Aberglasney celebrates 25th anniversary of opening to the public with exciting array of events

To celebrate Aberglasney’s 25th anniversary of being open to the public, visitors are invited to enjoy an exciting array of events and experiences over the coming months.

The gardens were opened to the public on 4 July 1999. Aberglasney was made famous at the time by the BBC television series ‘A Garden Lost in Time’ which followed its restoration right up to the day it opened.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary, Aberglasney will hold special screening events for visitors to watch the original four episodes of the BBC series which follows the work done to discover the hidden gems buried under many years of neglect.

Eleanor Keatley, Chairman of Aberglasney’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Group said, “We have planned an exciting programme of unique events and experiences to celebrate this landmark at Aberglasney. We hope our members and visitors will join us over the coming months to help celebrate this latest milestone. There will be opportunities to learn about Aberglasney’s history whilst work gets underway on exciting, new projects which enhance our venue for the future.”

The 25th anniversary celebrations will start with an exhibition of original paintings by William Wilkins, one of the most successful contemporary painters working in Wales today.  The exhibition of recent and early paintings and drawings opens 3 May 2024 and closes 23 May 2024.

William Wilkins said, “As the founding Chairman of the Aberglasney Restoration Trust and Project Director of the restoration I am very pleased to be exhibiting as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations at Aberglasney. I am proud that it continues to go from strength to strength and continues to be an inspiration.” 

During May there will also be a 25th Anniversary celebratory fundraising evening event where William Wilkins will give a talk about his major contribution to the restoration of Aberglasney in the 1990s. The event, which will take place from 6.30pm on Friday, 17 May 2024 in the mansion, will open with Sam Hickman performing on the harp. William Wilkins will then give a presentation on the restoration work carried out at Aberglasney 25 years ago. William will be followed by vocal soloist, Nia Tyler and then Gillian Clarke, will read a selection of her poems about the restoration of Aberglasney 25 years ago. Tickets for this event are on sale on the website: https://aberglasney.org/events-exhibitions/category/25th-anniversary/

The extensive programme of events planned to celebrate the 25th anniversary includes a competition for the county’s children to design a garden themed birthday card. The competition will be launched on the 7 May and the winner will be announced at the special birthday event on 4July in the gardens.

A 25th anniversary celebratory Summer Ball has been arranged for the evening of Saturday, 22June, with the talented Deano Martini to entertain everyone after a delicious two course meal in the beautiful surroundings of the mansion. Tickets are available now online: with limited numbers for this fundraising event so book early to avoid disappointment.

For the anniversary celebration weekend of 6 and 7 July the entry fee to the gardens will be rolled back to the price charged in 1999 of £3.95. During July there will also be a talk by Tom Lloyd, one of the longest serving Trustees of Aberglasney about the history of the gardens as well as an exhibition of his collection of original paintings of former residents of the Grade II* listed mansion.

Aberglasney’s Director of Operations Jim Stribling said, “This year will be an exciting one for the future of Aberglasney. Work will start later this year to replace the terrace marquee of the Tearooms with a permanent dining area overlooking the pool garden, allowing for year-round enjoyment, whatever the weather.

“We are also excited to announce work has started on Allt Aberglasney, the recently purchased woodland area adjacent to the gardens. Access is being improved and forestry work done to beautify and make the site safe for future access. Pathways and sympathetic plantings are planned, adding a new dimension to the Aberglasney experience.”  

With so much planned this summer to celebrate the 25th anniversary, members and visitors are advised to regularly check Aberglasney’s social media pages, website and enewsletters for event details and tickets.

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