ONE of Chepstow’s most treasured buildings will soon open as a backpackers’ hostel after years of work which has cost up to £1.2 million. 

The Grade II* listed former British Legion Building was bought by Mike Lewis in 2007 and since then, six years of work has gone into changing it into accommodation. 

The transformation should be complete at The Green Man by the end of the month.

The oldest part of the historic building is its moot room, which dates back to the 14th century. It was originally used as a meeting place by key townsmen and to store gold and valuables. 

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.

Mr Lewis said of the development: “I am really glad now I have come to this point. It was a scary thing to do but you only live once and what’s life without a bit of fear? You need a bit of fear to keep you alive.

“When I look back and at the task I took on it scares me. It’s mammoth.

“When I think about [the start] I had to remain really positive and it was really difficult to relax.”

Key Monmouthshire people to have lived in some of the buildings which now make up The Green Man include Lord and Lady Raglan, who resided there in the 1930s. 

The hostel will be run by Mr Lewis, his partner and a few friends until he is sure of how many people are required to run the operation.

There will be three levels of accommodation available – hostel accommodation, which will serve 14 to 15 people, four rooms in which visitors will be able to experience bed and breakfast with their stay, and a further three rooms which have ensuite facilities. 

An opening date for The Green Man waiting to be finalised, but Mr Lewis, who is a key part of Chepstow’s Wassail and Mari Lwyd which takes place this Saturday, said interest in the development of the building has been “unbelievable”. 

Monmouth MP David Davies is expected to take a look at the development at the end of the week.