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Latitude: 53.1392 / 53°8'21"N
Longitude: -4.2749 / 4°16'29"W
OS Eastings: 247925
OS Northings: 362643
OS Grid: SH479626
Mapcode National: GBR 5J.661D
Mapcode Global: WH43F.9CL8
Entry Name: Castle Hotel, including railings & gate
Listing Date: 31 March 1983
Last Amended: 3 May 2002
Source ID: 3841
Building Class: Domestic
Location: In a prominently sited terrace with the rear overlooking Slate Quay.
Built-Up Area: Caernarfon
Traditional County: Caernarfonshire
32-37 Castle Square is said to have been built in 1834 and first shown on the town map of 1834. The terrace of 6 houses was evidently intended to be a larger symmetrical composition, the centrepiece being No 33 which was built as the Castle Hotel. However, only one house was added to the L side, with 4 on the R side. Owned by the Assheton-Smith family, it was one of a number of developments owned by the Vaynol Estate in Caernarfon. In the late C19 the houses had already been partly adapted to business use, a trend that continued in the C20. By 1895 No 34 was a solicitor's office and No 36 was the office of the Prudential Assurance Company. The block was sold by the Vaynol Estate in 1957. George Borrow stayed at the Castle Hotel on his itinerary of Wild Wales.
Belongs to a group of 32-37 Castle Square.
A late Georgian style terrace of 3 storeys with attic and 2-storey basement, of Flemish-bonded brick and mainly with graded slate roofs (replaced slate to No 32) on a moulded wooden cornice, with added small skylights and brick and roughcast stacks. The accent is provided by No 33 which is brought forward under a pediment, has stucco walls and is 3 symmetrical bays. The other houses are of 2 narrow bays, giving an overall composition of 2 3 8 bays. Basements are single-storey of coursed rubble stone to the front and have windows mainly replaced in original openings. Elsewhere windows are hornless sashes with thin glazing bars and under wedge lintels. They are 9-pane in the upper storey and 12-pane in the middle and lower storeys.
No 33 has replaced lower-storey windows in original openings. A central entrance portico has tapering chamfered square columns on stone bases, and replaced double doors with plain overlight. The pediment has a plain cornice and a round-headed attic window incorporating a 2-light casement.
The doorways are on the L side to Nos 34-37 and on the R side to No 32. Each has a stucco doorcase with pilasters and consoles beneath a shallow hood, and fielded-panel doors under round-headed radial glazed overlights, except No 37 which has an added porch, while No 35 has glazing inserted into the middle and upper panels of its original door.
No 37 has a roughcast front and a coursed stone stack with corbelled cap to the R of 1911. A flat-roofed porch lower L has a 2-centred pointed arch in dressed surround with boarded door, and a pair of narrow lights in each side wall under shouldered lintels. The window lower R is set within an architrave and retains its original 12-pane hornless sash window. In the middle storey are 2 oriel windows inserted in the late C19 on cast iron brackets, with 4-pane sash windows under a hipped lead roof with swept eaves, and carried on cast iron colonnettes. The upper storey retains original 9-pane hornless sash windows in architraves. The basement retains a small-pane sash window.
The R gable end of No 37 was rebuilt 1911 in coursed dressed stone when adjoining houses were demolished. This is indicated on 2 stone plaques (Welsh and English) set into the wall that commemorate Baron Vaynol's gift of land for the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1911. In each storey is a centrally placed 2-light mullioned window under a mould and incorporating 2-light casements. The windows have sill bands 2 courses thick of finely tooled stone.
The forecourt has cast iron railings with spear finials on a dwarf freestone wall. The gate to each cellar steps retains ironwork with lattice pattern in chinoiserie style (replaced to No 36 and with added gate to the L side of No 33), but gates to the front doors are all replaced. The railings terminate to the R end (No 37) with a ramped return wall of coursed dressed stone abutting the house. The steps lead to cellars beneath the pavement.
The terrace is built on a steep site and has 2-storey basement to the rear.
No 33 has a boarded basement door flanked by windows boarded up, while No 34 has a replaced basement window in an original opening.
The rear of No 34 retains some 4-pane sash windows on the L side, but otherwise windows are replaced and a lean-to is added on the R side. The rear of No 33 projects forward, is pebble-dashed and has mainly windows replaced in original openings. A narrow lean-to is R of centre.
No 33 is modernised and its original plan form lost. No 34 has also lost much of its plan but retains an original open-well stair (originally sited at the rear of the entrance hall) with plain balusters, wreathed handrail and moulded tread ends.
32-37 Castle Square is listed as a well-preserved and ambitious piece of early C19 urban planning that continues the strong Georgian tradition in Caernarfon and demonstrates the early use of brick in the town's domestic architecture. It also makes an important contribution to the historic character of Castle Square and the setting of Caernarfon Castle.
Other nearby listed buildings