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Latitude: 53.1297 / 53°7'46"N
Longitude: -3.0671 / 3°4'1"W
OS Eastings: 328697
OS Northings: 359701
OS Grid: SJ286597
Mapcode National: GBR 72.6ZD0
Mapcode Global: WH77D.VLNK
Entry Name: Plas Teg
Listing Date: 14 February 1952
Last Amended: 6 May 1998
Source ID: 7
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Prominently-sited, set-back from the main Wrexham to Mold road towards the NW border of the community and set into the gentle slope of the hill; accessed from the road via a pair of gated, sweeping dr
Community: Hope (Yr Hob)
Locality: Plas Teg
Traditional County: Flintshire
A medieval manorial site commemorated already in the C15 in Welsh bardic poetry. The estate was purchased from a cousin by Sir John Trevor in the late 1590s and the house was rebuilt by him c1610 to designs of unparalleled sophistication for the locality. Sir John, a second son, carved out a lucrative career for himself as a court administrator and accumulated a number of impressive official posts and perquisites following his knighthood in 1603. These included the stewardship of the royal palaces of Windsor and Oatlands, Surveyor of the Navy and holder of the Newcastle coals monopoly, as well as the receiver of the customs of the ports of Chester and Liverpool; in addition he was MP for Bletchingly (from 1597). Conceived as a lodge-scale house, Plas Teg served as Sir John's country seat and was intended chiefly for lavish entertaining; as such it belongs to a class of highly sophisticated court-circle houses at the forefront of contemporary architectural expression. Whilst the execution is evidently local work, the house's advanced plan-form, bold, symmetrical facade and orientation betray a developed understanding of Serlio's architectural precepts and place the house within a small group of contemporary houses by a new generation of master mason/architects affiliated with the court.
Sir John died in 1629 and his wife, Dame Margaret in 1643; two years later it was twice sacked by parliamentarian troops during General Brereton's invasion of Flintshire, despite the fact that the then owner, Sir John Trevor II was himself a staunch parliamentarian. After the Restoration the house was periodically tenanted and remained largely unaltered until the late C18. At this period the heiress, Lady Jane Dacre, began to take a renewed interest in her Flintshire seat, and was probably responsible, towards the close of the century, for the construction of a low service range to the NW, as well as the now ruinous stable and coach house ranges. c1823-24 the house was extensively restored by Charles Blayney Trevor-Roper in an intelligent Tudorbethan rejustification. The upper floor was raised, gables or 'types' rebuilt and the complex roof-plan simplified: some of the fenestration was altered or reduced and the main entrance was replaced. At the same time the interior was subjected to a series of planning alterations which included the provision of a new subsidiary stair. However, notwithstanding these interventions, the spirit of the original design was retained and the essence of the primary house, including its remarkable Jacobean stair and associated strapwork doorcases remains uncompromised.
Following years of neglect and vandalism after the Second War the house was restored, firstly in the late 1950s and then again in a remarkable restoration in the late 1980s.
Large Jacobean house of three stories above a basement; of square plan with recessed entrance bay to the main front and with large extruded corner towers carried up above the main roof line. The house is of local freestone construction with sandstone dressings on a chamfered plinth, and has ashlar faces to the NE (entrance) and SE (former garden) facades; slate roofs with large, plain central stacks. The corner towers have lead ogee roofs and surmounting wooden cupolas (restored), with corbelled eaves and small corner chimneys. The main (entrance) facade is symmetrical with its recessed entrance bay accessed via a flight of steps and crowned by a swan neck pediment. To the centre is an architectural entrance surround with a similar surmounting pediment and moulded entablature; both are restorations of the 1820s. The entrance has C19 double wooden doors and is flanked by tall, elegant cross windows; above is a pair of 6-light mullioned and transomed windows, reduced from 8 lights each in the C19. The third floor has an 8-light window as before, though with a contemporary moulded label; all the third floor windows on the main and rear facades, and all windows on the garden facade also have such labels. The flanking bays have shaped gables with small elliptical oculi, and are surmounted by decorative stone finials. The ground and first floors have 4-light mullioned and transomed windows as before, with cross-windows to the second; further cross windows to each stage and face of the corner towers, with oculi to the top, as before, and simple 2-light mullioned windows to the basement. Moulded stringcourses run continuously across the main facade between the floors and are returned onto the sides where they stop. Cross-windows with labels to the 5-bay garden facade, with a 4-light window to the third floor, a C19 reduction of a former transomed window; as with the other sides, the gable storey has been rebuilt, here in the