Trust seeks new educational use as Llanwrda School closes
See also the Carmarthenshire Herald, July 15th 2016, p.14
Ysgol Gynradd Llanwrda, the village’s primary school, closes on Wednesday (July 20th) with a roll of only 11 pupils – but this may not be the end of its 220 years as a centre of education.
The school building and land belong to the Almshouse Charity of Letitia Cornwallis, which is obliged to try and find a new educational use. The charity owns the school, the playing field in front of it, the adjacent Cornwallis House and the grounds of the village hall, on the far side of the playing field.
Proposals for new educational uses of the school should be sent to David Darrell, the Clerk to the Trustees of the charity, on 01554 300401 or 07831 346866, email firstname.lastname@example.org. “We have received a couple of ideas, but plans for the future are at a very early stage,” he said.
The first school on the site dates from 1796, thanks to benefactress Lady Letitia Cornwallis, who died in 1740 but bequeathed monies for the benefit of the people of Llanwrda, including £800 to buy land for and £400 to endow a free school for children in the parishes of Llanwrda and Llansadwrn, as well as £1,000 to construct and maintain homes for four unmarried women, from gentlemen’s families but without financial means. That building, the listed Georgian Cornwallis House adjacent to the school, is being renovated to form one two-bedroomed and four one-bedroomed flats.
The end of Carmarthenshire County Council’s years of maintaining the school was marked on Friday July 8th with a reunion for past pupils, photographic displays and commemorative mugs on sale. Among the most senior of the past pupils was Glenys John (92), who travelled from Porthcawl. Glenys, a graduate and widow of the Rev. Bryan John – whom she met in Llansawel — began her education in Llanwrda, and went on to a career in nursing and teaching. She mingled with dozens of other former pupils, including Ellis Davies, who left the school in 1934, Olwen Parry of Llandovery, a new pupil in 1935, and Peter Jones, also now living in Llandovery, who started at the school in 1940 during the second World War and remembers the arrival of evacuees from England.
Post war, Welsh TV star Elinor Jones was a pupil. Elinor, who came to the reunion, became a teacher, joined schools programmes on HTV, and became one of the best-known personalities on S4C.
Reminiscences in the afternoon were followed by an evening disco and refreshments in the village hall.
Head teacher Hugh Davies said there are hopes to create an archive of the school records, to add to the historical resources about Llanwrda village.