New BBC doc explores Wales’ hidden history Capel Calfornia, Aberdare and Bethania Chapel, Mountain Ash
In Wales, hundreds of iconic buildings are at risk of ruin and demolition, and with them, a huge part of the country’s history.
In Hidden Wales: Last Chance to Save, Will Millard explores the crumbling ruins of some of the country’s great architecture to tell the stories behind these remarkable places and to meet the people who are working tirelessly to protect, preserve and restore these endangered buildings.
The locations that Will visits include:
- Gwylfa Hiraethog, Denbighshire
- Edwinsford, Talley
- Piercefield House, St Arvans
- Hafod Mansion, Cwmystwyth
- Foxhall Newydd, Denbighshire
- Hafodunos Hall, Colwyn Bay
- Esgair Llewelyn, Powys
- Rhosydd Barracks, Gwynedd
- Navigation Colliery, Crumlin
- Capel Calfornia, Aberdare
- Capel Seion, Merthyr Tydfil
- Bethania Chapel, Mountain Ash
- Fort Hubberstone, Milford Haven
- Palace Theatre, Swansea
Speaking in the programme, Will said; “Wales is full of historic architecture but much of it is crumbling before our very eyes. They’re hiding in plain sight. Often you’ll walk past these buildings every single day without even realising they have these incredible histories or extraordinary stories to tell. But these places once stood at the heart of our communities or in the middle of nowhere. They’re so much more than just bricks and mortar, they’re places where we once loved, lived, worked and died. But many have gone and we’re in real danger of losing more of our vital history forever.”
From forgotten forts and ancient farmhouses, to abandoned mines and mansions, Will is on a journey of discovery taking in the buildings that made Wales.
He also meets the conservation heroes who are devoted to rescuing some of the sites before it’s too late. These include a reverend who owns 13 derelict chapels across the south Wales valleys, a fort fanatic in Milford Haven who is attempting to make the town’s largest fort safe for visitors, and a man who has made it his mission to restore a mansion in Colwyn Bay after an arson attack destroyed it.
HIDDEN WALES: LAST CHANCE TO SAVE
Tuesday, 1 March
BBC One Wales and BBC Four, 8pm
Rheolwr Marchnata a Chyfathrebu Marketing and Communications Manager