Tyle Morgrug has stood proudly looking over the Welsh valleys for more than 175 years.
We’ve been part of the building’s story since 1984, carefully renovating it for use by youth groups and adult groups alike, so they can get into the great outdoors, learn new things, be with friends and escape for a bit.
If these walls could talk…
Tyle Morgrug was built as a hill farm in the 1840s and thrived as such, even holding local sheep markets, when the main market at Penderyn was too busy.
Originally sitting in a plot of 250 acres, the farm land reduced to 131 acres in 1881. Stables were added to keep ponies, used at the nearby silica mine, which must have helped supplement the farmer’s income during tougher times.
Tyle Morgrug’s association with farming came to an end in 1966, with the farm being purchased for its land by the Forestry Commission. The local community strongly resisted the wholesale planting of trees, so the Forestry Commission sold the land on and the buildings fell into disrepair.
Sometime later, the farm buildings were bought in a semi-derelict state by Wiltshire County Council. The plan was to use Tyle Morgrug as a residential outdoor activities base for school groups. With minimal use and rising costs, the council sold it to our charity, the Chichester Youth Adventure Trust, in 1984 for £8000.
So begins our story…
We are a group of like minded charity volunteers, made up of youth workers, teachers, outdoor enthusiasts, DIY experts and great organisers.
We all share a passion for the countryside and want to help as many people as possible to get into it – that’s why over the past 30 years we’ve invested ourselves in bringing Tyle Morgrug back to life.
The Chichester Youth Adventure Trust, was started by youth development champion, Anne Scicluna, the then Mayor of Chichester, West Sussex. Anne wanted to find a residential base for young people to pursue outdoor activities in rugged country. The plan was to involve young people in renovations, so they could develop practical skills and personally grow. Tyle Morgrug proved to be the perfect location and the buildings were purchased.
Anne gathered together a crack squad of volunteers (many of them still involved to this day), who joined her in the epic task of raising money to renovate the building, and then doing the hard graft to make it usable.
Work parties: from 1984 to today
Affectionately known as ‘the hovel’ during renovations, people have enjoyed volunteering their skills over the years - from making curtains to roofing, painting, carpentry, book keeping and cooking for hungry volunteers.
The early years of renovation were spent carrying out the hard labour of making the place habitable. Using local tradesmen, where needed, we…
· Re-slated roofs
· Improved the natural water supply
· Incorporated the barn into the living space
· Rebuilt and repaired walls
· Landscaped the grounds
· Improved the access track
· Put in new doors and windows
· Rewired the building
· Added new plumbing and central heating
When the work was done to a basic level, we started welcoming activity groups and work parties – and over time – it became a basic bunkhouse.
Things have moved on since then; with painting, decorating, tiling, furnishing, commercial kitchen fitting, drying room creation, good showers, new beds and a nice lounge creating a comfortable, fully-equipped 3 star cottage and bunkhouse for private hire. We have also tarmacked the access drive and provided top notch biking facilities.
We keep the quality of the cottage and bunkhouse high, hosting working parties at least twice a year to maintain and improve the facilities.
The old farm has a new lease of life and a new purpose. It has been reborn as a busy hub for young people and adult groups to get out and enjoy everything the Welsh countryside has to offer.
Although primarily intended for young people from the Chichester area, it is now available to adults and youth groups from anywhere in the country. We’ve had schools and youth groups, Scouts, Guides and private parties of walkers, bikers and outdoor enthusiasts come and stay with us.
If this all sounds good to you, then check out our availability to see when you could come and experience Tyle Morgrug for yourselves. If you’d like to volunteer for a working party, then drop us a line via our Contact us page.