21 March 2020
22 August 2017
The first manor house on the Tan y Bwlch estate is thought to have been built in the 17th century by Evan Evans, who was Sheriff of Merionethshire in 1635. In around 1748 the house was rebuilt by Robert Griffith, grandson of the Evans heiress Catherine. In turn the Griffith family male line also came to an end and Robert’s granddaughter Margaret inherited the estate. In 1789 she married William Oakeley from Staffordshire. The Oakeley family was involved in many developments in the local area, including agricultural land improvement, slate quarrying in Blaenau Ffesiniog, and the creation of the Ffestiniog Railway. The family owned the estate until 1961.
Meirionnydd County Council purchased the house and grounds in 1969 and in 1975 it was opened as the Study Centre by the Snowdonia National Park Authority. Renovations of the property and gardens funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and CADW were carried out in 2004-05.
20 May 2017
The land for Treborth Botanic Garden was purchased by Bangor University in the 1960s in order to develop a plant collection for its Botany Department. The garden had previously been developed in the 1840s as part of the Chester and Holyhead Railway’s planned tourist destination Britannia Park. This was designed by architect and gardener Sir Joseph Paxton (1803 – 1865) – best known for designing the 1851 Great Exhibition’s Crystal Palace. However, lack of funding led to the project being abandoned.
The botanic garden is host to more than 2,000 native and exotic species and the university maintains six glasshouses on the site. The university provides free access to the grounds to the public throughout the year.
30 April 2017
In April 2017 8 hectares (20 acres) of previously private woodland were opened to the public at Bodnant Garden. The opening of Furnace Meadow and Furnace Hill was the culmination of a 10-year renovation project carried out to counter the effects of decline and disease in the area. The area is named after a blast furnace that operated there in the 18th century. With other previously private sections – Old Park Meadow, Yew Dell and The Far End – having been opened between 2013 and 2015, over 90% of the grounds are now accessible. A final area, Heather Hill, is scheduled to open in 2020.