The Prince of Wales Will Carry Out Engagements in Wales

The Prince of Wales walks with Lord Lieutenat of Tyne and Wear Susan Winfield as he arrives to meet representatives from London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and the Changing Lives charity at Newcastle Central Station during a visit to Tyne and Wear. November 9, 2021.


Friday 10th December 2021 

Engagement 1

The Prince of Wales will officially open Aberystwyth University’s new School of Veterinary Science. Aberystwyth University, Penglais, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3FD 

On arrival, The Prince of Wales will be met by the Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards, the University’s Chancellor, Lord Thomas of Cwmgïedd, and Vice Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Treasure, along with other local dignitaries. 

The Prince will tour the new Veterinary Education Centre on the University’s Penglais campus and speak to the first cohort of students who began their studies in September this year. 

After touring the centre, His Royal Highness will sign the same visitors’ book that he signed back in 1969 while studying at Aberystwyth University, and then unveil a plaque to mark the official opening of the School. 

Established in 1872, Aberystwyth is a leading teaching and research university. 

The new Veterinary Education Centre has opened as part of Wales’ first and only School of Veterinary Science. The centre represents more than £2 million of investment in new teaching facilities on the University’s Penglais campus, which includes brand new anatomy and study facilities. The facilities were funded from a combination of alumni donations and the University’s own funds. 

The first students began their five-year degree in September this year. They will spend the first two years at Aberystwyth University followed by three years’ study at the Royal Veterinary College’s Hawkshead Campus in Hertfordshire. 

The programme covers the full range of animals, from domestic pets to farm animals, in common with all other veterinary programmes. The course also provides opportunities for students to study specific areas of veterinary science through the medium of Welsh, which is partly funded by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. 

The new School builds on over 100 years of animal health teaching and research at Aberystwyth University, and more recently, the successful introduction of a BSc Veterinary Biosciences degree in September 2015. 

As well as the new Veterinary School facilities on the University’s Penglais campus, the students also study in the excellent existing laboratory facilities enjoyed by students at the University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences and gain valuable experience on its dairy and sheep farms, and at the Lluest Equine Centre. 

Engagement 2

The Prince of Wales will open the new Exhibition of the Strata Florida Trust. Mynachlog Fawr, Abbey Rd, Ystrad Fflur, Ystrad Meurig, SY25 6ES 

The Prince of Wales will be received by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards who will present council members, Mr Andrew Green, Chairman of the Strata Florida Trust and Miss Carys Aldous-Hughes, Operational Director of the Strata Florida Trust. 

The Prince of Wales will visit the converted outbuildings including the Arddangosfa Mynachlog Fawr Exhibition and Beudy, before unveiling a plaque to commemorate the Official Opening of the Exhibition. 

Trustees, donors, tradesmen, volunteers and staff will attend the opening. 

The Prince of Wales last visited the site in 2017. 

The Strata Florida Trust has been active, with the help of The Prince’s Foundation and the World Monument Fund, in acquiring the medieval farmhouse adjacent to the Abbey ruins and in renovating its outbuildings. 

The Strata Florida Trust is a charity with two aims: to preserve the historical and architectural heritage of Mynachlog Fawr and its farm buildings, and to advance the education of the public about Strata Florida and its landscape and heritage. The Trust aims to do this by restoring all of the buildings to create The Strata Florida Centre, a place to celebrate Welsh history, culture and landscape. 

Today Strata Florida is made up of a variety of different elements: prehistoric cairns, wells and forts, the Cistercian abbey ruins; the early 19th century St Mary’s church, built on the site of original abbey chapel, and the nearby farm of Mynachlog Fawr. 

Strata Florida Abbey, now in the guardianship of Cadw, was once an important centre of culture, religion and trade, with connections spreading far across the Welsh landscape. Two of the most important surviving Welsh manuscripts, Brut y Tywysogion and the Hendregadredd Manuscript, were probably written at Strata Florida. Dafydd ap Gwilym, Wales’s most famous medieval poet, is reputedly buried here, as are several medieval Princes of Wales. 

So far, the Trust has restored two of its listed buildings, the Beudy in 2019 for use as the Trust offices and community space, and the Tŷ Pair and cartshed in 2021 to create the Mynachlog Fawr Exhibition. In the coming years the Trust aims to convert and restore all the other buildings. 

The Trust’s exhibition, which is being opened, tells the story of the farm through the ‘Mynachlog Fawr in 30 objects’ exhibition. Featuring a variety of objects and documents from the farmhouse and farm buildings, it provides the opportunity for visitors of all ages to discover and engage with the social and agricultural history of the house and local area. In addition, the exhibition contains a Virtual Histories interactive and educational experience that allows users to travel back to see a day in the life of Mynachlog Fawr Farm in the 1940s and the abbey in 1238. The building is also a place for visitors to relax and enjoy the historic building, with chairs next to the magnificent fireplace, a coffee machine, and a selection of second hand and local history books available to read. 

The Strata Florida Trust currently runs a variety of community events and workshops, including a community textile project created collaboratively by local people during the pandemic and co-ordinated by artist Catrin Williams into a banner depicting life in the area 100 years ago, which is now displayed in the exhibition. The Trust also runs both university training digs and a public dig open to all. 

