Lancaiach Fawr is a living history museum situated close to the town of Nelson, in south east Wales. It’s a great place to take children as it is extremely interesting for them. They step back in time to 1643, the time of the Civil War, when the owners of this spectacular manor house, the Pritchard family were Royalists fighting against Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians. He later changed sides when the Parliamentarians won the war and was appointed the Governor of Cardiff Castle in 1645, which he held onto for the parliamentarians despite a siege by Royalist forces. The actors who play the parts of the servants of the household are truly in their role. When children ask if they have mobile phones or if they have ever been in a plane, the actors look blank and deny all knowledge of such things.
The house was well-defended with thick walls and secret staircases. There are more windows to be seen from outside the house than there are inside. There are period costumes for children to try on and lances and other weapons on display, all of which are extremely heavy.
The gardens have been lovingly restored and there is a knot garden too. You will see the vegetable (or kitchen garden), the Physic garden, where herbs were grown to cure illnesses, the Privy garden and the Orchard. The kitchen is equipped with a rustic, wooden table and trenchers, and the maids and cook explain how the food was prepared and where it was cooked. As you might expect, there is an impressive fireplace with an inglenook.
It is possible that you might visit the Manor when Edward Pritchard, the owner is at home, although in 1643 he rarely was, as he was preoccupied with the war. When he was away from Llancaiach Fawr Manor, so were his wife and children, but again they make rare appearances at the Manor.
Llancaiach Fawr is in the top ten haunted buildings list in Britain, and visitors can, if they feel up to meeting an apparition, go on a ghost tour of the house and grounds.
There are other events held at the Manor throughout the year, and in 2013 there was an Easter Egg Hunt. You can find the Manor on the B4254 road that goes from Nelson to Gelligaer approximately two and a half miles from the A470. Take a look at the Events page on the official website to see what is coming up!
Whenever you go to Llancaiach Fawr Manor you will get a warm welcome and take away some amazing memories – but you cannot take photographs inside the house. Enjoy your visit.