Did you watch the Royal Wedding this morning? Wasn't it good fun? I enjoy the pomp and sense of history. And, I enjoyed listening to the bellringing from the Westminster Abbey bells. The bellringers were all invited, and were a highly experienced band. Included was David C Brown from St Peter Mancroft, Norwich - a highly respected ringer with over 4000 peals to his name. The ringers had to go through security at 8.30 this morning, and will not be let out until 4 this afternoon. But they will be ringing a full peal today.
As it is Royal Wedding Day, I thought that I would set out below a piece that I wrote in 2008 on the Prince of Wales' Welsh home,Llwynywermod.
Prince Charles can be considered a collector of Welsh quilts.
In June 2008, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attended an opening ceremony for their new "environmentally friendly" Welsh country house. Costing 1.2 million pounds, and with 1.8 million spent on renovations, it is located within the Black Mountains National Park at Mddfai near Llandovery. The Llwynywermod Estate contains not only an 18C farmhouse, but a 192 acre organic farm. It is found at the end of a long lane and is set in what was once a mediaeval deerpark. The views of the rolling countryside include the estate's ruined monastery.
It took the Prince's agents three years to find a suitable property. Historic and secluded, with a lovely range of old farm buildings, it will be used as a Welsh base for the Prince's annual visits. The farmhouse had previously been used as a B & B, and had a range of older buildings as well as some 1960's built worker's accommodation. The modern buildings were razed and the former courtyard re-created. A new conference hall has been built to one side, complete with vaulted dining hall. There is also ancillary accommodation for the Princes Trust charity workers. The house will be rented out as holiday accommodation when the Prince is not in residence.
The royal couple were heavily involved in the restoration, being regularly consulted on all details. All the buildings have been renovated using traditional materials, sourced from Wales wherever possible. New oak and slate was installed, using some materials salvaged from the demolished buildings. Local craftsmen and contractors were used for the building and interiors. The rooms are decorated in a simple and tasteful manner. New iron window frames and door furniture accompany traditional Welsh furniture. Welsh textiles and artwork have been hung on lime washed walls. Even the curtains have been woven at the century-old Solva Mill, which also made the floor coverings. Welsh shirting flannel lines the curtains while early 20 C Welsh pottery is used.
Eleven antique Welsh quilts have been hung on the walls. These were purchased from Jen Jones who also supplied a number of Welsh blankets. Pictures of the house interior show a number of striking collectors quilts, mostly flannel and woolen quilts in bright and dark colours, hung from dowels.
Three quilts can be seen in the hall - one is a wool flannel quilt in grey, black and red squares; the second is a single "hired hand" quilt in sombre wool rectangles and the third is another wool flannel quilt with a chequerboard centre of red and balck squares with borders of grey, red and navy wool.
Quilts can be seen on some beds, but these are sturdy modern quilts.
Craig Hamilton, the architect stated that "the project was intended as a celebration of the Welsh vernacular. I think it has been very successfully accomplished. The whole makes for a very very peaceful location. Further information can be found in a recent book, A Royal House in Wales - Llwynywermod by Mark Baker.
The courtyard at Llwynywermod