Historic Wye Valley Glasbury House and activity centre is set for new adventure as it is put up for auction

A magnificent Wye Valley country house, once a private home, a rural retreat for underprivileged London children and currently an adventure centre, is set for a new future.

Glasbury House and River Wye Activity Centre, in the border village of Glasbury, Powys, in the Welsh Marches, dating from the 1730’s when it was a private home, has been put up for auction.

Once owned by a London council to provide holidays for city children, enlarged Grade II listed Glasbury House has recently been a privately-owned River Wye Activity Centre.

The house, on the River Wye, was lived in by a succession of family members from 1738 until 1954. The property was acquired by Ilford Borough Council and the London Borough of Redbridge in 1963. It was the London Borough of Redbridge which converted the property into an outdoor activity centre.

Glasbury Outdoor Education Centre was run by Redbridge Council  for more than half a century to provide outdoor activities for more than 1,800 pupils a year from schools in London and surrounding areas.

But the centre was closed in 2015 after cuts in council funding. It stood empty until April 2019 when it was bought and turned into the River Wye Activity Centre.

Bids are now being invited for the Glasbury House which is listed by Newport-based Paul Fosh Auctions with a guide price of £825,000-plus.

Debra Bisley, of Newport-based Paul Fosh Auctions who are handling the sale of the property, said: “Glasbury House, its grounds and facilities, in its unrivalled rural location is surely the ultimate location, right on the world renowned River Wye, for an outdoor activity centre. Everything you need is there; it would seem everything’s ready to go.

“There has already been stirrings of interest from prospective buyers in the property through word of mouth. I’m expecting great interest in Glasbury House for a number of reasons, not the least of which being the growing demand for no fuss, eco friendly ‘staycation’ activity type holidays. Glasbury House would seem to be perfect to offer this type of multi-generational holiday.

“Glasbury House would also make a fabulous family home.

“Situated on the edge of the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons National Park), on the banks of the River Wye, Glasbury House is at the heart of the Wye Valley a popular location for river fishing, canoeing, kayaking and for walking in the Black Mountains.

“The site is located a short drive from the A438 which connects directly several historic English and Welsh towns with the cathedral city of Hereford. Additionally, it connects directly to the M5 at Ashchurch near Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, providing access to Cardiff, Bristol and London.

“The nearest train station is found in Abergavenny and the M4 motorway is accessed at Newport and the M50 at Ross-on-Wye.

“The well-presented detached, Grade II listed period property built in the 18th century is made up of a main building  of commercial kitchens, a dining room, lounge, games room, large toilet and shower block on the ground floor as well as toilets and sinks upstairs next to the bedrooms. The house is approached via a fine sweeping driveway, with a walled garden and with most attractive, mature grounds.

“As well as the main house, there is also a bunkhouse which sleeps up to 27 people. Originally a coach house and stables, the building was converted in the 70’s to self-catering accommodation. The building is briefly comprises of a commercial kitchen, a washroom containing five shower cubicles with two wc’s, and a drying room to the ground floor. On the first floor are five bunkhouse style rooms and bathroom.

A single storey extension was built in 2001 in architectural sympathy with the original coach house. This complements the existing facility with a multi-purpose dining /common/ classroom, accessible toilet and wetroom and a further four WC’s and showers, conveniently split into two separate washrooms.

“Located within the grounds is a campsite that can sleep over  300 people. The campsite is a popular destination with families and kayakers during the summer months. A storage block, totalling  75.2 sqm, is currently used as storage for outdoor activity equipment such as kayaks and guide ropes.

“The house is surrounded by six acres of grounds  which stretch down to the banks of the River Wye. The grounds include mature trees and a large vegetable patch, which make for a great place for all sorts of outdoor education and activities. The grounds are mostly laid lawn, but with a sweeping driveway, staff parking area, mature trees. There is also an attractive former walled garden, long stone walls and large garden shed. There is also access onto the river bank, locally known as The Bont.

“The site is currently being used as an education centre, providing accommodation and outdoor activities to school aged children. Additionally, there is a café and camping grounds on the site. Subject to the relevant consents this property may be suitable but is not limited to use as residential accommodation, a wedding venue or further development.

“For further information regarding the site please contact Paul Fosh Auctions as a number of additional documents can be supplied.”

Paul Fosh Auctions says the property can be purchased in a number of ways:
Property only (House, bunkhouse, grounds); Property with Café and Campsite (House, bunkhouse, grounds, café, campsite but no outdoor activity kit and equipment); Property with full transfer of outdoor activity business (inc school groups, activity equipment, canoe hire.) Buildings & Land (Which include campsite & café) Buildings / Land & Business (which includes next year’s bookings) Buildings / Land / Business & Equipment (which includes / minibuses / activity kit & equipment).

Glasbury House and River Wye Activity Centre is among some eighty properties which will be offered for sale at the Paul Fosh Auctions online sale which starts from 12 noon on Tuesday, January 30 and ends from 5pm on Thursday, February 1.