Our Community Current Projects HoH Colomendy Hall & Kingswood Colomendy Hall As you approach the Loggerheads turnoff, the drive to Colomendy and the Hall sits just before We Three Loggerheads. Colomendy Hall itself has its earliest mention (as Clomendu) in the Church Wardens accounts of 1675, and formed part of a large estate belonging through the years to a number of notable families, including that of the Jones’s. The most notable person connected with the hall is the painter Richard Wilson, who has been described as a ‘pioneer of British landscape painting’. Born in Penegoes near Machynlleth, he was the cousin of the Jones family and early on in his career he painted a fine portrait of his cousin, Miss Catherine Jones, who lived at Colomendy Hall. The portrait itself is now part of a collection in The National Library of Wales, and is considered to be an important milestone in the painter's career, given that shortly after it was painted he travelled to Italy where his focus shifted to creating brilliant landscapes. Wilson himself was a big influence on the painters Turner and Constable and was a founding member of the Royal College of Arts, and as mentioned in this booklet, he painted the sign that now hangs in the We Three Loggerheads pub. Wilson moved into Colomendy Hall in the later stages of his life and would be where he died in relative obscurity in May 1782. He will always be remembered as a painter who turned his gaze onto the majesty of his home country, Wales, and in turn inspired future artists to examine the beauty on their doorstep. Colomendy Kingswood Outdoor Pursuits Centre The distinctive wooden huts that form part of Colomendy’s Kingswood Outdoor Pursuits Centre were built in 1939 by the National Camps Association. It was one of thirty-one sites across the UK aimed at keeping children safe during World War II. In 1940, the first children arrived to stay at the site and by June of that year, almost three hundred children were housed there. In a news article from 2010, Olwyn West recalled how the sky had ‘turned orange’ each night in North Wales as Liverpool was bombed during the May Blitz of 1941. “In all probability the spring of 1941 was the most anxious for everyone from Liverpool, whether they were at home or away. Night after night we observed the glowing skies above our hometown with great apprehension and our teachers quickly organised something to take our minds off the situation. For days, after these raids, we were all on tenterhooks waiting for a letter and only after receiving one, assuring us of everyone's safety, could we begin to relax." When World War II finally ended, Colomendy became a haven of a different kind, giving some children their first glimpse of countryside outside of the city. It wasn’t all fun and games though, and in 1951 a group of 150 boys whose plates had been cleared before they had finished eating ended up rioting, smashing plates and crockery and throwing all the cutlery on the lawn! At the time, the camp headmaster Eric Thornley told the Liverpool Post “It was a first-rate-riot and I have never seen anything like it”. In 2020, Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre premiered the play ‘Lost in Colomendy’ to four- and five-star reviews. Written by Nicky Allt, the play was set at Colomendy and featured the familiar trek up Moel Famau, as a group of old friends returned to the site of their childhood jaunts on a team building exercise. Just one month later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK and Colomendy had to shut its doors as all trips ground to a halt and lockdown set in. At the time of writing, educational visits have been given the go ahead to resume and so hopefully it won’t be much longer before Colomendy is in full use once again.