History in Structure

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Craig-y-parc House

A Grade II* Listed Building in Pentyrch, Cardiff

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5192 / 51°31'9"N

Longitude: -3.3042 / 3°18'15"W

OS Eastings: 309602

OS Northings: 180838

OS Grid: ST096808

Mapcode National: GBR HR.HKL8

Mapcode Global: VH6F4.P21Q

Entry Name: Craig-y-parc House

Listing Date: 31 January 2000

Last Amended: 31 January 2000

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 22816

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Set on the hillside SW of Pentyrch, within large grounds including woodland to W, the main frontage facing S over the Vale.

County: Cardiff

Community: Pentyrch

Locality: Craig-y-parc

Traditional County: Glamorgan

History

Designed by Arts and Crafts architect C E Mallows and built 1914-18 for Thomas Evans, a colliery director who began his career as a railwayman and started his fortune by collecting coal that had fallen from coal trucks on the railways, and was thus known as 'Small Coal Evans'. He eventually became the owner of Ocean Colliery and the house is reputed to have cost over £100,000. Two drawings of the house of 1913 by Mallows show slight differences from what was actually built. After Evans' death the house passed to the Coal Board and in 1954 it was bought by the Spastics Society who opened a residential school here in 1955; it continues in this use.

Exterior

A large mansion in Arts and Crafts Lutyenesque style based on a Tudor manor house. Built of coursed, snecked rock-faced sandstone quarried locally with yellow limestone dressings and tile roof with swept eaves and long narrow stacks parallel to the main ridge set across the cross gables. Main entrance is at rear facing N. This elevation has mostly small windows of 2 or more lights, with moulded mullions, surrounds, quarry glazing and narrow tile hoods. The main section is slightly asymmetrical though balanced and comprises three gabled cross wings with narrow predominantly horizontal windows to first and ground floor to the two side wings; the centre wing has the main square-headed entrance doorway with slightly recessed Doric columns supporting an entablature with triglyph frieze; 12-panelled front door; above is a window at attic level. The intervening recessed bays have windows directly under the swept eaves, and others at ground floor level; gabled tile-hung roof dormers above. Extending to left and with lower ridge is the extensive survice wing which returns with 2-storeyed gabled cross wing and tall stacks; this extends to form a single storey courtyard entrance with a wooden-faced gable to rear and a garage and workshop cross wing. The E-facing side of the 2-storeyed service wing has deeply swept eaves with tall stacks and a series of matching roof dormers with leaded windows; ground floor has windows of multiple mullioned lights; S facing gabled frontage has a 2-storey bay window and wide lateral stack.

The garden facing S frontage is more expansive with larger windows, of multipane lights with mullions and transoms. The design is based on a 2-storey cross gable at each end with wide windows to each floor linked by an atrium formed by colonnades of Doric piers with an entablature with triglyph frieze rising to a stone balustrade; this forms a first floor balcony with a range of windows behind and large gabled dormers in the swept roof above. Two tall slender stacks on the ends of intermediate cross gables complete the composition. Ground floor windows behind the atrium are leaded, full-length and incorporate doors leading to the terrace and flanked by pilasters. To right and stepped back is the frontage of the service wing with a 2-storey canted bay in yellow limestone and prominent lateral stack; cross wing with ventilators. The side W-facing elevation has a central projecting cross gable with swept eaves, a 2- bay range to left with mullioned lights to each floor and roof swept down to right; a later glazed corridor extension for institutional use has been attached at ground floor level.

Interior

Interior has been partly refurnished for institutional use but retains many original fittings. Main entrance is into a small circular hall off which lead long access corridors with the main reception rooms all facing the garden including and either side of the garden entrance hall behind the colonnade. The rooms are lavishly panelled with stained and varnished wood, with heavy mouldings and polished floors. Ceilings are low and some have timber cornices and further panelling; the raised end bays of the hall have Doric wood columns. The moulded stone fireplaces of hall and sitting room are recessed within wide panelled bays. The dining room has linenfold panelling. A grand wooden staircase in C16 century style rises at E end; a long staircase window of leaded quarries, transoms and mullions lights the panelled open well; heavy chamfered posts support the flights which have deep strings, newel post with deep moulded finials, a heavily moulded handrail and turned balusters; the underside of the staircase where visible is also panelled. Some of the bathrooms retain their original china fittings and decorative tiling to wall and matching terrazzo floor. Some rooms on the upper floor retain recessed tiled washing bays within the panelling, with basins set in marble slabs.

Reasons for Listing

Listed II* as a handsome Arts and Crafts house, exceptional in S Wales, retaining almost all its original fabric and many interesting fittings. Group value with the gatehouse, loggia and other listed garden features.

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