form of a plain gable. Further basement windows as before and to the far L a primary garden entrance; this has an ovolo-moulded, square-headed opening with moulded label. Flanking this is a pair of decorative lights, that to the L in the form of a stylised I (for Iohannes) and that to the R in the form of a T (for Trevor). The returns of the corner towers to this side also have similar lights. The R tower has a further primary entrance: this has a moulded Tudor arch with moulded label-course returning to continue as a high plinth moulding to the tower; 2-light basement window to the R. Triple-gable rear (plain gables) with traces of limewashed render visible on its rubble face. There are paired 4-light mullioned and transomed windows to the ground and first floors, the former modern replacements, the latter reduced to 3-lights in the C19. 3-light mullioned and transomed windows flank these, with a further, similar window to the ground floor at L. 3-light windows to the second floor, together with 4 small (blocked) garderobe or closet lights, with shaped heads. The right-hand bay has (curiously) 2-light windows to the ground and second floors, rather than three. Asymmetrical openings to the NW (service) facade, with original off-centre, stopped-chamfered, Tudor-arched entrance. This has a 4-part overlight and is contained within the plinth moulding which steps up to include it. To the R is a 2-light window which served the original secondary stair; associated with this are further single-light and 2-light windows which punctuate the left side of the facade, following the stair's original course; the single-light windows are now blind, having been blocked up in the C19. Two 6-light windows to the R (now blocked) once served the kitchen and are replaced by a tall oak cross-window (modern). Further blind and open mullioned and transomed windows to the upper floors, including a reduced second-floor window and further blind garderobe lights. Adjoining the service (NW) facade to the N (R) is a low, single-storey late C18 service addition; of rubble construction with shallow slate roof, unglazed openings. This range has recently been re-roofed (c1990) and was formerly ruinous.
The house has a Serlio-inspired cross-hall plan, with great chamber directly above and a cross-axial gallery to the second floor. The plan divides the interior, more or less, into a 'polite' and a 'service' half, on either side of the hall, the former containing what originally served as the parlour, great stair, study and withdrawing chamber, and the latter housing the offices and secondary stair. The hall has a stone-flagged floor (laid c1988) together with a large C19 Gothic sandstone fireplace, inserted at the same time. An ovolo-moulded stopped-chamfered oak doorcase leads from the hall to the stair hall at L; this has an arched Jacobean head with bosses to the spandrels and a (partly-missing) central pendant. The stair-hall contains an exceptionally fine Jacobean well stair with tall complex geometric newel posts, turned balusters and moulded hand rail, the whole enriched with fine strapwork relief carving; the stairhead, at the first floor has contemporary balustraded galleries to L and R. To the R of the stair is the cellar access and opposite this is a contemporary timber-framed partition wall with simple stopped-chamfered entrance: this gives access to a narrow lobby containing the main garden entrance. Leading off from the stair's first quarterpace is the entrance to the raised parlour (above the cellar). This has an exceptionally-fine Jacobean arched doorcase with complex strapwork relief carving and bosses and pendants to the soffit and spandrels. The parlour has C19 panelled window reveals and a contemporary simple white marble fireplace; a plain stopped-chamfered pegged oak doorcase in the eastern corner gives access to a plain tower chamber. Further, similar enriched doorcases to the stairhead, that to the R leading to the withdrawing chamber and that to the front to the former Great Chamber; original (?) iron tapestry hooks survive to this wall. To the L is a third entrance giving access to the gallery stair. This has surviving original painted decoration of strapwork carving in Trompe-l'oeil; there is also fragmentary evidence of primary painted decoration to the staircase, beneath later graining. Moulded C19 plaster ceiling in simple compartments to stairwell ceiling. The Great Chamber has a stopped-chamfered Tudor-arched lateral fireplace with applied C19 Jacobean-style half-columns and carving; 1820s panelled reveals and window seats, with blind tracery decoration. The inner doorcases are Regency, with characteristic reeded decoration with corner bosses; to the L of the fireplace is a blind entrance for symmetry. C19 open well stair to the service end with stick balusters and mahogany rail. This rises to the (much altered) gallery floor. In a number of first floor rooms the original square-headed, ovolo-moulded sandstone fireplaces survive; similar fireplaces are also found in a mezzanine suite around the N tower. High ceiling to former kitchen with C19 built-in range and wooden mantel shelf; chamfered oak doorcases and main beams to former buttery in the N tower.
Listed Grade I for its special architectural importance as one of Wales's finest Jacobean houses.
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