The National Botanic Garden of Wales is celebrating a lottery award that will kickstart the biggest development in its history.

 

A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund announced today (March 1st) is the final piece of the jigsaw signalling the launch of the construction phase of a £7.2 million project to restore the legendary landscape of one of the finest Regency waterparks in Britain.

 

Baroness Kay Andrews, UK Trustee and Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: “Once completed, this exciting project will confirm the Botanic Garden’s place at the top of everyone’s to-do list. It will make not only an amazing day out for families and people of all ages and a must-see for those outside Wales and even further afield.”

 

Economy Secretary, Ken Skates said: “Our natural heritage is a precious resource, and combining the Botanic Garden’s horticulture expertise with its own history will make an exciting and powerful new visitor attraction for Wales.

 

“The Welsh Government is a proud supporter of the Botanic Garden and we welcome this investment which will help provide new skills and training for volunteers and apprentices.”

 

The original owners of the estate where the Garden now stands,  the Middleton family, began to lay out formal gardens from the late 16th century using wealth gained from procuring spices, herbs and other goods as founders of the East India Company in the early 1600s.

 

It was not until the estate was bought by MP for Carmarthen, Sir William Paxton, in 1789 that the grounds came into their own.

 

Protegé of world-famous landscape architect, Capability Brown, Samuel Lapidge was commissioned to design the landscape and gardens to include an innovative water park with water flowing around the estate linked by a network of dams, sluices, bridges and cascades. 

 

It is these ground-breaking water features that will be brought back to life for modern day visitors to enjoy.

 

Director of The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Huw Francis said: “Spring has certainly sprung here at the Garden, with this fantastic news chiming in a fresh season and a fresh chapter in our history too.

 

“Since we opened in 2000, we have always wanted to celebrate not only our horticulture but also our heritage.

 

“The main house was destroyed decades ago through fire but the impressive grounds have left plenty of traces in the form of drained or silted lakes and overgrown paths. This funding will mean we no longer have to imagine what the estate might have looked like – we can now recreate it for our modern day visitors to experience first-hand. It will be spectacular.”

 

Mr Francis added that the restoration work will happen alongside an exciting programme of activities and events providing a range of opportunities for people to get involved.

 

The news is timely not only coinciding with the Visit Wales ‘Year of Legends’ and ‘Year of the Sea’, but also the enormous popularity of the BBC TV series ‘Taboo’ in which the East India Company has a key role amid a dramatic and compelling cocktail of conspiracy, betrayal and bloodshed. The Garden’s heritage and history is inextricably linked to the Company, from its first flourishings to its decline at the end of the 19th century.

 

The Garden’s Head of Development, Rob Thomas, who is responsible for successfully piloting the funding bid, said: “The Middleton family was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the East India Company, creating  a wealthy Welsh dynasty with a home in the heart of Carmarthenshire. With the decline in the Middleton fortunes, the estate was acquired in the 1780s by Sir William Paxton, a Scot returning from his East India Company service as one of the wealthiest men in Britain.

 

“He set to work, creating the blueprint for the landscape here today, employing the finest minds of the day to design the mansion, gardens and necklace of lakes that surrounded his hilltop home.

 

“He would have been acutely aware of the Middleton history that he was buying into. This truly was the heyday of the estate and the Garden today can not only claim that it has been a site of formal growing for more than 400 years, but can also point to the fact that it had its very genesis in plants for health and the profits to be made from them and was sustained by the development and growth of the British Empire.

 

“It is an incredible story of pirates, plague and plants for health, and plots a period of 250 years of international trade from the times of barter and exchange to the establishment of international lines of credit and investment banking; the forging of the blueprint for our current capitalist system; and, in the hands of Sir William Paxton, the formation of modern investment banking.”

Heritage Lottery Fund investment: £3,555,700

                                                       

About the National Botanic Garden of Wales

Opened in May 2000 as one of three iconic Millennium projects in Wales, the Garden occupies 568 acres of historic parkland (Middleton Hall) including a National Nature Reserve and organic farm, as well as being a showcase for some of the world’s most endangered plants.

It was the first national botanic garden of the new millennium and, in 14 years, has welcomed more than 2.2 million visitors. It embodies the old and new with 18th century features set alongside the futuristic, single-span Great Glasshouse designed by Lord Norman Foster. This is now an international landmark for Wales. 

The Garden’s work is determined by its Ten-Year Strategic Plan, its vision, “Conservation, Education, Inspiration” and its mission to dedicate itself to the research and conservation of biodiversity, to sustainability, lifelong learning and the enjoyment of the visitor.

 

Other funding in place for the project includes a major donation from heritage philanthropist, Richard Broyd OBE, from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Monument Trust, Carmarthenshire County Council and the Country Houses Foundation. Previous support has come from the Pilgrim Trust, The Mercer’s Company, the Patsy Wood Trust and Welsh Government.

