Hi! We are James and Sophie, we welcome you to our lodge and hope that you choose to stay.
James has been visiting North Wales since he was a young boy, on holiday with his parents, his relatives and more recently his wife Sophie. His family used to own a disused slate mine in Glyn Ceiriog which they opened up as a tourist attraction for schools and the public. Holidays were about the outdoors, exploring, walking, camping and playing in the woods. It was always so hard to go back to urban life and he dreamed of one day being able to call Wales "Home"
Sophie has also been visiting Wales since childhood and has Welsh heritage, with family still residing in North and South Wales. She has always wanted to live in Snowdonia and embrace her love of the outdoor lifestyle. A keen gardener and Shaman, she is very connected to nature and would love her own motorhome!
We met in 2013 and got married in 2016. Immediately we took every opportunity to get into a rented campervan and go touring around Wales. We couldn't stay away. The beauty, the quiet, the clean fresh air, the mountains, the forests, the rivers... everything we didn't have back home. So, 2 years ago we started to really dream about what could be, James was a tennis coach and Sophie a book keeper for the family business, but we both decided to start looking for a new life, a new adventure, a better, healthier place to raise a family one day.
That is what brought us here, we left our old life in pursuit of sustainability, self sufficiency and healthy pursuits. James loves mountain bikes and did triathlons of insane degrees of difficulty and adventure. Sophie has a passion for helping others and will be offering holistic retreats and various workshops in the near future (keep and eye out for a retreats page), she also loves to garden and grow as much food as she can for us both.
THE LODGE - RENOVATION PROJECT
Images of Fronwen House as it looked in 1946 - Image rights still with original publisher LGRP - Do not duplicate.
History of Fronwen (Fron Wen)
Fron Wen means White Breast (of a hill) in Welsh.
The Lodge was built around the same time as the main house in about 1850. The Main House was built as a family home by the quarry manager Robert Hughes (1813–1882) and his wife Jane (1822–1906). Their son Alfred William Hughes (1861–1900) Professor of Anatomy and Dean of the Faculty of Kings College London, whose monument stands on the outskirts of Corris, was born in the main house in 1861, as were his three brothers Llywelyn, Charles (b. 1859) and Arthur (1857–1918); the latter married future author Molly Thomas in 1897.
The Lodge was originally a barn but in the 90's it was used as a workshop studio which ran as a business for a while with a simple layout and simple facilities, no kitchen or bedrooms and just one simple shower room. When we acquired the property in March 2019 the workshop had been partially converted into holiday accommodation by the previous owners. Plans had been drawn up for a 3 bedroom lodge conversion which we have completed and open to holiday makers for the first time.
It has been a labour of love for us and we would like to thank our friends and family that have helped out. Those who started out as tradesmen and neighbours have through the project become good friends. Its amazing how the community just pulls together here in Wales. We owe quite a few favours!
Stripping out, clearing and designing.
Heating system design, stud walls, insulation, sourcing materials.
More insulation, interior slate and stonework, first fix pipes and electrics, log burner and flue
Underfloor heating, kitchen fit, bathroom first fix, more pipework!
Driveway and parking, drainage, plastering.
Flood repairs!!, bathroom test fit, first coat of paint on plaster, all windows replaced with double glazing
Tiling, Decorating, upstairs cupboards, floor coverings and carpets, second fix electrics and new fuse board,bike wash, bike shed.
Outside area stoned, bathrooms fully fitted and decorated, furniture starts to go in.
December 2019/January 2020
Furnishing and finishing touches.
Feb 2020 - official opening
We are now ready to open!