Aberglasney opens doors with special tours of upper floors

Aberglasney in Carmarthenshire is set to be an important part of this year’s national ‘Open Doors’ event by offering special tours of the upper floors of Aberglasney’s grade II* listed mansion, never before opened to the public.
The fully restored ground floor of the mansion was opened in 2013 by award winning actor Damian Lewis and is open daily.
The unrestored upstairs rooms are not usually accessible but on the weekend of Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th of September you’re invited to join expert historic guides on a series of special tours. These tours will give a unique insight into the history of what was once one of Carmarthenshire’s most important houses.
Speaking ahead of the event Aberglasney’s Operations Manager, Simon Campbell-Davies said: “I’m delighted that we’re going to be able to open the upper floors of the mansion for this one weekend. This is a unique opportunity to see parts of the building that people are very inquisitive about out but never get to see for themselves.”
Uninhabited, neglected and vandalised, Aberglasney was on the brink of collapse when it was rescued from oblivion by the Aberglasney Restoration Trust in 1995. Extensive restoration of the Gardens and House has been carried out over the last 20 years and Aberglasney is now regarded as one of Wales’ finest attractions.
The mansion itself has, during its 600 year history, been home to Poets and Artists, a Bishop, a High Sheriff, Architects and Solicitors, drinkers and those who abstained – all of whom have played their part in what has on occasions been a troubled but none the less engaging history.
The ‘Open Doors’ event at Aberglasney offers the opportunity to learn more about these characters and their contributions to Aberglasney, both architecturally and historically.
Whilst normal garden admission prices will apply across the weekend guided tours of the upstairs rooms are free. You are however requested to book your place on a tour by calling Aberglasney on 01558 668998 to avoid disappointment. Unfortunately there is no disabled access to Aberglasney’s upper floors and you will be required to climb several staircases during the course of the tour. Remember also that the areas of the Mansion you will be visiting are unrestored and special care will need to be taken when navigating these rooms and you will do so at your own risk.
Open Doors is part of European Heritage Days, which take place in 50 countries across Europe every September.
It is Wales’s largest celebration of buildings and architecture, and the largest volunteer event in the heritage sector in Wales, with over 1,800 volunteers participating. The event will be led by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, in conjunction with partners across Wales. For more information visit www.cadw.wales.gov.uk/opendoors.
A note on Aberglasney: Covering an area of more than 10 acres, which includes three walled gardens, and at its heart a fully restored Elizabethan cloister garden and parapet walk, Aberglasney is recognized as one of Wales’ finest attractions. The Gardens contain a magnificent collection of unusual plants, including a wide variety of woodland plants. An award winning indoor garden has also been created within the ruins of the mansion’s courtyard, where rare sub-tropical plants are cultivated. Restoration of the ground floor of Aberglasney’s Grade II* listed mansion house was completed in Spring 2013 and officially opened by award winning actor Damian Lewis.
Aberglasney is 12 miles east of Carmarthen and 4 miles west of Llandeilo. Open all year.
www.aberglasney.org
For further information about Open Doors in Wales visit www.cadw.wales.gov.uk/opendoors

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