Heritage treasure restored in town where bog snorkelling began!

A church located in the town where the sport of ‘bog snorkelling’ was born is undergoing a restoration project to open its doors to both the local community and tourists.

The town of Llanwrtyd Wells is also home to quirky sporting activities such as ‘Man-versus-Horse’ and the ‘World Alternative Games’ and attracts adrenaline seekers from all over the world. St David’s Parish Church is now undergoing an extensive restoration and transformation which will help draw in the crowds of tourists which pass through the town for the World Bog Snorkelling Championships and, more importantly, preserve the church for local people and future generations.

The project will conserve the 12th Century, Grade II* listed building as well as enabling better access throughout. Urgent structural repairs and restoration are needed to the tower as well as to the exterior porch wall, downpipes and guttering.

Discussions with local townspeople also identified a need for a venue that may be used for both religious and community events and work is planned to make the building more inviting to all. As a result, the project will improve disabled access, add a visitor refreshment area and create a website which will raise the profile of the church, including identifying it as a visitor attraction.

With the initial investigative works for the project already underway, human remains have been discovered in a small well under the font. The archaeologist working on the project stated that they could be well over 500 years old. Further investigation showed that it was a full skeleton of an older man and some of the bones have been removed for future reburial.

St David’s church hopes that the restoration project will allow the community to enjoy a warm, dry and safe church whilst increasing tourist footfall from those visitors to the town who may not have realised it existed.

The church has received a grant from Allchurches Trust to support the work as well as from; The Heritage Lottery fund, Visit Wales, The Heritage and Arts Centre, Manor Adventures as well as many local businesses and individuals.

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