Engagement 3

The Prince of Wales will visit Hafod Hardware store to celebrate independent businesses and show support for the local high street. East St, Rhayader, LD6 5DS 

The Prince of Wales will be received by the Lord-Lieutenant of Powys Tia Jones and introduced to store manager, Tom Jones. 

His Royal Highness will look around the store and meet staff of the independent, family-run business, including Tom’s grandparents Alan and Pauline Lewis, Tom’s wife, Laura Jones and his 4-year-old son, Arthur Jones – star of the shop’s viral advert (2019.) 

Hafod Hardware is one of the oldest businesses in Rhayader, dating back to 1895. The business has passed through the hands of three separate families and for the last 22 years has been owned by Alan and Pauline, with Tom joining the team 12 years ago. 

The shop is now one of the ‘must-see’ attractions of the town as these types of old ironmonger’s stores are becoming increasingly rare. 

The shop champions itself as a large supporter of the community. Hafod Hardware sponsors various sports teams, shows and events and makes annual donations to a variety of volunteer led organisations. These groups are big assets to the community, and the store values the community spirit they bring to rural villages. 

Over the last 4 years the shop has produced a series of festive videos with the purpose of raising the profile of independent businesses across the country, and to encourage people to shop local when they can. The videos have been extremely successful, with millions of views worldwide. 

Engagement 4

The Prince of Wales will visit the late 12th Century Cistercian Abbey, Abbey Cwmhir. Home Farm, Abbeycwmhir, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 6PH. 

On arrival at Home Farm, Abbeycwmhir, The Prince of Wales will be received by Lord-Lieutenant of Powys Mrs Tia Jones and greeted by local historian and Trustee of Abbey Cwmhir Heritage Trust, Julian Lovell, who will then introduce landowners Melvin and Anita Hamer of Home Farm, their niece and husband, Julie and David Evans. His Royal Highness will be accompanied to the Cwmhir Abbey ruins by Mr Lovell and community heritage project lead and Trustee of Abbey Cwmhir Heritage Trust, Dr Mel Walters and Chair of the Abbeycwmhir and Bwlchysarnau Community Council, David Jones After inspecting the Abbey ruins, Mr Lovell will accompany The Prince of Wales to the adjacent Cadw Exhibition Room, to show him further exhibits about the Abbey. 

Cwmhir Abbey was a Cistercian Abbey founded in the 12th Century. Its location was in a heavily contested part of Wales, between the Marcher Lords and the Welsh Princes. Many believe that the body of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd was brought to be buried here after his ambush near Cilmeri on 11th December 1282. 

The Abbey was despoiled by Owain Glyndwr in 1401 during his uprising and it was also the site of a Civil War battle. These knock-backs meant that by the time of Henry VIII’s dissolution there were thought to be only three monks living there. In the centuries that followed, the Abbey church was plundered for its valuable building stone and the Abbey grounds were gentrified by its Victorian owners. Now, the site is an ancient monument, owned by Home Farm, with a small Exhibition Centre run by Cadw. For the last 35 years, a local heritage trust (Abbey Cwmhir Heritage Trust) has taken an active interest in the promotion of the Abbey and its history. Over the last two years the Trust has linked with the landscape archaeology research team at Strata Florida Abbey (a sister Cistercian Abbey on the opposite site of the Cambrian Mountains). Stimulated by this link, the Trust has conducted a wide range of community-based heritage activities including local heritage walks, an interpretation pamphlet for children, excavations and field schools open to the public. Through this, the Trust has developed an enthusiastic group of volunteers, who come from all walks of life and are finding ways in which to come together to promote the enjoyment of the heritage of the Abbey in this wonderful mid-Wales location. 

Engagement 5

The Prince of Wales will attend a reception to celebrate PRIME Cymru’s 20th year and the expansion of its volunteer mentoring programme. The Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 5DY. 

The Prince of Wales will be received by the Lord-Lieutenant of Powys Tia Jones and introduced to the Chief Executive of PRIME Cymru David Pugh. 

His Royal Highness will proceed to meet with mentors and businesses supported by the scheme who will demonstrate their work with table-top displays. 

To conclude, Chief Executive of National Mentoring Day, Chelsey Baker will present The Prince of Wales with a national award, to acknowledge PRIME Cymru’s outstanding contribution to mentoring in Wales. 

This year marks 20 years since The Prince of Wales founded PRIME Cymru, in response to the many letters he was receiving from those aged over 50, who were facing overwhelming problems securing work because of their age. 

The charity is being honoured for its hugely successful mentoring programme, which has contributed to supporting over 15,000 over-50s into employment, self-employment, volunteering or training. The award is being presented by the National Mentoring Day initiative which recognises mentoring programmes making a difference. 

PRIME Cymru is expanding its mentoring programme to recruit and train an additional 200 new mentors. Mentors will be given free, accredited training, recognised by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs. 

PRIME Cymru runs an extensive mentoring programme, providing expert guidance and free business support to help the over-50s in Wales to secure work, set up a business or upskill through training or volunteering. 

The charity celebrated its 20th anniversary year by revisiting clients from the last two decades, who are thriving thanks to the support they have received. The anniversary year was made extra special as they were awarded the Trusted Charity mark – the UK’s only quality standard recognising excellence within the third sector. 

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