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Arcaded terrace walks enclosing walled garden at Aberglasney

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llangathen, Carmarthenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8794 / 51°52'45"N

Longitude: -4.0629 / 4°3'46"W

OS Eastings: 258100

OS Northings: 222108

OS Grid: SN581221

Mapcode National: GBR DS.RWBB

Mapcode Global: VH4J2.J1G1

Entry Name: Arcaded terrace walks enclosing walled garden at Aberglasney

Listing Date: 20 September 1990

Last Amended: 30 January 2003

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 11154

Building Class: Gardens, Parks and Urban Spaces

Location: On the W side of the house.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Llangathen

Locality: Aberglasney

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Llangathen

History

Aberglasney was built by Bishop Rudd of St Davids from 1600 and was one of the largest houses in Carmarthenshire according to the hearth-tax assessment of 1670. It was sold in 1710 to Robert Dyer, who rebuilt and extended the house in the general form in which it now survives. It has been argued that the general layout of the gardens was the work of the Rudd family in the C17. Further major development was undertaken in the early C19, after the purchase by the Philipps family, which included the construction of coach houses and farm buildings around a courtyard NW of the house.

The date of the terrace has been problematical. Archaeological evidence has suggested that the W range was built by Bishop Rudd in the early C17, and with N and S walls formed the 3-sided enclosure that survives today. The N and S ranges were built against the N and S walls later in the century and originally had pavilions at the E ends. Alteration in the C18 included addition of openings in the outer walls, while the parapet and steps were the result of further modification by Philipps c1840. Although the sequence is reasonably secure, it is also possible that the arcades were built in the early C18. They are referred to in John Dyer''''s poem ''''The Country Walk'''' of 1726.

Exterior

Rubble-stone arcade and terrace enclosing 3 sides, built on sloping ground and open on the uphill (E) side facing the house. The 9-bay W side, at the downhill end, is the earlier. Its arcade has a central segmental-headed arch, flanked by 4 lower round arches on each side. Inside is a tunnel vault. On the S side is a single bay return integral with the W arcade, with round arch. It also has a tunnel vault, and retains a cobbled floor with central drain. Beyond it are 5 segmental-headed arches to bays with individual segmental vaults. (Former steps at the E end were undergoing restoration at the time of inspection). On the N side is a narrow and tall segmental arch leading to a dog-leg passage. This passage contains a segmental-headed niche. The remainder of the N side comprises 5 vaulted bays similar to the S side, and restored steps at the E end.

There are several openings in the outer sides. The N side has a single doorway in the W end bay, of full width but with lower segmental arch, while the bay at the E end is open at the back. On the W side facing the pond garden, where the outer wall has a batter to the base, is a narrow segmental-headed doorway from the dog-leg passage at the N end, a narrow segmental doorway in the bay adjacent to it, and a taller segmental opening to the central bay. The wall of the upper walled garden is attached at the S end. In the S wall are stone steps to segmental-headed doorways in the end vaulted bays.

The restored terrace has a coped parapet, lower on the inner side, which on the outer W and N sides incorporates broad crenellations with scooped embrasures.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade II* as a substantial garden structure of recognised national importance and as an integral component of one of the most important historic gardens in S Wales.

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