In a £2 million initiative, Tyn Dwr Hall in Llangollen, North Wales, has been handsomely restored and re-equipped by the University of Central Lancashire in partnership with Proactive Adventure. It reopened earlier this month as an outdoor education facility.
Tyn Dwr (House of Water), a Grade II-listed building, was erected in the 1860s for an ironmaster named John Dicken on about 1,200 acres of land, including much of the Berwyn Mountains.
Tudorbethan in style, it features black-and-white half-timbering, stone mullions and a tower. The carvings inside are the work of Bavarian craftsmen brought over especially for the purpose. What is said to be the largest yew tree in Wales can be found in the grounds.
Over the years, the hall has had a series of owners, including Lord Duveen, arguably Britain's most successful antiques and picture dealer of all time, before becoming an evacuation centre for a Liverpool school during the Second World War, and later a youth hostel.
The building was purchased by the University of Central Lancashire in August 2007. A new outdoor degree programme allows students to spend one week in four at Tyn Dwr, where they can practise archery, kayaking, climbing, rope-climbing and mountain-biking. Tyn Dwr's accommodation now includes a yurt campsite.
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