Lower Wye Valley Buildings Preservation Trust

Annual Report 2018-19

Following the stringent restrictions that Welsh Water had imposed on the Tintern Community Council and the LWVBPT for the construction of a new pumping station and land transfer, it was agreed that we would seek to purchase the freehold of the slipway from TCC. Negotiations for this are currently underway. Initial excavations on the Gloucestershire side opposite the Fryer’s Wharf slipway have continued this year showing an impressive stone structure; it may indeed have developed from the ancient and important crossing point on the Wye referred to in Liber Landavensis, (1160-1220), and where Tewdric fought his last battle against the Saxons. Once we have secured the purchase of the slipway we can show ownership of the site and proceed with funding applications.
We welcome suggestions from others who live in the catchment of the Lower Wye Valley Building Preservation Trust (from Chepstow to the tidal limit of the Wye at Bigsweir on both sides of the river) for other historical sites that may be worthy of our attention for possible restoration and encourage you to join us in these endeavours. Your support is essential to ensure the success of the organisation.
I should like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has already supported us over the last year. Particular thanks to the members of the Committee and to our consultants Jim Hewitt and Clive Jennery for their support and assistance over the last year.
Elsa Wood Chairman LWVBPT

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 13.12.24

Audit Exemption Statement For the year ending 30/09/2018 the company was entitled to exemption from audit under Section 477 of the Companies Act 2006 relating to small companies.

Directors’ Responsibilities: The directors acknowledge their responsibilities for complying with the requirements of the Act with respect to accounting records and the preparation of accounts.
These accounts have been prepared in accordance with the provisions applicable to companies subject to the small company’s regime.

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 13.09.14

Trustee declaration: The Trustees agree that this a true statement of the accounts. The Statutory Annual report and Financial Statement will be delivered to the register of Companies and submitted to the Charities Commission
Signed on behalf of the Trustees Mary Simpson, Honorary Secretary

LWVBPT Committee Structure:
Elsa Wood Trustee (Chairman)
Adrian Wood Trustee (Vice-Chairman)
Mary Simpson Trustee (Hon Secretary)
Tony Hayward Trustee (Treasurer)
Nigel Hopkins (Trustee)
John Clarke
Nick Day
Alan Hillard
Jim Hewitt (Consultant)
Clive Jennery (Consultant)

The Trust is currently inviting nominations for the Officers posts as well as nominations for committee members from all parts of the Trust’s area of interest. Experience in the fields of fundraising, education, the law and accounting will be a great asset alongside an interest in the history and archaeology of the Lower Wye Valley

Lower Wye Valley Building Preservation Trust Objectives
The Lower Wye Valley Building Preservation Trust aims to protect and conserve the built and historical heritage of the Lower Wye Valley and surrounding area. It will achieve this through the acquisition, conservation and care of the heritage assets of the area.
It will make sites accessible to people through research and interpretation and seek to enlighten communities regarding the important heritage of this beautiful landscape adjacent to the river Wye.

Annual General Meeting
The AGM of the LWVBPT will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday 17th October 2019 in Tintern Village Hall. There will be the AGM followed by refreshments.


1. Welcome
2. Apologies for absence
3. Minutes of the AGM held on October 25th 2018
4. Matters arising
5. To receive the Annual report for the year ending 30th September 2019
6. To receive the Accounts for the year ending 30th September 2019
7. Election of officers
8. Election of committee members
9. A.O.B by prior notification

Mary Simpson, Hon Secretary
Lower Wye Valley Building Preservation Trust
E-mail: lwvbpt@thenurtons.co.uk
Registered in England & Wales. Company Registration No. 9208574
Charity Registration No: 1163179
The Nurtons, Tintern, Monmouthshire NP16 7NX

Company Registration number 9208574
[incorporating Fryers Wharf and Slipway Restoration Project]

The Lower Wye Valley and Tintern is famous for its Abbey but there is so much more because the area is richly endowed with many other buildings and structures of great architectural, historical and archaeological interest. These include:  

• slipways and wharfs all along the riverside
• ruined church (St Mary’s) with listed graveyard monuments
• derelict furnaces
• old limekilns
• charcoal hearths and interesting structures in the woodlands
•  walls, old roads and trackways
• other buildings and artefacts
As a consequence The Lower Wye Valley Building Preservation Trust has been formed by a local group of enthusiasts to help restore and preserve this valuable heritage, much of which has been forgotten for the benefit of the area and the nation as a whole,

The Trust:
• is a registered company limited by guarantee (from Sept 2014), to take on and widen our remit of historical and archaeological interests in the area
• is a registered charity, Number 1163179
• brings us under the ‘umbrella’ of The Architectural Heritage Fund and the assistance that they can provide
• is a membership organisation. 

