The Strata Florida Trust are delighted to announce they have successfully secured funding for the conversion of the Grade II listed 18th century Tŷ Pair and cart shed into the Mynachlog Fawr Exhibition. The exciting project has received funding from multiple sources, including £80,000 from the World Monuments Fund, £92,400 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and £6,000 from the Sacred Landscapes of Medieval Monasteries Project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Muddy Boots Welcome
The Trust will be conserving and repairing the building to create a free to enter space telling the story of the farm through the “Mynachlog Fawr in 30 objects” exhibition. Featuring a variety of objects and documents from the farmhouse and farm buildings, it will provide the opportunity for visitors of all ages to discover and engage with the social history of the house and community. The building is also intended as a place for visitors to relax and enjoy the historic setting, with chairs next to the magnificent medieval fireplace, a coffee machine, and a selection of second hand and local history books available to read – muddy boots welcome!
The local contractor Thomas Taylor of ELM Wales and local archaeologist Richard Jones from HRS Wales began work on site in September 2020. Tom Taylor and his team have already created a new opening between the Ty Pair and cart shed, taken down one of the small dividing walls in the cart shed, and begun work to partially take down and rebuild the end wall to stabilise it. Richard Jones and his assistant have undertaken several exploratory trenches in and around the building and amongst other finds, they have discovered part of the abbey refectory wall.
A particularly notable find was a small ceramic egg discovered high up in the wall beside the fireplace. Apparently, ceramic eggs were used as dummy eggs for laying hens, so this is likely what the object is, why it was placed so high up and built into the wall raised questions. After researching a further, the Trust found an interesting passage in a book called ‘Encyclopaedia of Superstitions’ which was originally printed in 1903. It says “if an egg is built into a new building it will protect from all evil”. They contacted Brian Hoggard, an expert on the archaeology of magical house protection. Although he had not encountered any other cases, he was intrigued by the find.
This project is another milestone on the Trust’s journey towards bringing all the historic buildings of Mynachlog Fawr back into use. When it is open, visitors will have a chance to see some of the treasures and get a taste of what the new Strata Florida Centre could offer when the restoration of the whole site is complete.