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Latitude: 53.0487 / 53°2'55"N
Longitude: -3.7172 / 3°43'1"W
OS Eastings: 284986
OS Northings: 351540
OS Grid: SH849515
Mapcode National: GBR 67.CX4X
Mapcode Global: WH66B.WM2N
Entry Name: Voelas
Listing Date: 19 October 1998
Last Amended: 19 October 1998
Source ID: 20585
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Voelas Estate lies on the W edge of the community, W of Pentrefoelas. The house stands in its own parkland overlooking the picturesque narrow valley of the Afon Conwy.
Traditional County: Denbighshire
Voelas, as Plas Iolyn and Gilar, is one of the 3 major family houses of Pentrefoelas area. It occupies the approximate site of a Regency villa called Lima, erected in 1813-1819 by the Hon.Charles Finch, which was replaced in 1856-58 by a more substantial house for Charles Wynne-Finch, incorporating part of the original villa. Some outbuildings remain from this period. The present building was commissioned by Col T C Wynne-Finch from a family friend, Clough Williams Ellis, who designed and supervised its erection in 1957-1961, one of his last significant works.
The house is built of stone, smooth rendered, with two parallel ranges of hipped slate roofs. Two storeys. The main front, facing S over the valley, is of 9 bays, the centre 3 broken forward and pedimented in early C18 style. Fifteen paned sash windows to the ground floor, 12-paned to the upper floor. A central architraved doorcase with a tall scrolled open pediment over carries his wife, Alice's, initials. Glazed door. In the pediment the draped family shield. The W elevation of the picture gallery is similar, perhaps more successfully proportioned, of 5 bays, with a glazed door in a pilastered doorcase under a scrolled pedimented doorcase, and initials TCWF. The entrance elevation, to the rear, has the main glazed screen and door to the hallway under a flat canopy on scrolled ironwork brackets, and to the right, the coat of arms from the previous family house at Hen Voelas. To the left, two very tall paned windows, 11 panes high, lighting the staircase. The E elevation has two tripartite 12-pane sash windows to the ground floor, and a wall enclosing the E garden from the N, running to the summer house and outbuildings.
The main entrance on the N leads to a most impressive and generous stair hall. The main reception rooms are ranged along the S front, and the service accommodation on the E, the kitchen in the SE corner. The W is wholly occupied by the picture gallery, linked en-filade to the drawing room. The small and large drawing rooms, and hallway have very fine C18 Corinthian doorcases enlivened with gold, together with remarkable chimney pieces with slips of various marbles all reclaimed from Lindsey House, Chelsea, London. Mahogany panelled doors. The free-standing dog-leg stair rises to a sitting area on the half-landing with a good C18 pedimented bookcase, a replica facing. The picture gallery is of 1.5 storeys, contrived by raising the upper floor at this end, a design said to be based on Uppark. Fine baroque chimney piece with framed painting.
Included at Grade II* as a fine and well detailed country house, one of the last in the oeuvre of the outstanding C20 British architect, Clough Williams-Ellis.
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