Current Project
Our current project, which is already underway, is to restore the ancient slipway at Fryers Wharf in Tintern. This was almost certainly the site of the Tintern ford mentioned in early documents where Tewdrig met the marauding army of Saxons.. It was also an important location for river craft over the centuries but fell into disuse in the early 20th Century and was filled in.
Grant money has enabled the Trust to open the top and bottom of the slipway to reveal an impressive stone structure. CADW has expressed their support for the project. The next phase is to remove the pumping station and clear the rest of the slipway.

Can you help with the next phase of the project to finally clear the slipway for all to see and use? 
Join the Trust and help in the work of the organisation and be kept informed of the progress. A membership application form can be downloaded as a PDF at the foot of this page.

Progress on the restoration of Fryers Wharf

2009 before clearance started
2009 Before clearance started.

With financial help from the Tintern Community Council the top of the slipway was cleared revealing a 17’9” wide cobbled structure with a low retaining wall on the car park side. Clearly 2 different sections. Date uncertain at present.
2010 top of the slipway
2010 Top of the slipway.
A second retaining wall was built above the historical one to retain the car park.

With the help of a ‘Splash’ grant from the EA the section of the slipway was cleared. The edging stones are held by
Bottom of slipway
Bottom of slipway.
iron ties. There is a large timber at right angles to the slipway, possibly a basal feature of the wharf.
The alignment with the stonework on the English side of the river is strongly suggestive of a river crossing point - but from what period of history?
Likely river crossing point
Likely river crossing point.
With grants from The Sustainable Development Fund, ‘Splash’, Monmouthshire County Council, Newgrove Trust and TCC various surveys were undertaken to assist Welsh Water in designing a new Sewage Pumping Station and to assess the stability of the church wall. An archaeological watching brief was undertaken for the works.
Borehole rig
Borehole rig.

Core samples from borehole.

Archaeological trench behind church wall
Archaeological trench behind church wall.

Awaiting removal of the pumping station and slipway clearance and repair.


Reasons for undertaking the Fryers Wharf Project

Tintern Parva is the oldest end of the village. The estate existed before the Cisterians built the famous Abbey. ‘Little Tintern’ is mentioned in the Liber Landavensis in the ninth century. The ‘Tintern Ford’ is also mentioned here and the Battle of Tintern in the 7th century is also documented. Throughout the centuries the owners of the estate had large vessels that would have used the wharf and slipway. It was also used as a place to alight in Tintern during the Wye Tours of the 18th and 19th century and was still in use in the 20th century in the timber trade.  More details on the history can be found
The project provides an important opportunity to inform of the importance of the history of Tintern Parva that has been overshadowed by the Abbey. We have provided an interpretative display board at the top of the slipway. Local schools and groups such as the Welsh Battlefields Association have visited. Local and long distance walks pass the top of the slipway and on through the churchyard; our members meet and greet these walkers, and visitors who stay in the local Parva Farmhouse and Wye Valley Hotel.
Recreation and tourism
The lower Wye is tidal and its banks are therefore very muddy. There are no good points for safe access to and from the river in Tintern. A restored slipway would be an important feature for this purpose and provide a landing stage for small craft, canoes and kayaks.  It would also bring more tourist trade to the businesses at this end of the village.
The slipway is adjacent to the church of St Michaels in Tintern Parva. A Celtic church on this site is documented from
the 7th century. The removal of the existing Sewage Pumping Station will improve the visual impact of this ancient site of worship and improve the view of the river frontage at this point very significantly.
Other projects
Whilst the restoration of Fryer’s Wharf remains the priority there are other historical and archaeological features in Tintern and the Lower Wye Valley that may benefit from the Building Preservation Trust in the future.
Within less than a mile there are the sites of various old wharfs and slipways, only one of which has recently been refurbished, whilst the several roadways that converge on this river crossing might also repay some investigation.
Where there has been research into our local buildings it appears many are much older than have been generally accepted.
Elsa Wood
Telephone 01291 689253