A Hymn For Ancient Land: “This is landscape music, a close relative of landscape art.”

Jim Ghedi, who will be performing at Hall Barn along fellow folk musicians Toby Hay and David Ian Roberts on Friday 23rd February, has recently released his second album ‘A Hymn for Ancient Land’ (on which his tour is based upon) and it has already received gleaming reviews. Read on to find out what the label has to say about this talented artist and his music writing.

Born in Sheffield before moving around various parts of the British Isles and then settling in
Moss Valley – an abandoned and forgotten area on the edgelands of South Yorkshire and North
East Derbyshire – it makes perfect sense that 26 year old Jim Ghedi’s music feels both fluidly
transient yet also deeply rooted to a sense of place.

Nature permeates through his second album ‘A Hymn For Ancient Land’ (released this winter to
much praise on Basin Rock – also home to Nadia Reid and Julie Byrne) from start to finish,
gliding through its core like a bubbling brook. The subtle mix of finger-picked guitar, classical
instrumentation and the beauty of the arrangements create something almost tangible – like a
light dew on the tip ends of grass or the sticky moisture of well trampled soil. Winding guitar
instrumentals lead you up forgotten paths, gently whirring strings along rolling hillsides, the
drums beat like the faint sounds of thunder on the horizon and the rich hum of the ambience
hangs like a gentle morning fog.

Praise for ‘A Hymn For Ancient Land’:

★★★★☆ MOJO – “Melodically sublime… although Ghedi’s music is infused with tradition,
it’s very much experiencing the present”

★★★★☆ The Independent – “a raga-like texture of tingling drones and jaunty picking that
recalls both John Fahey and the Penguin Cafe”

★★★★☆ The Financial Times “This is landscape music, a close relative of landscape

★★★★☆ Uncut – “There’s respect here, but no folkloric nostalgia…a delightful hybrid

★★★★☆ Q – “a brilliant finger-picker and songwriter…shining a welcome light into an
underrated genre”

Folk Radio UK – “a small masterpiece”

The Line Of Best Fit – 8/10 “A Hymn for Ancient Land really only sounds like itself.”

Ziji Dathun: “A very powerful retreat in a most beautiful setting”

In November 2017, the Bleddfa Centre hosted its first Ziji Dathun retreat; a month-long retreat for meditators, both beginners and experienced, aged under 35. Organiser Llew Watkins summed up the retreat for us:

“The Ziji Dathun was a month long intensive meditation retreat in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. As well as the core contingent who stayed for the whole month, some people came for just the first two weeks or the last two weeks. Staying at the Bleddfa Centre and also at cottages close by, we met each day to receive instructions and practice meditation together. As well as this we went for beautiful walks and had celebrations at the mid point and at the end. The volunteer cooks cooked wonderful food! Much of the retreat was in silence which gave us the opportunity to really make friends with ourselves on a deep level. We were carefully looked after by an experienced team of meditation instructors and there were also many opportunities for one on one interviews. Bleddfa was a perfect location for this as it created a very powerful container.”

Llew received excellent feedback from the participants:

“A very powerful retreat, extremely well-held by staff, in a most beautiful setting.”  

“It still has an effect on me. It has given me this inner energy, which often is even more essential than ‘outer’ energy.”


If you’d like to try out meditation, why not come along to one of our free, monthly sessions? These take place on the first Saturday of the month, 11am – 12:30pm, at Hall Barn at the Bleddfa Centre, and are led by two experienced teachers of meditation, Peter Condradi and Jim O’Neill.


Superb Soil

Alongside celebrating the creative spirit, The Bleddfa Centre is pursuing a new and slightly different theme at the moment: soil!

Satish Kumar delivered an inspirational and motivational talk at the Bleddfa Centre last year, and he left with us the take-home message about the importance of being in contact with and taking care of the soil, and the crucial role soil plays in human life.

We then welcomed renowned ‘No Dig’ gardener Charles Dowding to deliver a talk about an innovative method of gardening involving being gentle with the soil, and the benefits it has for individuals and for crops.

