Croeso i Gymru

Follow Dan & Tess’ journey to create a unique homestead in Wales.

The faces behind the project

Get to know us

We’re Dan & Tess, a couple based in South Wales pursuing their dream. We are undergoing an incredible journey to create an off grid, sustainable and environmentally friendly home, in The Brecon Beacons National Park!
Dan, originally from West Sussex, made the move to South Wales in December 2019. Home to his extended family, the south welsh valleys associate to happy memories and his family’s rich history. Dan’s keen knowledge and interest for the heritage of the land has given him the motivation and passion to start this journey.
As an experienced roofer and general handy man, his abilities have been indispensable to our project. His interest for off grid living developed into an investment two years ago with the purchase of a Citroen Relay. The van was converted into a camper and became a full time home for over a year, allowing flexibility and freedom to travel the UK and discover a simpler way of life. Often referred to by friends as “Bear Grylls” Dan’s hobbies include wild camping, spear fishing, kayaking, magnet fishing and metal detecting.
Native to South Wales, Tess recalls her childhood surrounded by nature. From a young age she would walk The Blorenge and explore the surrounding towns and villages with her grandparents. An appreciation for rural living and countryside was instilled and cultivated throughout her life. As a child, Tess enjoyed her family’s land with a lake and woodlands outside a small village in Brittany, France. The Lake was a loved retreat for fishing and camping, home to kingfishers and coypu. In 2005 a permanent home was purchased 1 mile from the lake, a 17th century barn. Renovated over five years, the barn was designed to cut costs and featured an off grid heating system connected to a wood burner. For the first six months of the renovation the family lived in a caravan, at which time Tess attended a french school and became fluent in french. However, forever a home bird, she has been back in Wales with her family for ten years. Currently Tess is a self employed passionate hairdresser for a top leading salon in Chepstow, South Wales. Additionally to hair, her passions also include travelling, experiencing new cultures, festivals and interior design.
As a couple our goal is to lead a sustainable lifestyle. We love hunting for reclaimed materials and vintage treasures together, It’s important to us to minimise our carbon footprint and live environmentally friendly. We love animals and we both keep to a vegetarian diet. We can’t wait to share the land with some furry and feathered friends. We are so excited to share our journey with you and we hope you enjoy following us.

About Pwll du

The history of the land

Our project is based on a family plot of land, home to Dan’s grandparents and their six children in the 50s and 60s. Know as Pwll du, the small village was declared a slum in 1960 and demolished in 1963. Pwll du consisted of two rows of terrace homes and two pubs. A bustling mining community, supplying coal and iron to Blaenavon iron works. The conditions on the land were harsh with no running water or sewerage system, however not all residents wanted to leave, including John and Margaret, Dan’s grandparents. They were one of the last families to leave the land and although rehoused in Govilon, the land was still worked by John and enjoyed in the summer as a retreat for the family, memories continued to be made here and we want nothing more than to carry on the legacy!

Our YouTube Channel

We’re vlogging our progress!

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