Category Archives: Local History

The Chapel at Grange House

Chapel interior – stained glass windows depicting scenes from the life of Christ. © Sarah Goodey, 2017.

Grange House at Llanfrechfa Grange has had a consecrated chapel since the 1860s. From the outside it appears unassuming but as you enter through the small door in the hall, the series of intricate stained glass windows bring light and colour into this intimate and calm space.

Visit our updated history page for more information and to see many beautiful images of the Chapel in Grange House.

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Hidden Now Heard Exhibition

An exhibition about Llanfrechfa Grange is taking place between 9 – 28 January 2017 at the Riverfront, Newport.  It is organised by Mencap Cymru and explores the lives of people with a learning disability who used to live at Llanfrechfa Grange and the staff who worked there. Admission free.

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A Peep Inside Llanfrechfa Grange

The Grange at Llanfrechfa has had a long and varied history and has within it many original and interesting features that can still be seen today. It was Grade 2 listed by CADW in 2001 for the quality of its Jacobethan interiors, especially the original drawing room and the stained glass in the Chapel. We have been exploring the inside and outside and will be sharing information and images of different rooms in a series of posts.

The original mansion was built around 1848 for Charles Prothero and designed by local architect J H Langdon. In 1860 the estate was bought by Francis Johnstone and Elizabeth Harcourt Mitchell as their marital home.  The Mitchells made many alterations and extensions to the house and attached their initials and crest to the front in 1892.

F J Marshall’s crest added to the building in 1892. Photo - S. Goodey 2016
F J Mitchell’s crest added to the building in 1892. Photo – S. Goodey 2016

The Committee Room

The large ground floor room to the southeast was originally the drawing room with large windows, an intricate plaster-work ceiling and a grand fireplace – the timber over-mantle dating from the early 17th century. There are many plaster-work characters around the fireplace. The room is now used as a Committee room and many will have had the chance to examine its fine details.

Detail of the ‘grotesque caryatids’ on the fireplace in the Committee Room. Photo c/o S.Goodey, 2016
Detail of the ‘grotesque caryatids’ on the fireplace in the Committee Room. Photo c/o S.Goodey, 2016
The chimney-piece in the Committee Room. Photo c/o S. Goodey, 2016
The chimney-piece in the Committee Room.
Photo c/o S. Goodey, 2016
One of the large bay windows in the Committee Room showing the ornate plaster-work on the ceiling. Photo c/o S. Goodey, 2016
One of the large bay windows in the Committee Room showing the ornate plaster-work on the ceiling.
Photo c/o S. Goodey, 2016

The Library

In the Library the walls are lined with shelves and cupboards, and we found a number of interesting artifacts and objects when we were exploring.

The Library at Llanfrechfa Grange. Photo c/o S. Goodey, 2016
The Library at Llanfrechfa Grange.
Photo c/o S. Goodey, 2016
A packet of ‘Healthograms’ issued by the Health Service Bureau – Wesleyan and General Assurance Society. Photo c/o S. Goodey, 2016
A packet of ‘Healthograms’ issued by the Health Service Bureau – Wesleyan and General Assurance Society.
Photo c/o S. Goodey, 2016

Some of the messages in these ‘healthograms’ are still relevant today, for instance: “You can be overfed but undernourished – choose your food!”

"Healthograms" found in the Library. Photo c/o S. Goodey, 2016
“Healthograms” found in the Library.
Photo c/o S. Goodey, 2016

 

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The exterior of the Grange from behind showing the octagonal Chapel – we’ll be looking at this in more detail in our next post in this series.

Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden Continues to Inspire

The Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden Community Project continues to attract new people to its cause through two recent public events.

Visitors browsing the Llanfrechfa Grange history stand 21 August.
Visitors browsing the Llanfrechfa Grange history stand 21 August.

On Fri 21 August 2015, volunteers joined forces with the Oxford House Industrial History Society to share the history of Llanfrechfa Grange. The event included a tour of the house, walled garden and grounds of Llanfrechfa Grange by John Venn from Oxford House. Visitors were also able to read the latest updates on the history of the site and its former owners, collated by Jan Smith from the Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden project and published as new history pages on the Walled Garden’s website.

Main Entrance and Lodge c.1910
Main Entrance and Lodge c.1910

The event attracted over 40 people, many of them new to the project. Visitors shown around the house learned what each room was originally used for when it was a private house and were shown the location of other buildings within the grounds including the site of a murder which took place in the 1920s.

Karen Jones and Angela Fry manning the Walled Garden stand at the Aneurin Bevan UHB AGM and Health Fair.
Karen Jones and Angela Fry manning the Walled Garden stand at the Aneurin Bevan UHB AGM and Health Fair.

 

The Walled Garden project also had a stand at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s AGM and Health Fair held at the Health Board’s Headquarters, St Cadoc’s Hospital, Caerleon, on 16 September 2015. Several visitors to the Health Fair stopped to ask questions about the project and expressed their support.

History pages go live

Our new history pages will go live on the evening of August 21st

They set out the historical information we are collecting about Llanfrechfa Grange and its gardens, especially the Walled Garden.  Gathered from historical records and from stories told by people who have known the Grange over the years our aim is to understand the estates history so that it can inform the future of the Walled Garden as we progress with its restoration.

We hope you enjoy reading these pages, which will continue to develop as we sift through information we already have and more is found.

If you have anything to add please do get in touch.

Next Event 21st August 2015 – Llanfrechfa Grange: Past, Present and Future

Our next event is being held in association with the Oxford House Industrial History Society. Read on for details.

© Copyright Roger Cornfoot and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
© Copyright Roger Cornfoot and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Friday 21 August 2015

6 pm onwards

In the Main Hall, Llanfrechfa Grange, NP44 8YN.

Come and find out what we have learned to date about the history of the house and grounds. Help us fill in the gaps.

  • Opportunity to visit the grounds and gardens and some interesting parts of the house with members of the Oxford House Industrial History Society
  • See the latest timetable for restoring the Walled Garden
  • We will be launching our new History pages on the website
  • See plans for the new Specialist and Critical Care Centre
  • Find out how you can get involved.

All Welcome

For more information you can email us at walledgarden.abb@wales.nhs.uk or telephone 01633 431716.