Bluebell, Moors and Ffestiniog cottage win national honours

A RUN-DOWN cottage with its own private platform on the Ffestiniog Railway has scooped a major national heritage award.

Abandoned Coed y Bleiddiau, built in 1863 for Henry Hovenden, the superintendent of the Ffestiniog Railway, has now been transformed into a holiday let accommodating four people, who can arrive by steam train.

Ffestiniog Railway Double Fairlie David Lloyd George passes restored Coed y Bleiddiau cottage with an Up train. Coed y Bleiddiau means ‘wood of the wolves’ and marks the place where the last wolves were seen in Wales. The cottage is a reminder of bygone days, when the railway served the remotest of settings. NRHA

It was built during the slate industry’s boom years when more staff were needed, and it was from Coed y Bleiddiau, near Blaenau Ffestiniog that Henry Hovenden oversaw the carriage of thousands of tons of slate.

Part of the restored interior of the cottage. LANDMARK TRUST

When the slate industry slumped, the cottage was leased, and rented for 15 years by the composer Granville Bantock, to who his friend Edward Elgar dedicated his second Pomp and Circumstance March.

The last inhabitants of the lineside cottage, Bob and Babs Johnson, lived here for more than 50 years until 2006 when their declining health made living in the remote location problematic.

The cottage was falling into ruin when the Landmark Trust took it on and repaired and refurbished it throughout.

Read more and view more images in Issue 249 of HR – on sale now!

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