A modest hill farm hunkered on the southern slopes of Cwm Prysor, Yr Ysgwrn has been an unlikely visitor destination since Hedd Wyn's death in 1917. Pilgrims from far and wide have visited Yr Ysgwrn to view the iconic Black Chair and to meet Hedd Wyn’s family. Yr Ysgwrn is is a site of international significance, acclaimed as the home of Ellis Humphrey Evans, better known by his bardic name, Hedd Wyn. A renowned Welsh poet, he was killed in action during the First World War. He was posthumously awarded the 1917 National Eisteddfod Chair at Birkenhead for his ode, Yr Arwr (“The Hero”).
March 1st, 2012
Snowdonia National Park Authority and its partners announced that they had secured Yr Ysgwrn for the nation. The purchase of Yr Ysgwrn was made possible thanks to funding from the Welsh Government and the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
November 1st, 2012
Meilir Jarrett from Trawsfynydd became Yr Ysgwrn’s agricultural tenant. His responsibilities include managing the 168 acre mountain farm, common grazing rights, an agricultural barn and livestock including 200 Welsh ewes and 5 Welsh Black heifers.
November 26th, 2012
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) gave the Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) the green light to progress plans for the Grade II* listed farmhouse, farmland and the collections relating to Hedd Wyn with the award of first-round pass and a £149,700 development grant.
March 1st , 2013
Two officers were appointed to the project of developing Yr Ysgwrn and to keep the door open. Europac, a company specializing in 3D scanning, completed a scan of the Black Chair, enabling it to the digitally recreated.
An inspiring location, Yr Ysgwrn has hosted various open days and special literary events in the company of academics, writers and poets such as Ifor ap Glyn, Myrddin ap Dafydd, Dr Bleddyn Huws, Alan Llwyd, Gai Toms, Dewi Prysor and Haf Llewelyn.
January 13th, 2015
The unveiling of the Black Chair replica in the Senedd. The replica is a tribute to Eugeen Vanfleteren, who crafted the original chair and it enables an international audience to learn more about the Black Chair and the legacy of Hedd Wyn. The replica was produced by Drumlord and Cardiff University with the support of the Welsh Government, the National Museum of Wales and the Snowdonia National Park Authority.
July 10th, 2015
The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, was given a very warm welcome on the hearth of Yr Ysgwrn. During the visit, the First Minister spoke with Hedd Wyn’s nephew, Mr Gerald Williams, and also had the opportunity to discuss the development of Yr Ysgwrn with project officers and to see some of the plans.
First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones said:
"It's fitting that on the centenary of the First World War I've been able to visit Yr Ysgwrn, home to the famous Welsh poet Hedd Wyn. It's important that we preserve our iconic buildings for future generations, that's why we've taken action to preserve this site which is an important part of Welsh cultural heritage."
September 10th, 2015
A very special exhibition opened at Plas Tan y Bwlch by Gerald Williams and Malo Bampton, Hedd Wyn’s nephew and niece. Over several months, local school pupils assisted artist Luned Rhys Parri to recreate Yr Ysgwrn’s iconic cegin (kitchen) out of papier mâché. Both the cegin and Black Chair replica were displayed in the exhibition, which provided an opportunity to experience the charm and unique sense of place of Yr Ysgwrn during the closure of the site.
October 24th 2015
Following over a year of planning, conservation and development works started on site. Between clearing out the pigsty and farmhouse, several treasures were found. These include a beautiful slate wall that was hiding under some damaged layers of wall paper in the maid’s room and some old family books in the pigsty. North Wales builders, R.L.Davies also began working on the new agriculture shed, located a step away from the farm’s historic core.
November 30th, 2015
Yr Ysgwrn closed its doors to the public until Spring 2017.
December 4th, 2015
For only the third time since first arriving at Yr Ysgwrn in 1917, the Black Chair was removed from the farmhouse in order to complete conservation work. It was carefully moved into storage at Llys Ednowain along with the five local Eisteddfod chairs that Hedd Wyn.
January 26th, 2016
A real treasure at Yr Ysgwrn was removed for greater inspection. Visitors have always been fascinated by the layers upon layers of wallpaper at the Cegin. Wallpaper specialists Crick-Smith from the University of Lincoln, visited Yr Ysgwrn and took wallpaper and paint samples from around the house. We were all shocked when the report arrived- there was 26 layers of wallpaper in the cegin!
Their report stated:
“The wallpapers examined represent a period of approximately 100 years of occupation of the property, though the early evidence is quite fragmentary, which makes exact dating difficult. The decorative scheme appears to change more frequently in the earlier period (post WW1 to late 1930s). Although we cannot rule out other papers being stripped from the walls, the reverse of the papers found show some transfer of colours, which suggest that the layers are continuous from early 1900s onwards.”
Grosvenor Construction, a heritage specialist company based in Kinmel Bay started their conservation work at Yr Ysgwrn. Their work included the main work on the historical buildings such as the pigsty, Beudy Llwyd and of course, the farmhouse itself.
The artist Catrin Williams was commissioned to work with five local schools and community groups in order to create a patchwork inspired by Yr Ysgwrn’s landscape to be permanently on display at Beudy Llwyd.
October 10th, 2016
Meilir Jarrett, Yr Ysgwrn’s agricultural tenant started using the new agricultural shed permanently. The new shed has been clad with wood from the nearby coppice and has a grass roof in order to blend into the landscape.
January 6th, 2017
The Eisteddfod Chairs were transported to Carmarthenshire to be restored by conservation carpenter, Hugh Haley. Over the years, the chairs had become fragile and conservation work was required.
June 6th, 2017
The door of Yr Ysgwrn re-opened to the public for the first time.