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Latitude: 52.8241 / 52°49'26"N
Longitude: -4.0783 / 4°4'41"W
OS Eastings: 260060
OS Northings: 327197
OS Grid: SH600271
Mapcode National: GBR 5R.V5SX
Mapcode Global: WH566.B86T
Entry Name: Aberartro Hall
Listing Date: 29 October 2003
Last Amended: 29 October 2003
Source ID: 81987
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Set back within private grounds from the W side of the road which leads SE from the NE end of the village of Pentre Gwynfryn at Pont Glyn-Artro.
Locality: Pentre Gwynfryn
Traditional County: Merionethshire
Thought to have been built in 1905, replacing an earlier plas, early C20 country house designed in an Arts and Crafts idiom. Built for a family who owned South African diamond mines, and later owned by the Cookes family, owners of the explosive works in Penrhyndeudraeth. The architect is possibly J J or Charles Bateman of Birmingham.
Arts and Crafts gentry house using a free Tudor gothic style. Snecked rubble masonry with large stones as quoins and lintels, and freestone dressings. Windows throughout are unmoulded mullions with leaded lights. Slate close-eaved roofs (hipped at external gable towards S) with tall and broad stacks with dripstones and cappings. The house is planned as a longe range aligned NW-SE, and is linked to a lower service range to form a courtyard on the entrance elevation: thus it is approached via an archway in this service range. Entrance elevation displays balanced asymmetry with 3 main accents: paired advanced gables to the right, a near-centre storeyed porch, and small projecting block to L. Entrance bay is expressed as a tower, with machicolated high parapet pierced by a short length of balustrade is ashlar, rising above a slight oriel window comprising paired arched lights with foliate swag as apron. Moulded arched entrance below. Single bay to R has long mullioned windows on each floor. Paired gables advanced beyond with single light windows, and advanced flat roofed tower, with corbelled feature (again reminiscent of military architecture) housing mullioned window to first floor. To the L of the entrance, a 3-window range, irregularly fenestrated (and with flat roofed dormers in the roof above); R hand first floor window slightly corbelled out in an ashlar panel. The advanced bay beyond is 3 storeyed, thus rising through the eaves line, and has corbel table over round-arched ground floor window, with small mullioned windows above. A single bay beyond links to the single storeyed service range (see below for details).
Garden front is also carefully asymmetrical, in a more informal style: the accent is provided by paired gables towards the L, identically detailed with long mullioned windows to ground and first floors, and smaller attic lights. Three bays to the R are also balanced with long mullioned windows (though with a doorway in the central bay), and flat-roofed dormers in the roof.
Service ranges are single storeyed with attics and have hipped roofs with small cupola over entrance. Small mullioned windows and gabled dormers. Round arched entrance towards L in external elevation, with gabled loading bay to attic immediately to its L. Small turret emphasises corner to R, then plain 4-bay return elevation: the inner face of this range is occupied by 3 garages but a slightly advanced 5-light mullioned window in the gable return suggests that this may represent a change of use. Stable immediately L of archway on inner elevation, with plain doorway; under the arch to the R, are doorways to feed and harness rooms.
The porch has a half glazed entry which contains panels of leaded lights incorporating original William Morris floriate patterns; the panels are early C21 but their design is in keeping with the setting in which they are housed. The principal rooms are at the northern end of the range with service rooms to the S.
In the main part of the hall the ground floor rooms have wooden floors and light oak panelling throughout; the main hall or sitting room has a massive dressed stone fireplace recessed back in an alcove at the N end. A wide staircase with moulded rail and stick balusters leads up to the first floor and a similarly detailed staircase has been built up to the attic rooms. Some of the first floor rooms are accessed under smooth arches with keystones and some retain original cast iron fireplaces with tiled surrounds.
The service rooms lead off a corridor at the S end of the range. Some rooms retain original fittings such as cupboards, sinks, tiling and slate shelving in the pantries and larders.
Listed as a fine essay in arts and crafts architecture, exhibiting characteristically expressive planning and careful use of local materials. The plan - using the service range to create a strong sense of enclosure, and the use of military references as accents in an otherwise domestic idion suggest an architectural response to the rugged landscape setting of the house. It retains strong original character both externally and internally.
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