MONMOUTH Assembly Member Nick Ramsay is adding his support to a proposal to open a possible Alfred Russel Wallace study centre at The Hill, Abergavenny, in the hope of saving the building for community use.
A former country mansion house, The Hill was used by Coleg Gwent as a further education campus, until financial cuts forced its closure in 2009. A local community group, Community Action to Save the Hill (CASH) has repeatedly tried to purchase the property and hope that their latest bid to secure The Hill’s future as an Alfred Russel Wallace Study Centre, will be successful.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Ramsay said:
“I have written to the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart AM, to give my wholehearted support to CASH’s proposal to open an Alfred Russel Wallace study centre at The Hill.
“Sir David Attenborough has described Usk born Alfred Russel Wallace as the most admirable character in the history of science but until recently this acclaimed naturalist was relatively unknown even in the country of his birth.
“The Hill would be an ideal base for students from all over the world to come to learn about Wallace. It has a residential block and more than 20 acres of grounds, including a walled garden, making it an idyllic setting for anyone lucky enough to study there. The Hill also has a link with John Wedgwood, son of the famous potter, and one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society, who lived there for some years and wrote a diary giving details of his planting of The Hill’s walled garden.
“The Hill was an extremely popular centre for community use and was very much missed when the facility was withdrawn. CASH’s proposal has the backing of local businesses and community groups, including Friends of Gardd-y-Bryn, who tell me they would love to recreate a John Wedgewood walled garden at The Hill.
“I wish CASH every success in their latest bid to save this much loved resource for community use.”