About HLF

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported

 Tirwedd chwedlonol yn dod nôl i’r dyfodol

 

Mae Gardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol Cymru yn dathlu gwobr loteri sy’n mynd i gychwyn y datblygiad mwyaf yn ei hanes.

 

Mae grant gan Gronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri a gyhoeddwyd heddiw (1af o Fawrth) yn ddarn olaf o’r jig-so ac yn arwydd cychwyn o’r cyfnod adeiladu o’r prosiect £7.2 miliwn i adfer y tirlun chwedlonol o un o barciau dŵr o gyfnod y Rhaglywiaeth gorau ym Mhrydain.

 

Meddai’r Farwnes Kay Andrews, Ymddiriedolydd y DG a Chadeirydd Cronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri yng Nghymru:  “Wedi ei orffen, bydd y prosiect cyffrous hwn yn cadarnhau’r Ardd Fotaneg ar ben rhestr ymweliadau angenrheidiol. Bydd yn ddiwrnod allan heb ei ail i deuluoedd a phobl o bob oed ac yn gyrchfan hanfodol i bobl o’r tu allan i Gymru ac ymhellach hyd yn oed.”

 

Dywedodd yr Ysgrifennydd Economi Ken Skates AC: “Mae ein treftadaeth naturiol yn adnodd gwerthfawr, a bydd cyfuno arbenigedd garddwriaethol yr Ardd Fotaneg gyda’i hanes ei hun yn creu atyniad ymwelwyr newydd cyffrous a grymus i Gymru.”

 

“Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn gefnogwr balch o’r Ardd Fotaneg ac rydym yn croesawu’r buddsoddiad hwn fydd yn help i ddarparu sgiliau newydd a hyfforddiant i wirfoddolwyr a phrentisiaid.”

 

Dechreuodd perchnogion gwreiddiol y stad, y Middletons, gynllunio gerddi ffurfiol ar ddiwedd yr 16eg ganrif gan ddefnyddio cyfoeth a ddaeth o werthu sbeisys, perlysiau a nwyddau eraill fel sylfaenwyr yr East India Company ar ddechrau’r 17eg ganrif.

 

Ond bu’n rhaid aros nes y prynwyd y stad gan Aelod Seneddol Caerfyrddin, Syr William Paxton, yn 1789 cyn i’r gerddi ddechrau datblygu o ddifrif.

 

Ag yntau wedi ei ddylanwadu gan y pensaer tirluniol bydenwog, Capability Brown, comisiynwyd Samuel Lapidge i gynllunio’r tirlun a’r gerddi gan gynnwys parc dŵr arloesol gyda dŵr yn llifo o gwmpas y stad wedi’i gysylltu gan rwydwaith o argloddiau, llifddorau, pontydd a rhaeadrau.

 

Y nodweddion dŵr arloesol hyn fydd yn cael eu hail-greu er mwyn i ymwelwyr heddiw eu mwynhau.

 

Meddai Huw Francis, Cyfarwyddwr Gardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol Cymru: “Mae’r Gwanwyn yn sicr wedi gwawrio yma yn yr Ardd, ac mae’r newyddion gwych hwn yn croesawu tymor newydd a phennod newydd yn ein hanes ar yr un pryd.

 

“Ers inni agor ar droad y Mileniwm, rydym wastad wedi bod eisiau dathlu nid yn unig ein garddwriaeth ond hefyd ein treftadaeth.

 

“Dinistriwyd y tŷ ddegawdau yn ôl gan dân, ond gadawodd y gerddi nodedig ddigon o olion ar ffurf llynnoedd wedi’u draenio neu eu siltio a llwybrau wedi gordyfu. Bydd yr arian hwn yn golygu na fyddwn mwyach yn gorfod dychmygu sut allai’r stad fod wedi edrych, gan y gallwn yn awr ei ail-greu i’w fwynhau gan ymwelwyr heddiw. Mi fydd yn ysblennydd.”

 

Ychwanegodd Mr Francis bod y gwaith adfer yn mynd i ddigwydd yn gyfochrog â rhaglen gyffrous o weithgareddau a digwyddiadau’n darparu amrywiaeth o gyfleoedd i bobl gymryd rhan.

 

Mae amseru’r cyhoeddiad yn dda, nid yn unig yn cyd-daro gyda ‘Blwyddyn Chwedlau’ a ‘Blwyddyn y Môr’ Croeso Cymru, ond hefyd gyda’r gyfres hynod o boblogaidd y BBC ‘Taboo’ lle mae gan yr  East India Company rhan allweddol yng nghanol drama goctel o frad, cynllwynio a thywallt gwaed.  Mae yna gyswllt anorfod rhwng hanes a threftadaeth yr Ardd a’r Cwmni, o’i chychwyniad llewyrchus i’w dirywiad ar ddiwedd y 19eg ganrif.

