BUILDING work on one of the oldest municipal buildings in Wales to turn it into a backpackers’ hostel should be complete by October, its owner has said.
Work to turn what was the British Legion Building in Chepstow is continuing after being started in 2011.
The Grade II* listed building was bought by Mike Lewis in 2007 and work is currently being undertaken to change the building into a backpackers’ hostel.
The Green Man will be a backpackers’ hostel with a difference because it has three different levels of accommodation. Its name is taken from carvings at its front.
Mr Lewis said: “It will attract people who don’t normally stay in a hostel where everyone shares everything. It’s an incredible building. It dates from 1290 to the 1970s.
“I was 48 when I started looking at the idea and I’m 61 now. I just thought it would be something really good to do.”
The building’s oldest room is its moot room, which is said to date back to the 14th century, and was used by the town’s people to store gold and other valuables and as a meeting place.
And he said there have been enquiries from as far afield as France, Italy and Germany for possible tours of the building both when it is being developed and completed.
Mr Lewis has played an active role in the community and has been a key member of the Chepstow Acoustic Music Club and ran the Two Rivers Folk Festival.
He is originally from Caldicot but after running an electronics business in Birmingham for 25 years he moved back to Chepstow.
Town groups who have been given tours around the building include Transition Chepstow and one from Chepstow Library.
The property has previously been used as a wine merchant’s house, a coach house and an armoury. It was also used as a Post Office from 1880 until 1923.