We are excited to continue along with path, and on Saturday 10th February 2018 we are screening the documentary feature film Symphony of the Soil. Using a captivating mix of art and science, the film shows that soil is a complex and mysterious living organism, the foundation of life on earth.

In three parts, Symphony of the Soil begins with soil science carefully and artistically explained by some of the world’s most esteemed Soil Scientists. The second part of the film focuses on human relationship with soil, especially our use of soil as an agricultural medium. The final section explores Big Picture ideas such as soil and climate change, water use, health and a variety of other topics that show why we must treat our soils with care.

Click here to find out more information and to watch the trailer.

Join us for coffee and and introduction at 10:30am, film screening (104 mins) at 11:00am, followed by Q&A. Tickets are £4 in advance, £5 on the door.

To book, contact us on 01547 550377 or hello@bleddfacentre.org, or download the booking form here


2018 at The Bleddfa Centre

Happy New Year from us all at The Bleddfa Centre! A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us in 2017 by attending our events, visiting our exhibitions, staying at our cottage, or just popping in for a cup of coffee and a chat.

2018 has already got off to a fantastic start; we welcomed 9 newcomers to the monthly meditation session last week, and Charles Dowding’s ‘No Dig’ talk last week proved to be a huge success! We received some excellent feedback about the event, including “Fantastic talk and exceptional food, well worth the 2 and a half hour drive” and “Beyond expectations!“. A huge thank you to Charles for making the trip across to Bleddfa, and thank you to the guests for coming along to be inspired by Charles and to share some supper together.

We have lots of exciting new events lined up for you over the coming months. Here’s a quick overview; you’ll be able to find more information about these on the Events Calendar and Facebook.

Life Drawing Mornings
Friday 26th January and Saturday 24th February, 10am – 1pm
Untutored workshops suitable for artists of all abilities, from complete beginners to more experienced artists who want to hone their figure drawing skills. The sessions are fully supervised, and a professional model will hold a variety of poses for you to capture on paper. It is an informal and friendly group, in a beautiful and inspiring setting. £18 per session, refreshments included.

The Bleddfa Circle: Creative Living in a Challenging Times
Sunday 28th January, 2:30pm – 5:30pm
The Bleddfa Circle will be a shared space apart from the everyday, a place to witness, acknowledge and celebrate the creative spirit. All welcome. £5, includes refreshments. Email matthew@bleddfacentre.org for more details.  “Extraordinary things become possible when people agree to meet.”

Film Screening: Symphony of the Soil
Saturday 10th February, 10:30am – 1:30pm
A documentary feature film that explores the complexity and mystery of soil. Using a captivating mix of art and science, the film shows that soil is a complex living organism, the foundation of life on earth. Coffee and Introduction at 10:30am, Film Screening (104 mins) at 11:00am, followed by Q&A. £4 in advance, £5 on the door.

Le Bistro du Loup
Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th January, 7pm for 7:30pm
Celebrate St. Valentine’s at the Bleddfa Centre’s pop-up Bistro, and enjoying a champagne cocktail, three delicious courses, coffee and live French café-style music. A selection of wines will be available by the bottle or glass.  £38 per person. Wed 14th Feb nearly sold out, spaces available on Thurs 15th Feb. Book soon to avoid disappointment!

Jim Ghedi, Toby Hay and David Roberts: A Hymn for Ancient Land
Friday 23rd February, 7:30pm (bar opens 7pm)
Folk musicians Jim Ghedi, Toby Hay and David Ian Roberts will each perform a set as part of the launch tour of Jim Ghedi’s new album ‘A Hymn for Ancient Land’. These talented artists have all toured the UK, received radio play across the UK, America and Australia, and have been signed to record labels. Tickets £8.

Exhibition: Presteigne Festival Schools Outreach Project
Friday 30th March – Monday 2nd April and Friday 6th – Sunday 8th April, 11am – 5pm
As part of Presteigne Festival’s educational outreach work, three local Primary Schools came to the Bleddfa Centre in the autumn of 2017. This initiated a combined project of storytelling with Michael Harvey and art with Lois Hopwood. Our first exhibition of 2018 will showcase their creativity.

