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Latitude: 53.2177 / 53°13'3"N
Longitude: -3.8376 / 3°50'15"W
OS Eastings: 277395
OS Northings: 370541
OS Grid: SH773705
Mapcode National: GBR 62.1B86
Mapcode Global: WH65J.0DT1
Entry Name: Caer Rhun Hall
Listing Date: 21 February 1996
Last Amended: 21 February 1996
Source ID: 17010
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Located 200m NW of Caerhun church, set back from the main Bettws-y-Coed - Conwy road (B 5106) on the E side behind high rubble walls.
Built-Up Area: Conwy
Traditional County: Caernarfonshire
The original Plas Caerhun was a largely C17 house with probable Medieval origins, and was the seat of the Davis and subsequently Davis-Griffith families. The present house was built in 1895 for Major-General Hugh Sutlej Gough (1848-1920), Commander-in-Chief in India during the first and second Sikh wars and conqueror of the Punjab, as well as Governor-General of Jersey. Designed in Elizabethan style, the house bears close similarity with the work of Douglas and Fordham, architects of Chester; the influence of Plas Mawr, Conway is apparent in both theme and detail.
Large T-shaped house consisting of a two-and-a-half storey main section with an adjoining L-shaped service/subsidiary range of 2 storeys. Of snecked limestone with red sandstone dressings and pale slate roofs. Asymmetrical facades with leaded mullioned and transomed plain and arched windows and paired or clustered chimneys, mostly off-set and with moulded cornices and capping. Stepped and kneelered gables throughout with ball finials carried on diagonal off-set shafts connecting with plain moulded stringcourses.
The N (entrance) front has a 5-and-a-half bay main block with a 3-bay subsidiary range at right-angles to the R. Extruded at the corner is a large octagonal stair tower with banded decoration, single-light windows with chamfered reveals and an octagonal roof with lead ball finial. Wide gabled bay to L of main block with first-floor canted oriel window of twin and flanking single lights; crenellated parapet to flat roof. Above this, in the gable apex, a plain stone shield-plaque. A dentilated stringcourse divides the ground and first floors and is returned around the E side. To the R (bay 2), an advanced, storied and gabled porch, the upper floor corbelled out slightly at the sides, though flush with the ground floor at the front. Arched entrance with returned label and surmounting, pedimented niche containing the sculpted crest of the Gough family in relief; boarded double doors. Above, a first-floor bowed oriel with 4-light mullioned and transomed convex window and stone domed ogee roof. To the right of the porch a 4-light mullioned window with arched heads and returned label, flanked by similar 3-light windows. 3 cross-windows to the first floor and above, three stepped-gabled dormers with 2-light mullions.
The connecting subsidiary range has two 3-light mullioned and transomed windows with arched heads to the R of the stair tower; above, three 3-light windows contained within gabled dormers as before, though corbelled out slightly. Stepped-gabled projecting cross-wing to R with single-storey canted bay window to ground floor; 3 light mullioned and transomed central window with flanking single lights. Above, a further mullioned and transomed window with pediment. Extruded in the corner between the subsidiary range and the cross-wing, a single-storey lean-to porch with crenellated parapet; ogee-headed entrance with moulded jambs. Stepped lateral chimney and adjoining single-storey porch to N return of cross-wing. The S (garden) front has the lower, subsidiary range set back to the L of the main block. The former has a projecting end chimney to its L gable. Irregular window arrangement with three 3-light and one 2-light mullioned windows to the ground floor, with a further 4-light mullioned and transomed window to far R beyond; plain stringcourse between storeys, stepped-up to R section. Arched entrance at angle with advanced main block, with moulded jambs and elliptical window above. 2 paired cross windows to the first floor, that to the R with surmounting stepped gable. Similar gable to R containing paired 2-light mullioned windows; smaller gable beyond, to far R containing a single 2-light window. The main block has two storied, canted bays with surmounting stepped gables, that to the L slightly larger. This has a 5-light, arched-headed, mullioned and transomed window with single-light returns to the ground floor; dentilated and moulded stringcourse above. Plain 5-light mullioned and transomed window to the first floor of the bay with a plain 4-light mullioned window to the third (gabled) storey. That to the R has a 3-light mullioned window with 2-light returns to ground and first floors; arched heads to lights. 2-light mullioned window to the gable, above a plain stone plaque (never ornamented). In between the bays the first floor is corbelled out; further mullioned and transomed windows to first floor and arched single light windows to ground floor, gabled dormer to attic with modern window.
Angled turret with tall pyramidal roof to SE corner; lead ball finial with wrought iron weathervane, feathered eaves. Storied flat-roofed bay to centre of E side with crenellated parapet. Wide-arched, multi-cusped heads to 2-light double-transomed windows; decorative lead glazing. Part enclosed service court to W with plain veranda to S side of NW cross range, carried on simple cast iron columns. 2-, 3- and 6-light mullioned and mullioned and transomed windows as before; half-hipped roof to single-storey projection to SW cross-wing.
Counter-changed floor to entrance hall, of sandstone and polished black slate slabs. Three-quarter height small-field panelling, re-used C17 material from Plas Caerhun. Twin-arched opening to L leading to stairwell; Tuscan columns supporting round arches. Narrow oak well stair with Jacobean-style geometric finials and strapwork decoration to newel posts; barley-twist balusters and dado panelling. Segmental opening with panelled doors to panelled hall at R. Plas Mawr type fireplace within large Tudor-arched niche which projects slightly; this has simple fluted pilaster decoration to its overmantle and a moulded mantelpiece. Beamed ceiling with ovolo moulding to main beams and stopped chamfered detail; re-used C17 panelling as before with, at the far (service) end, a carved foliate board above doors with late C19 inscription 'fear God and honour the King'. Drawing room and dining room off hall, the former with painted dado panelling. The dining room has a panelled fireplace niche and a Jacobean style fireplace with baluster-columns supporting a mantelpiece and geometric overmantel.
Cantilevered stone circular service stair contained within octagonal tower; swept oak rail and ball-finial to bottom newel. Re-used C16/C17 chamfered ceiling beams to room off kitchen. Kitchen with high ceiling and contemporary glazed ceramic dado tiles and range alcoves.
An imposing and well-designed late Victorian country house in the manner of Douglas and Fordham, architects of Chester and with good surviving interior detail.
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