First minister Carwyn Jones has unveiled a £1 million project that has transformed Llancaiach Fawr Manor’s servant quarters to as they were in the 17th Century.
The conservation project has seen the Grade 1 listed building’s servant quarters in the attic opened to the public for the first time.
The refurbishment has been accompanied changes to sounds and lighting, plus the introduction of open fires, in a bid to make the manor seem as it was in 1645.
Modern lights have been replaced with horn lanterns and copper chandeliers and the heating has been hidden by bespoke furniture.
Accessibility for the disabled and people with learning difficulties has been improved, with a lift making the upper floors available to wheelchair users for the first time.
Specialist conservation architects and builders were used and traditional material such as oak was sourced from the Usk Valley.
The works was carried out with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Cadw and Caerphilly County Borough Council.
Mr Jones said: “Llancaiach Fawr Manor has long been an important link between the past and the present, offering an imaginative and vibrant insight into 17th century Wales.
“I’m pleased to have supported this exciting development – the recent work only enhances the manor’s appeal and I’m sure the coming months will see more people than ever enjoying all that this historic site has to offer.”
Cllr Ken James, Caerphilly’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Regeneration, Planning and Sustainable Development said: “These major improvements to the historic manor house will undoubtedly help transform not only the way we present the past to a modern audience, but also enable more visitors than ever before to explore all that Llancaiach Fawr has to offer.”
The manor hosted the Urdd Eisteddfod this year and manager Diane Walker thanked staff and volunteers by holding a garden party.
It is also part of the Open Doors scheme which offers free access to some of Wales’ most prestigious heritage sites.
Llancaiach Fawr will open its doors for free to the public on Sunday September 20.