Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actor Damian Lewis will be the guest of honour at the official opening of the restored ground floor of Aberglasney Mansion.
Together with the previously restored west wing, the east wing and the main hall have been painstakingly repaired and on Saturday May the 25th 2013 Damian Lewis will officially open the building at 2.00pm.
The historic grade II* listed house at Aberglasney has been home to many a colourful character over the last 500 years - poets and artists, a Bishop, a High Sheriff, architects and solicitors, drinkers and those who fiercely abstained. In recent years however it had been hard to visualise the grandeur of time gone by after decades of decline when the house stood uninhabited, neglected and vandalised.
Now after more than seven months of restoration, backed by EU funding, the ground floor once more reflects days of Victorian splendour.
Roger Evans, Chief Executive of the Aberglasney Restoration Trust said: “We are especially pleased with what we have achieved in the main hall, having reinstated the oak panelling, elaborate cornice work and the grand staircase.”
In addition to the restoration work that can be seen, visitors will also feel a difference on entering the mansion thanks to a state of the art geothermal heating system. Designed especially for Aberglasney by Pembrokeshire company ‘Good Life’ a water source heat pump will draw heat from the ancient pond situated in the Pool Garden below the mansion.
This system will be used to heat Aberglasney’s award winning indoor garden the ‘Ninfarium’, as well as the main rooms on the ground floor.
The opening of the restored ground floor of the mansion comes 14 years after the gardens themselves opened to the public and is the latest milestone in what has been the remarkable transformation of this historic site.
The mansion will now be used for exhibitions and events throughout the year as well as providing meeting facilities and adding a great deal to the general visitor experience.
Roger Evans said: “We are thrilled that Damian Lewis has agreed to be guest of honour for the official opening and look forward to welcoming him back to Aberglasney for this very important occasion.”
The official opening will be a celebration of all the hard work that has gone into the restoration project with music throughout the day.
Everyone is welcome however normal garden admission prices will apply.
The restoration work at Aberglasney is part of the ‘One Historic Garden Project’ linking heritage, gardens and opportunities across South Wales. This is project part-funded by the EU’s Convergence European Regional Development Fund through Visit Wales and the Welsh Government.