I haven’t spent this much time in Wales for eight years, and it’s nice to have the opportunity to visit places which are on my front door. Last week, making most of the warm autumn weather, it was Aberglasney – a restored medieval house and gardens, in my home county of Carmarthenshire.
The house has a very long history, the first official documentation of it was in 1541. The abridged list of its owners includes Bishops in the 1600s, a lawyer’s family in the 1700s, a doctor’s in the 1800s, it was requisitioned by the army during the Second World War, before the estate then being split and afterwards sold in the mid-1900s. It was in 1995 that the uninhabited house and gardens was purchased by Aberglasney Restoration Trust, and in 1999 the gardens opened to the public.
Restoration work has continued over the years, and it was only in 2013 that the restoration of the ground floor of the house was completed – so it’s the gardens that are the main attraction. When I visited, there was an art exibition in the mansion, but the most interesting feature within the house is the Ninfarium – a tropical plant house.
The Cloister Garden is the stand-out feature of the gardens, it’s surrounded by a stone walk-way on three sides, with the atmospheric cloisters underneath.
One of my favourite areas was the Sunken Garden. It’s further away from the house and Tearooms, and is a more peaceful part of the estate.
And talking of tearooms, I had a cheeky scone and some tea. The wasps wanted a piece of the action too!
Walking through the gardens you can’t help but think about the history of the place, it felt like some of the massive trees had been there since the beginning.
There’s also a walled garden – which includes a kitchen garden – and of course, a lake. A lot of work has been put in to restore the gardens to their former glory, and it’s a lovely place to go for a relaxing day out in the Welsh countryside.