Exhibition: Spring Quartet

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 13th April to 20th May, 11am – 5pm
Two popular local ceramicists/potters Robert Fountain and Bas Titford, will be exhibiting alongside painter Brian Lammas and artist/sculptor David Howerth.

The Village Quire: Singing Workshop and Evening Concert
Saturday 14th April, Workshop 2pm – 4:30pm, Concert 7:30pm
Workshop: Come and sing your way through a new and specially devised programme of work from The Village Quire’s West Gallery and folk-harmony repertoire. Notation available, but also accessible for those who sing ‘by ear’.
Evening Concert: ‘When Adam Delved…’ will take you on a on a journey through the 18th and 19th centuries.  Meet humble cottager dwellers contented with their lot.  Glimpse life in the cosy parlours of the gentry.  Watch as unrest creeps in with the introduction of the corn-laws in the years following the Napoleonic wars.  Hear echoes of the loves, jealousies and temptations of days gone by. Workshop £14, Concert £10, Combined Ticket £22.
For more information about West Gallery music and The Village Quire, visit www.villagequire.org.uk

Linocut Printmaking Day
Friday 20th April (sold out) and Friday 27th April, 10am – 4pm
Taught by Drusilla Cole. Suitable for beginners and improvers. The aim of this workshop is to provide a supportive and fun experience where you will learn a new (or revive a previous) skill and take home something you’ll feel proud of.  All materials provided. £50 (£45 if booked before Easter), includes lunch.

Gregorian Chant Workshop
Saturday 28th April, 9:30am – 5pm
A chance to experience Gregorian chant in a friendly context. All are welcome; women and men, singers and non-singers. Beginners are encouraged to join, together with experienced singers. Our work will be structured around the traditional Benedictine monastic hour services recited mainly in English, and the day will conclude with an informal performance of a sequence of chant. The aim is to be an entertaining, friendly, informative and enjoyable experience. £50 (£45 if booked before Easter), includes lunch.

Art Workshop: Breaking the Rules with Watercolours
Friday 11th May, 10am – 4pm
Having won Gold and Silver RHS medals for her Botanical Illustrations, Ruth Kirkby is very familiar with the rules of conventional watercolour painting.  However, she also delights in breaking those rules, and has developed a number of techniques, using a variety of household materials and objects, to produce some fascinating effects. £45 (£40 if booked by 9th April). Option to purchase lunch, or bring your own.

Storytelling: The Elfin Knight and Other Stories
Friday 18th May, 7pm for 7:30pm
A coming-of-age story intended for adults and older children, this is a Spring time tale with music. Suzanne and Jake Thomas are a wonderful combination, with Suzanne’s engaging telling of tales, and Jake’s traditional folk-style acoustic guitar playing. Come and be beguiled! £6 pre-booked, £7 on the door.

Bleddfa Bank Holiday Walk
Monday 28th May, 9:30am
The annual Bleddfa walk reinstated by Michael Callahan. Join us for a Bank Holiday ramble. Suitable for amblers as well as more committed walkers. Start and finish at the Bleddfa Centre for afternoon tea. Well-behaved dogs and children welcome. Free, donations towards the Trust welcomed.

And not forgetting our regular events:
Silence and Stillness: first Friday of the month 11am – 12pm
first Saturday of the month 11am – 12:30pm
Sewing Group: alternate Tuesday mornings 10:30am
Reading Group: first Saturday of the month, afternoon

We look forward to seeing you at an event soon!

Group: ‘Soil, Soul and Society’ Informal Get-Together

Were you inspired by Satish Kumar’s ‘Soil, Soul and Society’ talk in October?

A few people have felt moved and motivated to ‘do something’  following Satish’s empowering lecture about caring for our planet, our wellbeing and our community, so we would like to provide you with the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals in an informal group to discuss and share ideas about how we can put Satish’s wisdom and philosophies into practice.

Join us at 10am on Thursday 14th December in Hall Barn, for an informal chat over a cup of coffee. Free.