A BARN conversion outside Oswestry used as a large luxury self-catering complex has won the 2018 Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Farm Buildings and Works Competition.

The competition sought the buildings that best incorporates the business needs of the 21st century in Montgomeryshire, and judges decided up on Castell Courtyard in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant.

The judges were clearly delighted with what they saw in selecting the business of Aled and Helen Worthington.

They said: “Diversification has been the buzzword in farming circles since the turn of the century, but it is probably more relevant today than ever with the future uncertainty of support to farming and rural areas.

“This was very evident when looking at the two entries put forward by Montgomeryshire where both farms were making their businesses more resilient for the uncertain future post Brexit.

“With two top-quality entries, we found great difficulty in selecting a winner, but finally decided to put Castell Courtyard in first place for the quality of the finished building while starting from a very dilapidated barn in a difficult site, but maintaining the working farm and giving good security for the future of the family.”

At Aled and Helen’s farm the judges saw how a traditional hill livestock farming business had been transformed into a 21st century holiday business with the conversion of a dilapidated range of double storey stone cattle buildings into a large luxury self-catering complex.

The judges added: "Looking at the photographs of the old building with the fallen roof, the owners and local builders faced a daunting task in resurrecting the structure.”

All the work was undertaken by local builders and craftsmen over a period of around 18 months which included stabilising walls, repairing and replacing roof trusses, totally re-roofing the barns as well as all the internal joinery and room finishes.

Aled and Helen will be presented with the Peniarth Estate Silver Trowel, given by the late Col J F Williams-Wynne CBE DSO MA FRAgS and a certificate on Tuesday, July 24 at the Royal Welsh Show.