FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

History

FSC Rhyd-y-creuau is a built from an 18th century Georgian manor house, Plas Rhyd-y-creuau (Rhyd-y-creuau hall). The land around the centre formed part of the Voelas estate granted to the Wynne family by Henry VIII in 1545. The house is thought to once have been part of the farmstead residing next door (Rhyd-y-creuau farm) with carved construction dates between 1751 and 1788.

Plas Rhyd-y-creuau shown on 1870 historical maps [DIGIMAP]

Two coins were found on the site near some of the original garden steps, minted to the year 1797. These ‘Cartwheels’ were only minted for two years, and are thought to have formed part of somebody’s pay during the time of the houses occupation (around 1800’s) several years before construction of the Waterloo bridge (Betws-y-coed).

Historical photos of the Schoolhouse

In more recent years, the manor was used as a school house during the early 20th century as a boarding school for boys, with classrooms and kitchen within the house itself and a chapel in the former stables.

The school house was later left derelict until it was purchased by the FSC in 1966. After two years of renovation and with funding from the Drapers Company of London, FSC Rhyd-y-creuau opened to the public 1968 as a residential education centre, with the house converted to dormitories and its stables into classrooms.

1751 - 1788: Plas Rhyd-y-creuau was built
1751: The agricultural range at Rhyd-y-creuau Farm was constructed. 
1780 - 1865: Charles Wynne owned the Voelas estate of North Wales.
1788: Large vernacular barn at Rhyd-y-creuau farm was constructed.
1797 - 1799: Bronze ‘Cartwheel Two pennies’ were minted in Birmingham, and dropped in the grounds near the large stone steps. These were later found in the late 20th century and used to date the house.
1815: Thomas Telford builds the Waterloo Bridge in Betws-y-coed.
1900: Rhyd-y-creuau was used as a boarding school, no longer part of the farmstead next door. The house became derelict at some stage in the mid-20th century.
1966: Rhyd-y-creuau was purchased by the Field Studies Council. Renovations began with help from the Drapers Company of London.
1968: FSC Rhyd-y-creuau opened as a residential educational centre.