressed a desire to buy the estate as a
public park for Tredegar. A deputation, led by Alderman Henry
Bowen, met Lord Tredegar, prepared to pay a fair price they were
suitably surprised to be offered the land for Tredegar residents
free of charge with just the exclusion of a small area at the top
of the 26 acres (Park Row area).
On 23rd October 1900, Chairman to
the Council Rev. Alfred Barrett signed the agreement with Lord
Tredegar and in November 1900 Bedwellty Park, as we know it, was
opened to the public. Although, it must be noted that, the official
opening was not until 18th April 1901 by Lord Tredegar.
In 1900 Tredegar Urban District
Council moved its offices into the House and commissioned the
refurbishment of one of the rooms into an elegant Council Chamber
for its meetings. However in 1974, as a result of local Government
re-organisation, Tredegar Urban District Council ceased and
Tredegar Town Council was formed. Tredegar Town Council has
continued to this day - all bar the temporary exile during the
current renovations - to use Bedwellty House for its bi-monthly
meetings and many other events/functions.
During the 1984 miner's strike one
of the rooms was used as a food distribution centre and as
refurbishment continued this room was aptly renamed the Miner's
Room on its formal completion in 1987.
Over the years the House and Park
has had a colourful history. It has been the home to local
associations such as Tredegar Ladies Bowls, Tredegar & District
Floral Art Society, Friends of Bedwellty Park and many more. It was
for a period of time home to several departments from Blaenau Gwent
County Borough Council. The House has seen exhibitions, VE/VJ
celebrations, political meetings, BBC broadcasts, Citizenship
services, and lately weddings whilst also being home to various
historical memorabilia such as the Lambda bronze Aneurin Bevan
bust; portraits of Aneurin Bevan, Neil Kinnock and Lord Tredegar
which was painted by Rolf Harris' grandfather George Fredrick
Harris; 6th Battalion Battle of Tredegar Hill Memorial and casket
of earth; photographs of Tredegar past and much more.
Bedwellty House - a Grade II listed
building - is regarded as one of the finest surviving examples of
an Ironmaster's residence in Gwent so for it to be fully restored
to its former glory only accentuates its beauty and importance in
Click on this link Bedwellty House to see some of
These links will show you some of
the renovation work in progress at Bedwellty House and Park:-
Park Renovations 1;
Park Renovations 2; Park Renovations 3; House Renovations.
Bedwellty House and Park is
scheduled to reopen on 4th June 2011 with a Welcome Back
Celebration. Further details and information on forthcoming events
at the Park can be found at www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk