Bodfach Hall Gardens, Llanfyllin, Powys
Bodfach Hall is a Grade II-listed house with ten acres of gardens surrounded by parkland and woods. The origins of the Bodfach estate lie deep in Welsh history. It was owned by Madoc ap Meredydd, Prince of Powys (1098-1160), and his descendants continued to live at Bodfach until the mid-19th century. The current house and the surrounding parkland date back to the 1760s with Victorian additions made a century later. This was also when the gardens were laid out with terraces, herbaceous borders, specimen trees, topiary and shrubbery paths. The collection of rhododendrons and azaleas also dates back to Victorian times and is one of the finest in Wales, providing a magnificent display of colour in May and June.
Simon and Maggie Baynes have lived at Bodfach since 2007 and have been busy restoring the house and gardens, particularly the small ornamental lake and the statue garden. They have also planted new trees in the parkland and the orchard and created a walled courtyard garden at the back of the house as well as a new formal garden by the Georgian coach house. There have been many discoveries along the way including a secret well and the plaques commemorating dear departed dogs which adorn the Victorian dog kennels at the back of the coach house.
The tour will be given by Simon Baynes and will start with a brief history of the house, gardens and estate. Simon will then show visitors round the gardens after which homemade teas will be served in the courtyard garden. A plan of the gardens will be given to visitors so they can revisit parts of the garden after the tour or take their tea down to a particular spot to enjoy at the end of the afternoon.
Cardiganshire Horticultural Society has a long tradition of organising quality summer outings for its discerning membership. For the June tour last year we visited Bodfach Hall and had a really wonderful morning. Warmly welcomed by Simon and Maggie Baynes, we enjoyed excellent refreshments on arrival and a very comprehensive introductory talk about the house and gardens. Everyone was then ready to enjoy the guided tour of the gardens which exceeded expectations and all present thoroughly enjoyed their morning.
Drive west through Llanfyllin on A490 and carry on past the turning to Lake Vyrnwy on the left, round a bend, over a bridge and up the first part of a hill. On the right you will then see a white and blue lodge on the right, turn in there.
Follow the drive for about half-a-mile which includes a U-turn bend at the end after which you will reach a gate with a bungalow on the right. Proceed through the gate into the car park where you will be met by the owner.
Tea, coffee, home-made cakes and biscuits.
Dogs on leads only.
Wheelchair access is reasonably good in the gardens.