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Clytha Castle

A Grade I Listed Building in Llanarth, Monmouthshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7706 / 51°46'14"N

Longitude: -2.9232 / 2°55'23"W

OS Eastings: 336390

OS Northings: 208390

OS Grid: SO363083

Mapcode National: GBR F9.ZPHR

Mapcode Global: VH79G.8RYK

Entry Name: Clytha Castle

Location: Situated on hillside S of Clytha Park approached by drive running S off old A40 some 300m E of entrance gates to Clytha Park.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Abergavenny

Community: Llanarth

Locality: Clytha

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

Listing Date: 9 January 1956

Last Amended: 15 March 2000

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Building Class: Gardens, Parks and Urban Spaces

Source ID: 1968

History

Eyecatcher castellated folly built in 1790 by William Jones the elder of Clytha House as a memorial to his wife Elizabeth Morgan of Tredegar d1787. The designer was the landscape architect, John Davenport, not John Nash who designed the entrance gates to Clytha House at the same time. Restored for the Landmark Trust by Alan Miles, architect.

Exterior

Gothic eyecatcher folly, rendered rubble stone with Bath stone dressings. L-plan design with battlemented screen walls connecting the NW corner 2-storey square tower with 2-storey round towers at SW and NE. Bath stone is used for the plinth, sill courses, frames to openings, cornices, the traceried friezes of the square tower, inset blank loops, crosses and decorative panels and for battlemented parapets.
NW residential tower is 2-storey with taller SW 3-storey colourwashed round stair tower. Plinth, ground floor chamfered sill band, first floor trefoil frieze at sill level, upper cornice with quatrefoil frieze and cyma modillions, under battlements slightly stepped up to centre. First floor N and W sides has centre pointed sash, small-paned with Gothick glazing bars, flanked, not closely, by narrow pointed lights. Above are stone-framed inset panels, centre cross, flanking quatrefoils in lozenges. Ground floor W has similar windows on ground floor, N has 2 similar sashes flanking pointed door. Moulded shafted doorcase with board door and strap hinges.
Round stair tower has mouldings and carved friezes carried around. Top floor has cornice with trefoil frieze and battlements. Stair windows to ground and first floor are stepped to line of stairs, one each side of a recessed cross, pointed to ground floor, square-headed above. Top floor windows as on first, but not stepped, cross between.
N screen wall has battlements curved down and then up to a higher castellated finial in centre. Plinth, sill band and first floor plain band carried across. Above band is inset ashlar recessed cross panel flanked by narrow lancets, and small quatrefoil above. Below frieze are small quatrefoil each side with lancet under, marble inscribed plaque in centre, with blank lancet each set higher than the outer ones. Outer right lancet is glazed.
NE tower has mouldings carried round from screen wall, but upper frieze, cornice and battlements, simpler than on NW tower. Lancet opening each floor NW and NE, small quatrefoil each floor set higher NNW and NNE, N 2-light pointed opening with Y-tracery and big inset cross above, similar cross to E. Mouldings discontinued thereafter within rear court. S arched door and 2 incised plain crosses above, loops on 3 levels SSW and SW.
W screen wall runs from NW tower to SW round tower, plinth and first floor frieze carried across from stair tower, with plain battlements over. Blank cross panel each side of 2-light Y-tracery pointed window, pointed door to right.
SW tower has plinth, ground floor sill-band, first floor simple sill course and top frieze, coved cornice and battlements. First floor has blank large pointed panels with quatrefoil over, inset cross between panels to W. Ground floor has 3 large 2-light wooden pointed windows with narrow pointed panels between, all carried down to plinth through sill band. Plainer rear to court
Within court, plain rendered elevations, some colourwashed. NE tower has blank cross loops at upper level E and S, stair tower has plain loops. Much lower 2-storey colourwashed range with plain battlements is wrapped around tower and curves around stair tower, to provide passage space. Pointed 6-panel door to left of E side. S side 2-light chamfered stone-mullion window each floor right and single narrow light to left. Rounded section around stair tower has single narrow light each floor to right. Behind W screen wall is plain lean-to passage to SW tower with single light, pointed door and loop, all to left.

Interior

Said to have panelled shutters and door in NW tower ground floor room. spiral stair to first floor room with cambered-headed Bath stone fireplace and iron grate. Two Gothick iron grates in bedrooms. Single ground floor bedroom in SW tower, NE tower open to sky.

Reasons for Listing

Graded I as one of the outstanding C18 follies of Wales.

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