A new life for Llandaff’s loos

On January 23rd, Llandaff 50+ celebrated receiving charity status and launched the start of the development of The Pound.  Their aim is to convert the old loos at the top of Cathedral Close, next to the Bishop’s Castle, to be a daily activity centre for older people.

The Centre will be known as The Pound as it is situated on the land that was ‘the Lord’s Pound of the Manor of Llandaff’. This was where strays from the Whitsuntide Fayre, that was granted to the Bishop of Llandaff by King John in 1205, were empounded before a fee was paid for their release.

Llandaff 50+’s architects, Downs Merrifield, have advised that a small extension should be added to the side of the loo building, so that it will be large enough to hold a meeting room for activities for 20-30 older people, a small kitchen, a heritage room telling the story of Llandaff, and an accessible toilet open to the public when volunteers are on duty in the heritage room. A planned archaeological dig will, hopefully, increase our knowledge of this small part of the village.

Llandaff Over 50s
Joyce Gibbs cuts the cake to celebrate the launch of The Pound development (photo by Alun Salisbury)

The activities in the Pound Centre will be run for, and by, older people and will possibly include craft, history research, fitness, and board games. Llandaff 50+ members will also be encouraged to tend the herbs in the garden of the Bishop’s Castle, as well as play boules and enjoy history walks.  The aim of The Pound Centre is to reduce loneliness and isolation amongst older people by using their skills and talents to help others by helping themselves. Socialising, volunteering and creating are great ways to make friends, learn new things and support your community.

Funding will be sought from various bodies to not only renovate the loos and Pound garden, but also to help Cardiff Council and Cadw to maintain the badly deteriorated wall of the Bishop’s Castle that is adjacent to The Pound.

Llandaff 50+ is delighted that it has recently been awarded an Age Cymru Gwanwyn grant to enable volunteers to train as guide/storytellers for the Bishop’s Castle, in readiness for a return of the Whitsuntide Fayre in 2018. The ever-popular fayre ceased in 1880 due to scenes of drunkenness and debauchery – it is hoped that its return will be a little more sedate!