The former home of eminent 19th century Welsh entrepreneur David Morgan has been sold to a Wimbledon school for a sum in excess of its guide price of £1.295m. Hall School Wimbledon aims to restore Llanbrynean, a handsome five-bedroom Victorian residence in the Brecon Beacons with 55 acres and its own waterfall, and will use it as an off-campus residence to host geography field courses as well as a range of other curricular and extra-curricular activities.
Chris Hyde, Associate with Cooke & Arkwright’s Rural Agency, who handled the sale said, “We are delighted that Llanbrynean has been bought by such a distinguished school and that their plans include the restoration of the farmhouse and buildings to their former glory.”
David Morgan was the founder of Cardiff’s first, and in its day, largest independently owned department store, and oversaw the re-construction of The Hayes area of the city with its fine Victorian arcades and precinct. In 1874, having made his fortune as a draper and retailer, he bought Llanbrynean, the farm his family had tenanted near Llanfrynach, Brecon for over 20 years, as part of a wider estate acquisition. His family sold the estate in 1947, after which Llanbrynean was managed by Cooke & Arkwright until it was put on the market by the owners in summer 2012. Hall School Wimbledon secured the purchase when the farm went to private bids.
The school had been actively searching for a suitable remote campus throughout the UK and Europe for the past decade before discovering Llanbrynean was for sale. Jonathan Hobbs, the Principal of the school and his brother Tim, who is Headmaster and owner said, “The spacious property, with its extensive external buildings, woodlands and open fields, together with the farm’s proximity to the Brecon Beacons make it a perfect environment for children’s education. The house will be restored for living quarters and we hope to convert the barns to accommodate children and staff.”
Hall School Wimbledon was founded in 1990 by Timothy Hobbs and provides independent co-education for about 520 children of more than 50 nationalities, aged four to sixteen. It concentrates on the ‘development of the individual’ and provides an all-round education through a balanced curriculum in which Art, Music, Sport, Drama and Field Trips play a valuable role alongside the core academic subjects. In December 2012, it achieved the coveted accolade of ‘outstanding’ school in its Ofsted Inspection Report, which noted that the ‘outstanding’ curriculum is enhanced by an ‘exceptional range of extra-curricular activities, off-site visits and residential trips’.