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Llanrwst and Doctor Who (the famous time and space traveller)  What's the connection?

Click to enlarge picture of Hendre-Wen Barn Llanrwst and St FagansWell it is rather tenuous, but the excellent 2007 series of Doctor Who, made by the BBC in south Wales, had several scenes filmed in St Fagan's Welsh Folk Museum near Cardiff.

At one stage in an episode the heroine enters an old building where the Tardis (a time and space travelling machine) had been left for safe keeping. This old stone and timber barn, Hendre-Wen, like many other buildings in the episode is located in St Fagan's.

What has this to do with Llanrwst? I hear you ask.

Well Hendre-Wen was originally built in Llanrwst, probably around 1600, and the old barn spent most of it's life happily storing corn in the Conwy Valley. Around 1800 Hendre-Wen was rebuilt with the addition of stone walls. The stones would be massive boulders gathered from the fields, with some of the stones weighing as much as a ton.

Life for the old barn remained the same as ever for the next 200 years until one day workmen arrived. They knocked down the old building and, as was the case with so many old barns, that might have been the end of it. But not this time. The workmen dismantled Hendre-Wen but they also numbered every stone and every piece of timber. Then they collected it all up and carted it down to south Wales where Hendre-Wen was rebuilt stone by stone and timber by timber in St Fagan's Welsh Folk Museum.

This is where the Doctor Who connection arises.

The once popular Doctor Who series had disappeared from the BBC schedules for several years until the decision was taken to revive the series with a new script writer. This happened to be Russell T Davies a Welshman. His brilliant new scripts breathed fresh life into Doctor Who and BBC Wales took over the making of the new series.

Naturally the locations were moved to Wales and this explains the use of the St Fagan's site,  and thus the old Llanrwst barn of Hendre-Wen, for the filming of some of the 2007 series. It may be pushing it a bit to say that Hendre-Wen has travelled in time but isn't it ironic that a building that has travelled in space was used to hide the Tardis.