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Academic Research and Fieldwork

Academic Research

As a central location for research in the academic areas of environmental and biological studies, the Centre offers a practical base for secondary school course work through to undergraduate dissertation and professional research.

Contact the centre for details of research regarding student retention and residential outdoor adventure programmes

The Arts

With spectacular surroundings, Plas Caerdeon is ideal for art workshops, both within its private woodlands and the surrounding area. As a result of strong academic connections, Plas Caerdeon hosted the international artists' workshop, 'Cyfuniad', welcoming artists from the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, Oriel Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno and Triangle Arts Trust, London. Artists came from Brazil, Indonesia, Singapore, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa, India, Japan, the Caribbean, Senegal and the UK. Pieces from the workshop remain on display to inspire visiting artists.

With a wealth of traditional and contemporary local musicians, Plas Caerdeon is an ideal venue for music workshops, taking advantage of well-established annual music festivals in nearby Barmouth, Llangollen and Session Fawr, Dolgellau.

Historians, poets and creative writers will appreciate the link with renowned guest Charles Darwin, as he contemplated his latest version of 'The Origin of Species' in 1869. Local landmarks and architecture provide interesting subject matter for discussion, reflection and creative thinking.

Field Work

From sixth-form course work to academic research, Plas Caerdeon is the ideal base for field work. The Centre's geographic and cultural location boasts a wealth of research opportunities.

Right on the doorstep at Plas Caerdeon are beautiful sandy beaches, rocky shores, rugged mountains, rivers, woodlands and forests. Cader Idris, towering above the Mawddach estuary, is the focal point of the area, with its stunning mountain and sea views. Harlech Castle and the picturesque Italianate architecture of Portmeirion are nearby, as are slate caverns, the Ffestiniog Narrow Gauge railway, and the Centre for Alternative Technology.


"We have a beautiful house with a terraced garden and a really magnificent view of Cader opposite ..." wrote Charles Darwin in his diary of 1869. Naturally there have been many changes to Plas Caerdeon since Darwin stayed there, not least of which is the view from the house.

Cader Idris, the mountain which towers almost three thousand feet above the Mawddach Estuary, is still a dominant feature. However, the view of the river below the Centre has changed since Darwin's visit. Plas Caerdeon's view of the outside world has been obscured by the unchecked growth of laurel, resulting in 15 metre high trees, where once there were well kept hedges.

Work has started, with grant aid from forestry organisations, removing selected areas of laurel and invading rhododendron growth, planning to reveal again the views of the Mawddach Estuary which have been lost over recent decades.


  • Set in Snowdonia National Park.
  • Over 18 acres of private woodlands, overlooking the Mawddach Estuary.
  • Diverse habitats.
  • Ideal for Geography and Biology studies.
  • Near the coastal town of Barmouth, Llechwedd slate caverns, Ffestiniog Narrow Gauge railway, the Forest Visitor Centre and the Centre for Alternative Technology.