 

Dywedodd Pennaeth Datblygiad yr Ardd, Rob Thomas, sy’n gyfrifol am y cais llwyddiannus o gyllid: “Bu’r teulu Middleton yn un o’r grymoedd gyrru tu ôl i greadigaeth yr East India Company, gan greu llinach Gymreig cyfoethog gyda chartref yng nghanol Sir Gaerfyrddin.  Gyda’r dirywiad o gyfoeth y teulu Middleton, bu’r ystâd yn mynd i feddiant Syr William Paxton yn yr 1780au, Albanwr yn dychwelyd o’i wasanaeth gyda’r East India Company ac yn un o’r dynion mwyaf cyfoethog ym Mhrydain.

 

Aeth ati i weithio, gan greu glasbrint ar gyfer y dirwedd sydd yma heddiw, gan gyflogi’r meddyliau gorau o’r dydd i ddylunio’r plasty, gerddi a’r gadwyn o lynnoedd a wnaeth amgylchynu ei gartref ar ben y bryn.

 

“Byddai wedi bod yn ymwybodol o’r hanes Middleton, yr oedd yn prynu i mewn.  Dyma oedd wir anterth yr ystâd ac nid yw’r Ardd ond yn gallu honni ei fod wedi bod yn safle o dyfu ffurfiol am fwy na 400 mlynedd, ond gall hefyd tynnu sylw at y ffaith ei fod wedi cael cychwyniad ei hun ym mhlanhigion ar gyfer iechyd gyda’r arian ohonynt a chafodd ei gynnal gan ddatblygiad a thwf yr Ymerodraeth Brydeinig.

 

“Mae’n chwedl anhygoel o fôr ladron, pla a phlanhigion ar gyfer iechyd a’n blot o gyfnod dros 250 mlynedd o fasnach ryngwladol o’r cyfnod o gyfnewid a thrwco i’r sefydliad o gredyd rhyngwladol a bancio buddsoddi; yn gyrru’r glasbrint o’n system gyfalafol bresennol; ac, yn nwylo Syr William Paxton, yn ffurfio bancio buddsoddi modern.”

Buddsoddiad Cronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri: £3,555,700

 

Mwy o wybodaeth ar yr Ardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol Cymru

Wedi’i hagor ym Mai 2000 fel un o dri prosiect eiconig y Mileniwm yng Nghymru, mae’r Ardd wedi’i gosod mewn 568 o erwau o barcdir hanesyddol (Neuadd Middleton) gan gynnwys Gwarchodfa Natur Genedlaethol a fferm weithiol organig, yn ogystal â bod yn ganolfan i arddangos rhai o blanhigion mwyaf prin y byd.

Dyma’r ardd fotaneg genedlaethol cyntaf i agor yn y mileniwm newydd ac, o fewn 14 mlynedd, wedi croesawu dros 2.2 miliwn o ymwelwyr.  Mae’n cyfuno’r hen a’r newydd gyda nodweddion o’r 18fed ganrif wedi’i gosod yn gyfochrog â Thŷ Gwydr Mawr un-rhychwant, modern yr Arglwydd Norman Foster.  Mae hwn nawr yn dirnod rhyngwladol i Gymru.

Mae gwaith yr Ardd yn benderfynol ar ei Chynllun Strategaeth Deng Mlynedd, mae ei gweledigaeth o “Gadwraeth, Addysg, Ysbrydoliaeth” a’i chennad i’w ymroi ei hun i ymchwil a chadwraeth o fioamrywiaeth, i gynaliadwyedd, addysg gydol oes a mwynhad yr ymwelwr.

 

Mae’r cyllid arall ar gyfer y prosiect yn cynnwys rhodd arbennig oddi wrth y dyngarwr sy’n ymwneud â byd treftadaeth, Richard Broyd OBE, oddi wrth Sefydliad Garfield Weston, o Sefydliad Esmée Fairbairn, o’r Ymddiriedolaeth y Cofadeiladau, o Gyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin ac o’r Sefydliad Tai Gwledig.  Mae cefnogaeth flaenorol wedi dod wrth Ymddiriedolaeth y Pererin, Cwmni’r Sidanwyr, Ymddiriedolaeth Patsy Wood a Llywodraeth Cymru.

 

Mwy am y CDL:

Diolch i chwaraewyr y Loteri Genedlaethol, buddsoddwn arian i helpu pobl ledled gwledydd Prydain archwilio, mwynhau a diogelu’r dreftadaeth sy’n golygu cymaint iddynt – o’r archaeoleg o dan ein traed i’r parciau ac adeiladau hanesyddol rydym yn eu caru, o atgofion a chasgliadau gwerthfawr i fywyd gwyllt prin. www.hlf.org.uk. Dilynwch ni ar Twitter, Facebook ac Instagram a defnyddiwch #HLFsupported

 

 

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