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Latitude: 53.0568 / 53°3'24"N
Longitude: -3.3277 / 3°19'39"W
OS Eastings: 311108
OS Northings: 351882
OS Grid: SJ111518
Mapcode National: GBR 6R.CG4Q
Mapcode Global: WH77N.VFKG
Entry Name: Nantclwyd Hall
Location: 1 km north of Llanelidan chuch and 200 m east of the A494 Bala to Ruthin road, in the parkland of the C17 house re-landscaped in the C20.
Locality: Nantclwyd Hall
Traditional County: Denbighshire
Listing Date: 19 July 1966
Last Amended: 21 March 2001
Building Class: Domestic
Source ID: 765
The historic core of Nantclwyd is a late-C17 house. The house appears to have descended through the Thelwall family, by marriage, to the Kenrick family; R H Kenrick was the last owner belonging to this family in the early C19. Of the original house of the Thelwall period one wing remains, containing fine contemporary wainscoted interiors.
The enlargement of the house followed in the period after 1843 when Nantclwyd was bought by Richard Christopher Leyland, who was a partner in a Liverpool bank which had been founded by his great-uncle, Thomas Leyland. In 1857 the house was enlarged to the design of J K Colling, producing the south-east wing in an exterior style matching the original house except for the substitution of sash windows for mullion-and-transom windows. This part contains a nursery wing with fine plasterwork ceilings.
For R C Leyland's nephew, Tom Naylor-Leyland, David Walker of Liverpool demolished a substantial western part of the house and substituted a second range again repeating in essence the external appearance of the surviving C17 original wing: so this three-period house remained architecturally of one style. A new entrance was formed in a projecting bay on the west elevation. Walker's drawings are dated from 1872 onwards; the tympanum of the west doorway contains the monogram TNL and the date 1875. This part contains a fine dining room and library.
This north-facing house with a secondary entrance to its main drive from the west gate possessed extensive gardens to the south, and it was the work of Clough Williams-Ellis in the 1960s to resolve the difficulties and produce the present house for Sir Vivyan Naylor-Leyland. With the demolition of redundant parts on the south side, the whole of the south front was re-faced in a manner to integrate it with the gardens, which were themselves refashioned and extended. Clough Williams-Ellis used a gabled front to conceal a south gable roof opposite the original wing, creating an off-centre feature which nonetheless balances the unequal surviving ranges to east and west. The formal main approach remains that from the north, the landscaping of which was improved, using a new northern entrance to the grounds in place of the former west gateway.
Nantclwyd Hall is a large brickwork house of two storeys and an attic, facing north; its C19 entrance front to the west, and its garden elevation, to the south, remodelled and refronted in render.
The original C17 part projects from the north front. It is in small-size handmade bricks on a limestone plinth, with a hipped slate roof and a large bracketed cornice. It is of three bays width with a single bay return at the right and a three bay return at the left. The window dressings and quoins are in yellow freestone, and there are stone string courses at sill and window cornice heights on both storeys. The windows are cased in stonework with moulded sills, eared architraves, pulvinated friezes and moulded pediments with carved features in the tympana. The latter are of varied character with grotesque touches. The central window pediments of the left flank are curved, the others all triangular. The windows are all of cross type with timber mullions and transoms and quarry glazing.
To the left of the older part, considerably set back, is a six-window C19 range including an advanced bay in the second position from the left and the main door of the house, refashioned in the C20, in the fourth position (i.e. at the centre of a three-bay range). The sixth bay, adjoining the older wing, is set at 45 degrees. This range has a return elevation to the east of three windows, including a two-storey canted-sided bay at left. To the right of the older part, slightly set back, is a later C19 six-window range including an advanced bay in the second position from the right in which is a minor door. This range has a three-bay west return entrance elevation, the centre bay advancing and containing the former main door. There is thus a broad symmetry in the late C19 design, and in detail the C19 architects copied the features of the original wing which remained as the centrepiece, departing only in their use of sash windows in place of cross casements. In the late C20 dormer windows were added throughout the north, east and west sides.
The garden elevation of the Hall, to the south, is the work of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis c1960. This consists of a five-window range to the west and a three window range to the east, in which the roof, plinth and quoins details of the north side are repeated, but the walls are finished in plain colour-washed render and the windows are in un-ornamented openings. Between these unequal ranges, and itself asymmetrically placed, is the centrepiece gabled unit, with link-ranges to left and right. This centre-block has a Dutch gable with a coped upper part to its parapet and side urns; a decorative roundel on the gable; two small attic windows; a venetian window with stone casings; a decorative swag with the initials E A F-H and V E N-L and the date 1959; and three round-headed ground-storey voids, the centre for a sculpture, the outer ones French windows.
Entrance hall and stairs towards the east of the house, the main reception rooms towards the west; the layout much altered. The Oak Sitting Room and the Oak Bedroom, above it, in the north wing, are the special features of the original house. Both are panelled in wainscot with panels surrounded by large bolection mouldings, and the doors are similarly panelled. The Sitting Room detailing is more ornate than that of the Bedroom, with Corinthian pilasters framing the chimneypiece. Both have carved timber ceiling beams, but plain plasterwork in the ceiling bays.
In the mid-C19 extensions, early period detailing is imitated in the strapwork plasterwork of the Nursery Suite ceilings. In the late C19 extensions the Library and Dining Room with their late Classical decoration are outstanding.
Listed at Grade II* as a fine country house in which substantial late C17 fabric remains, both exterior and interior, which was restored and enlarged twice in the C19 in a style consistent with the original, also with outstanding interiors; sensitively modernised in the 1960s by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis to enhance its integration with the gardens and the surrounding park landscape.
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