South East Wales

'All creatures' mansion owner admits illegal changes

Kim Davies Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Kim Davies pleaded guilty at Newport Crown Court on Monday

A property developer has admitted making illegal alterations to a Monmouthshire house that is said to have inspired the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Kim Davies, 60, installed a mosaic clad Jacuzzi and spotlights into Llanwenarth House, near Abergavenny.

Newport Crown Court heard more than 60 changes to the Grade II-listed building were not approved by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

Davies initially denied five charges.

Seven-bedroom Llanwenarth House was originally built in 1532 on six-acres (2.4 hectares) of land and has a detached coach house along with an orchard.

Irish poet Cecil Alexander was a guest at ivy-clad Llanwenarth House, near Abergavenny, in 1848 when she penned her paean of praise for landscape and wildlife.

Davies bought Llanwenarth House in 2007 for £675,000 and he spent more than £1m on it which included changing the original timber windows to "modern" ones as well as doors and fireplace.

He changed a bedroom to a bathroom with a "mosaic-clad" jacuzzi, installing in ceiling spotlights, crystal chandeliers and ultra-modern kitchen fittings.

The court also heard Davies also ripped out historic staircases, fireplaces and hearths in his renovation.

The property was marketed for £2.25m in 2011.

Davies changed his plea to admit five counts relating to carrying out unauthorised work under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

Nicholas Hagan QC, prosecuting, said there was a "deliberate breach of the legislation despite warnings on many occasion" and the costs bill is "significant indeed".

George Carter-Stephenson QC said: "Mr Davies now accepts he must take steps to put the house back in proper order."

Sentencing was adjourned until 15 May.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Cecil Alexander visited the mansion in 1848

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