Now a well-equipped Field Studies Centre, Pen Arthur is used for many activities throughout the year. Every year each of the First Forms takes it in turn to spend a week there, participating a range of activities from canoeing to hiking, while living in a simple, communal way. The new Third Formers also have a similar opportunity in their first year in the School.
In addition to its recreational use, Pen Arthur is used for the expedition section of both Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award, as well as the new entrants’ weekend run in the autumn every year, for the selection of new entrant Gold pupils. It is also used by the CCF extensively for adventure training. During the summer holidays, the Cross Country team spend a hard week training for the busy season ahead. Pen Arthur has also been used for Creative Arts weekends and for study sessions in subjects as diverse as Biology and English. The centre is also available for use by family groups during the holidays.
Much has been made of its former basic lifestyle and quirkiness, with mouldy walls, and plants growing in the toilet cubicles, not to mention the power cuts and running out of water, quite a problem when you are two miles up a mountain track!
These fond memories are priceless and when we renovated and refurbished the building, we were careful to ensure we preserved the character of the farmhouse.
In line with current health and safety legislation, but also to offer our boys a better experience, we carried out works to update the site, and more importantly, provide our pupils with more sleeping space.
The work was carried out over the winter of 2011/2012 and Penarthur re opened in March 2012, with three dormitories and much improved single accommodation.
We even found time to raise the roof of the entrance from the lounge to the dining room, saving a lot of sore heads.
Pen Arthur today is not a lot different to the old place, however it runs more efficiently, whilst keeping the lounge and dining rooms largely untouched, still with its large open fireplace. The sleeping accommodation has been significantly improved and it continues to provide a unique setting from which pupils can explore, learn and team build and create memories that will last for many years to come.