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Latitude: 52.9291 / 52°55'44"N
Longitude: -4.2856 / 4°17'8"W
OS Eastings: 246464
OS Northings: 339295
OS Grid: SH464392
Mapcode National: GBR 5H.MHFV
Mapcode Global: WH44D.4MHW
Entry Name: Plas Gwynfryn
Listing Date: 31 March 1999
Last Amended: 31 March 1999
Source ID: 21588
Building Class: Domestic
Location: The house stands in its own parkland N of Llanystumdwy, and is reached from a long driveway from the road running N from the W end of the village.
Traditional County: Caernarfonshire
The land at Plas Gwynfryn is first referred to in the early C16 as owned by Gruffydd ap John ap Grono. In the C17 it came into the Wynn family, Owen Wynn dying in 1668. Richard Ellis, who died in 1717, was the first of the line of Ellis family owners. It devolved to Rev David Ellis, rector of Criccieth, d.1761, who adopted the name Ellis-Nanney, and to another David, attorney general for North Wales in 1812. In 1866 the old house was demolished and a new building in a castellated style planned for Hugh Ellis Nanney, the architect being George Williams. The new house was completed in 1876 at the cost of £70,000 and illustrated as a fashionable new design in The Builder of 2.6.1877. It was occupied by the Tory MP Ellis Nanney, who was narrowly and famously defeated by Lloyd George in 1880. It became a hospital during the war, an orphanage and latterly a hotel until gutted by fire in c1982. The original drawings are said to survive, in private hands in Coventry.
Built in dark grey snecked rock-faced stone with paler gritstone dressings. The main S front is romantically asymmetrical, with a crenellated tower of 3 storeys, gables, and a 3-part bay window oriel at first floor level, with a date stone in the gable. To the right of this a small stair turret, also crenellated. On the left side (W) a large porte-cochere with pinnacles. The windows are generally stone mullioned and transomed. A single storey parapetted billiard room extends at the far E end, and extensive service wing to the rear. Cast iron down pipes. The external shell has survived the fire although the slated roofs were destroyed.
The interior is approached from the porte-cochere via an external hall leading to a large central stair hall, originally lit from a roof lantern. The dining room suite lay to the rear, and the parlour and other reception rooms to the front. The whole interior including the floors, wall panelling, stair and plasterwork were destroyed in the fire.
Included, notwithstanding its present condition, as a grand country mansion in the castellated style popular in the mid-later C19. The building retains a strong architectural character in its consciously picturesque massing and silhouettes.
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