Mid Wales

Laura Ashley family sells Llangoed Hall Hotel

Llangoed Hall Hotel
Image caption Llangoed Hall dates back to 1632 and was opened as a hotel in 1990

A hotel which was owned by the late designer Laura Ashley's family has been sold to a private company for an undisclosed sum.

Four-star Llangoed Hall, near Brecon, Powys, has been bought by von Essen hotels, which also owns Michelin-starred Ynyshir Hall, near Machynlleth.

It is the latest Ashley family asset to be put on the market since Sir Bernard Ashley's death last year.

The sale includes his drawings by American painter James Whistler.

Sir Bernard opened Llangoed as a hotel in 1990. Dating back to 1632, it sits in acres of landscaped gardens near the village of Llyswen.

The 23-bedroom property is set in the style and fabrics of Laura Ashley, and has a restaurant and the Whistler bar.

Part of the acquisition is Sir Bernard's private art collection of more than 20 of Whistler's original drawings.

The couple's son Nick Ashley said it was time the hotel was run by people with the right expertise.

He told BBC Wales: "It was my father's hotel and now it is much better to hand it over to somebody who can do a professional job.

"Von Essen will give it their particular signature and make it their own."

Andrew Davis, chairman of von Essen hotels, said: "I am delighted to have acquired a property with such an individual history and in such a unique location."

Earlier this month, the Ashley family put an estate on the French Riviera on the market for £8.9m, and in October last year put the Victorian mansion of Rhydoldog House, near Rhayader, Powys, up for sale for £1.2m.

Fortunes faded

Mr Ashley said he was delighted Rhydoldog House was now lived in by a family.

He said: "We used to spend weekends there as teenagers and it was the headquarters for the business but I'm really happy to have a family living there and loving it."

From humble beginnings at the Old Railway House in the village of Carno, near Newtown, Laura Ashley grew to have 5,000 retail outlets worldwide.

In 1984, the firm opened its new company headquarters in Newtown, creating 500 jobs.

But in the 1990s its fortunes faded, and in 2004 its former headquarters in Carno closed.

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