The walled garden at Rheola was originally constructed around 1812, shortly after the building of Rheola House itself and is now the only remaining 19th century walled garden in the Neath valley.
Rheola estate became the site of an aluminium works in 1939 and the house used as offices. Following this the garden lay abandoned for many years and gradually became overgrown with trees, shrubs and brambles. When Glynneath Training Centre took on the task of clearing the garden in 2009 the gardens had become an impenetrable wilderness. The walls had disintegrated to such an extent that entry to gardens was extremely hazardous. The greenhouses, of which there were originally four lay in ruins of broken glass and invaded by trees.
Over the next few years GTC coordinated the restoration of the gardens, building paths and restoring the original stone walls. Three greenhouses were rebuilt, by local craftsmen, and are now used for growing fruits, vegetables and other plants.
Funding was secured to rebuild the old gardener’s cottage on the site of the old ruins. As no mains services were available solar panels for electricity and water collection facilities were installed.
We have now developed a range of features on the site to make it a venue for a wide diversity of courses, workshops and volunteering opportunities.
- Vegetable beds
- Red cedar greenhouses
- Trained fruit
- Rainwater harvesting for irrigation and toilet flushing
- Gravity fed drip–irrigation system
- Woodland area, fire-pit circle
- Wildlife pond
- Willow beds (for basketry/crafts)
- Gardener’s Cottage for meeting space and training venue
- Children’s/family gardening sessions
- Apple Orchard
- Developing forest garden
Volunteering at Rheola
Potential volunteers should get in touch withone of the “O Dan yr Awyr” team, who will advise on volunteering days and times.
Sandra Lane on 01639 729907 Email: [email protected]
Amanda Ellis on 01639 729908 Email: [email protected]
Rheola Walled Garden SA11 4DT
Friends of Rheola
If you are interested in becoming more involved as a long term supporter to the site, we would be pleased to put you on our list of “Friends” who take an active part in the development of the site. Friends receive exclusive access to friends events and priority access to training events,
Please contact Sandra Lane on 01639 729907 Email: [email protected]