AN Eglwyswrw B&B has been awarded one of the top accolades in the tourism industry – the AA Guest Accommodation of the year (Wales) 2019-20.

Robert Smith and Arwel Hughes, owners of Ael y Bryn, picked up the award for their at a recent ceremony at the St Ermins Hotel, in London.

“We are thrilled to be the winner of the AA Guest Accommodation of the Year for Wales,” said Robert and Arwel.

“As a former Italian Prisoner of War camp Ael y Bryn has undertaken a unique journey of refurbishment from a place of containment to a spacious, high quality, comfortable and convivial home where we preserve our commitment to a warm welcome, high standards and unfailing hospitality to all our guests.

“To achieve this award is truly a great honour and a testament to the work we enjoy.

“We are in a stunning location, situated in the countryside and it is so peaceful with views across the Preseli Hills to Carn Ingli.

“It is hard work but we enjoy it and we get visitors from all over the world who keep coming back. We are constantly looking for where we can improve and thinking of the customers’ needs.”

The building itself, which has four spacious bedrooms, has an interesting history.

In 1942, the government Ministry of Works Department requisitioned two-and-a-half acres from Frochest Farm to build a hostel for agricultural workers.

The hostel was first occupied by the Women’s Land Army – women who had chosen to work on the farms rather than join the fighting services. When they moved to Croesgoch, near St. Davids, they were replaced by Irish workers.

The next to arrive were Italian prisoners of war and they occupied the hostel for most of the war.

Next came German prisoners of war. At the end of the war the prisoners left; they were followed by Polish ex-servicemen who had fought against Hitler and were in danger of their lives if they returned to Poland.

In 1952 the government returned ownership to Frochest Farm and the buildings were used for general agricultural use.

Robert and Arwel bought the buildings in 2000 and by then they were in a poor state of repair. The two wings were retained and two new link buildings for the entrance hall and library were constructed to form the inner courtyard and they opened for business back in 2004.