Dyffryn Gardens near Cardiff is the winner of the 2015 Special Places in Wales competition, organised by the National Trust in collaboration with Cadw, Cynnal Cymru, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Visit Wales, the RSPB, Ramblers Cymru and Keep Wales Tidy.
Public voting began in May to select the most-loved place in Wales. By July 21st the selection had been narrowed down to Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Dyffryn, Gladstone’s Library, Rhossili and Snowdonia.
Dyffryn was the winner in the second round, receiving more than a third of the final votes.
The current house at Dyffryn was built by coalmine owner and philanthropist John Cory. In the early 1900s he commissioned landscape architect Thomas Mawson to lay out new gardens.
After John Cory’s death in 1910 his son Reginald Cory collaborated even more closely and enthusiastically with Mawson in building up the garden.
Reginald Cory was a keen plant hunter and dahlia enthusiast. He established the Cory Cup which is still awarded annually by the Royal Horticultural Society for the best new hardy hybrids.
After Dyffryn left the ownership of the Cory family in 1936 it was in institutional use for a number of decades. In 1996 the Vale of Glamorgan Council bought the freehold and the Heritage Lottery Fund provided substantial grants to begin the restoration of the gardens.
The National Trust has managed Dyffryn since 2013. Staff and volunteers are continuing to improve the gardens and to make this an Edwardian refuge for the twenty-first century.