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Restorative powers: a stay at historic Llwyn Celyn

As the Landmark Trust opens this 600-year old house in Wales’s Black Mountains, Owen Sheers finds its period details offer a richly atmospheric stay

We arrive in a storm. It is late, the night alive with wind and slanting rain. For the last few miles the narrow lanes, lit by the car’s headlights, have been strewn with a winter confetti of leaves, twigs and branches. In contrast to all this wild movement and scattering through which we’ve been driving, our destination, Llwyn Celyn (meaning holly bush) at the mouth of the Llanthony Valley near Abergavenny, appears as a mass of stillness and solidity, looming dark above us. With no exterior lights and the rain dashing the windscreen, it’s hard to make out much more so, with two sleeping children in the car, I head into the house to find their bedrooms.

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