The Story of a House on a Hill – Exhibition now at Aberystwyth Arts Centre: a rare opportunity to view an abandoned Welsh upland farmhouse through fresh eyes!

‘Hanes Tŷ ar y Mynydd / The Story of a House on a Hill’ exhibition is being shown in the Piazza Gallery window at Aberystwyth Arts Centre until 11 October 2021.

This new ‘window’ exhibition, created and curated by a group of young archaeologists from Ceredigion, showcases a unique view of local heritage.

CHYPs members with Project Officer Kim James-Williams in front of the exhibition at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Founded in 2017, ‘Ceredigion Off-limits?’, is one of seven regional projects funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund which form part of the larger Cadw-led ‘Unloved Heritage?’ project. Led by young people with the support of the Royal Commission, this project set out to ignite enthusiasm for heritage in its young patrons.

Since its establishment, the ‘Ceredigion Off-Limits?’ panel members (fondly dubbed the CHYPs) have worked hard to preserve and record their local heritage.  Their opinions, views and exceptional characters are what steered the work, following their instincts and whims, and they’ve been on quite an adventure together.

CHYP’s members curating the wealth of interesting material at the Royal Commission’s offices.

Each year the project had a different theme: in 2017–2018 it was ‘Ghosts, Graft and Grind: Uncovering the ghostly workers and workplaces of Ceredigion’s past’; 2018–2019 was all about ‘Home, Hearth, Life and Death: Searching for homespun tales in Ceredigion’s hidden homes and households’; and 2019–2020 was ‘Splendour, Showbiz and Song: A quest to find the personalities and splendid spaces of Ceredigion’s leisure time past’.

Unfortunately, in 2019 the project was hit by the tragic loss of its inspirational leader, Anna Evans.  In her memory, and despite the small matter of a global pandemic, the CHYPs maintained their vigour and enthusiasm and defied all odds, banding together to design and publish their own book, ‘Hanes Tŷ ar y Mynydd / The Story of a House on a Hill’.  This rich and vibrant bilingual publication is a love story about their heritage. 

The Story of a House on a Hill by Ceredigion Heritage Youth Panel

In 2019, the CHYPs dedicated their time to an abandoned Welsh upland farmhouse and mining ruins set in the hills beyond Bontgoch.  ‘Hanes Tŷ ar y Mynydd / The Story of a House on a Hill’ is a celebration of their findings and the work that followed – recording and archiving the physical remnants of the life, livelihood and community they found there. They lead you through each room of the house, sharing with the reader their thoughts and feelings from their visits.  Raw and unedited, you’re right there with them as they travel back in time.

‘Going upstairs felt peculiar because you don’t normally visit someone and go to their bedroom’, page 16

The exhibition currently on display in the Piazza Gallery window at Aberystwyth Arts Centre is an arrangement of the artefacts found at the farmhouse.  It is carefully assembled to represent the lives and communities from the past all around us, shrouded from the modern eye.  It is a celebration not only of this project and the young people, but of the people who came before us, and left behind a trail that we may follow.

The Story of a House on a Hill exhibition in the Piazza Gallery window at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

The CHYP’s book, ‘‘Hanes Tŷ ar y Mynydd / The Story of a House on a Hill’ is available as a free eBook, or as a limited edition printed copy for £3.99 (to cover postage and packaging) from our online shop. A limited number of copies are also available from Gallery One of Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

To download the free eBook go to:

To order a limited edition hard copy go to:

Find out more about the Unloved Heritage Project:

By Marisa Morgan


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