Unique rural property with barns in courtyard setting in the Brecon Beacons, near Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
Historic property with potential for further development, set high above Llanthony Abbey in the Black Mountains and within the Brecon Beacons National Park
The Wiral is a true rural retreat comprising of a courtyard of buildings in a stunning location with almost completely unspoilt far ranging outlooks over the valley and the Black Mountains. This oasis of serenity is situated on a secluded shelf high above the ancient Llanthony Abbey and offers a rare opportunity to acquire a unique property of considerable historic interest in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Providing scope for two family occupation and further development, it comprises of a charming stone-built house, a separate threshing barn providing ancilliary accommodation and an open cart shed.
Although in a secluded location almost a mile up a farm track, it is still within about 7 miles of the main A465 Abergavenny to Hereford road giving convenient access to principal routes and the motorway system.
Constructed of attractive local stone with part stone tiled and part Welsh slated roof, the accommodation possesses great character and has the advantage of oil-fired central heating.
Sitting / dining room (24’4" x 15’9") Triple aspect room with flagstone solid floor, exposed timber beams and joists. Oak fire surround with an open flue, window shutters and a window seat. French windows lead out to the gardens. A most uncommon low headroom doorway leads through to the kitchen / breakfast room.
Kitchen / breakfast room (15’6" x 10’9" min) Bright room with heaps of character including a flagstone surfaced solid floor, an original bread oven with cast iron door, exposed beams, an early candle recess / shelf and a window incorporating a window seat enjoying an outlook over the gardens. A stone fire surround has massive stone uprights and concealed lighting and houses a cream coloured oil-fired Rayburn range cooker with a circuit to the hot water system. The kitchen has a range of off-white kitchen units with Capri polishable working surfaces, built in appliances and a window of early design faces the courtyard and entrance way.
Rear entrance lobby / utility area (10’2" x 5’4") with flagstone floor and recess and plumbing for an automatic washing machine. Internal glazed double doors and the original wooden door lead out to the gardens.
Bathroom (9’10" x 8’7) White suite comprising a panelled bath with a Grohe shower blender and a glass shower screen, a vanity unit houses a Utopia wash hand basin with a mixer tap. High specification Karndean vinyl flooring, convenient storage cupboards and shelving. There is a heated towel rail and a window with window shutters overlooks the courtyard.
Curving stone stairs lead up from the kitchen / breakfast room to:
Master bedroom (16’6" x 15’4") A spacious double aspect room with a high ceiling, original fireplace with stone hearth, exposed roof truss and purlins. The windows have window shutters and stone sills and enjoy views over the garden and the courtyard. Arch through to
En-suite dressing room / en suite (12’3" x 7’11") with shuttered gable end window and front aspect window. Low flush w.c., vanity unit with vanity mirror and lighting, inset Heritage wash hand basin flanked by glazed bathroom cabinets to either side and with drawer and cupboard space below. Wide full height wardrobe cupboards provide deep hanging and shelf space.
A separate feature stairway with cantilevered steps leads up from the sitting / dining room to:
Bedroom two / office (21’ x 8’7") a good sized room with partially reduced headroom, exposed walk-through roof trusses and purlins. A gable end window and two dormer windows with shutters overlook the gardens.
Former threshing barn
A short distance from the main residence, just across the courtyard is the old stone-built, slate roofed threshing barn. This well-maintained building provides ancillary accommodation, perfect for guests, but could also be further developed for many other uses.
A half heck front door with steel strap hinges and dragonfly door knocker gives access to the:
Entrance hall (17’3" x 4’7" min) with a doormat well, oak boarded floor, exposed stone wall and lancet hole window.
Bathroom (14’2" x 5’2") with exposed stone walls, oak floor and shuttered windows. There is a three piece white suite
Principal barn (44’11" x 15’5")
impressively spacious open plan area, with exposed stone walls and oak roof trusses open to the 17’10" (5.43 m) high apex. There are lancet hole windows and high level windows, including unusual triangular openings to the north-western wall and to the gable end. The accommodation within this lofty building is open-plan and includes to one end a kichen area and to the other space for living / dining / sleeping. Bi-folding 8’5" wide glazed doors open to the courtyard with double doors to the opposite side.
Approached via an access track, the property sits in a little over half an acre of land.
The gravelled courtyard has ample parking and turning space for several vehicles and boasts a private paved sitting out area, a veritable sun trap, perfectly orientated and well sheltered by the surrounding buildings.
Next to the house and threshing barn, is an open-fronted, stone tile roofed store shed (31’8” x 12’3”) formerly a cart and pony shed with the old manger and a part pitched stone floor still present. This building, which has a wall-mounted vintage wash hand basin with a cold water supply connected, is utilised as a firewood store and for general storage purposes. A small lean-to at one end of the house provides a useful garden store with a stone floor, shelving and electric light.
The mature gardens are virtually level and are a most attractive aspect of the premises with dramatic valley views. Careful planting provides colour and fragrance throughout the year.
To the immediate front of the house is a paved forecourt and apron leading in turn to areas of lawn intersected by two small water courses which merge just prior to leaving the property. A third water course is piped and feeds a small pond providing a habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna.
Mains electricity. Private water supply from a spring rising on the adjacent hillside and piped to the property. Private drainage to a septic tank and soak-away. Landline telephone is connected and the current internet connection is via a satellite broadband system. Dishes for Freesat and Sky are present.
Originally a tenanted farmstead, the Wiral (believed to be a corruption of the Welsh word for quarry which was Chwarel) is part of the Llanthony Abbey Estate, a Priory of Augustinian Canons founded in 1108 by the de Lacy family and dissolved in 1538 by Henry VIII. In 1547 it was granted to Nicholas Arnold, a courtier, who had been his Lord Deputy in Ireland. Arnold descendants later sold it to the Harley family, Earls of Oxford, (connected with the origination of Harley Street). In 1809, the estate was purchased by Walter Savage Landor, an impetuous romantic poet, writer and republican who frequently wrote in Latin to circumvent the libel laws of the time. Landor invested heavily in Llanthony, became financially bereft and left for Italy in 1814, though the Estate remained in the Landor family until 1966. The last estate tenant came to The Wiral in 1959 and sold it to the present owner in 1968.
The original lease from Elizabethan times still exists and is dated in the 34th year of the reign of Elizabeth I, equating to 1592.
The dwelling would not have been constructed of stone originally and the existing house is believed to date from around 1789, whilst the Threshing Barn across the yard is dated 1840, a time of increasing agricultural prosperity.
The Wiral and its setting were considered sufficiently inspirational to have been the subject of a painting in 1932 by the Swansea born but much travelled artist and horticulturist Sir Cedric Morris (1889-1982). The painting remains in a private collection in Wales and the property appears to have changed very little during the intervening 90 years.
Situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, it is perfect for those interested in walking, riding and rural pursuits.
Abergavenny, Hay-on-Wye, Monmouth, Ross-on-Wye, Chepstow and Hereford are all within easy travelling distance.