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A Grade II* Listed Building in Llanfair Talhaiarn, Conwy

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Latitude: 53.2203 / 53°13'12"N

Longitude: -3.6263 / 3°37'34"W

OS Eastings: 291512

OS Northings: 370480

OS Grid: SH915704

Mapcode National: GBR 6C.11MC

Mapcode Global: WH65M.8BF3

Entry Name: Garthewin

Listing Date: 6 October 1952

Last Amended: 22 July 1998

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 158

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Strikingly located within an elevated parkland setting overlooking the Elwy valley 2km W of Llanfair Talhaiarn; accessed via a long metalled drive running NW from the main road.

County: Conwy

Community: Llanfair Talhaiarn (Llanfair Talhaearn)

Community: Llanfair Talhaiarn

Locality: Garthewin

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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Llanfair Talhaiarn


The Wynnes of Garthewin were a junior branch of the Wynne family of nearby Melai and were descended from Marchudd ap Cynon, ninth century founder of the eighth Noble Tribe of North Wales. In the second-quarter C17 Robert Wynne (subsequently a Royalist commander with his more famous brother Colonel William Wynne) married Margaret Price the heiress of Garthewin. Around 1700-10 Dr Robert Wynne, Chancellor of St Asaph and Vicar of Gresford rebuilt the house as an elegant 9-bay country house, though incorporating some of the earlier, C17 building in its rear pile. His house is essentially that which survives today, although a new facade and various cosmetic alterations were undertaken between 1767 and 1772 for Robert Wynne, the chancellor's grandson and High Sheriff of Denbighshire in 1769. These were carried out by Joseph Turner, architect of Chester and involved the provision of a 3-storey brick facade with sandstone dressings and an advanced, pedimented entrance section. In around 1800-1810 a single-storey drawing room was added at the SW corner and further additions were carried out in the later C19, including a tower addition on the W side, behind the drawing room.

In 1930, following some years of neglect, the house was restored by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, architect of Llanfrothen and London for R O F Wynne. As well as stuccoing the facade, various external alterations were carried out, chief of which was a re-orientation of the entrance front to the W and the creation of a new paved garden-front terrace with pavilion wing to the R, designed to visually balance the drawing room extension. At the same time small-pane sash windows were reinstated to the facade, the originals having been replaced with plain 2-pane sashes in the late C19.


Large country house of irregular plan with a 9-bay 3-storey front pile and a C-shaped rear. The house is constructed of rubble with a main facade of brick; all is now stuccoed and scribed. Hipped, parapetted slate roofs and tall brick chimneys with off-set dentilated detail. The main front faces a partly-flagged raised terrace and has a 3-bay advanced section with simple pediment; moulded stringcourses below sill level and rusticated sandstone quoins (painted). Central entrance via 3 steps, with simple pedimented wooden porch supported on Tuscan columns. Modern part-glazed double doors. Twelve-pane recessed, horned sash windows. The roof is surmounted by a C19 rectangular lantern of cupola type. This has a shallow hipped slate roof with pronounced feathering and oversailing eaves; 2-part and 3-part 4-pane windows to the short and long sides respectively. Adjoining at the SW corner is a large single-storey drawing room addition, advanced in front of the plane of the main section. This has hipped roof and parapet with quoins to the sides as before; to the front is a large tripartite small-pane window with a 15-pane main and 5-pane vertical flanking sections, the whole within a segmental recess. Adjoining the main facade to the R, and built into the steep terrace slope, is a C20 loggia, stuccoed and quoined as before and with mono-pitch slate roof behind a parapet wall.

The main entrance is on the W side via the Victorian tower, the lower stage of which is a part-open porch with wide depressed-arched opening. Above are tall windows to the first and second floors, the upper one with arched head and both with small-pane steel-framed glazing; smaller windows to L. The tower is extruded in the angle between the main range and the drawing room block. To its L is a round-arched service entrance with open inner vestibule and a part-glazed small-pane door with 8-pane overlight. To the L of this is a tripartite C19 sash window with a central 16-pane section and flanking 8-pane sections; further 16- and 20-pane sash windows to the upper floors.

The NE side of the main block has 2 lead hoppers with the embossed initials 'RE' on the first and the date '1767' on the second. C20 glazed door to first floor with concrete bridge access to the terrace bank. To the R is a 2-storey hipped-roofed service or WC projection; 12-pane sashes and casements in irregular arrangement.

The rear has 12-pane sash windows to the ground and first floors with plain 4-pane Victorian sashes to the second floor. Adjoining the first bay to the L is a long single storey service range with slated roof and stuccoed inner side. This has a 16-pane window in a catslide dormer to the R with a boarded door to the L and modern window beyond. Adjoining the rear of the main block to the R and overlapping it by several bays is a 2-storey subsidiary range with a full-length single-storey lean-to projection forming a type of enclosed pentise around the inner and gable sides; further Victorian 4-pane sashes, with modern door and window to gable.


Suspended oak floor to present dining room (former entrance hall); the quarry-flagged, counter-changed floor to this was relocated to the present entrance vestibule in 1930; early C18 bolection-moulded stone fireplace. Large-field contemporary panelling to the walls, with moulded dado rail; the panels themselves (originally raised and fielded) were removed as old fashioned probably by c1770, and the spaces plastered. Rich acanthus cornice with dentilations of c1770 and arched openings, perhaps contemporary, to the R and L of the garden entrance and leading to large niches. Similar arched recesses to the rear of the room lead to the adjoining rooms at R and L, with wide, moulded architraves. Raised and fielded 2-panel door to the ante-room at L with simple fireplace of grey marble, with panelled wooden surround and moulded cornice; moulded plaster cornice. The drawing room has a high ceiling with 2 fine acanthus plaster chandelier roses and fine, deep cornice with Adamesque wreath and palmette decoration; the plasterwork appears to retain its original gilding and polychromy. The room is entered via a pair of fine, tall mahogany doors, that to the L a dummy; panelled architrave with decorative consoles and cornice. White marble fireplace with panelled pilasters and palmette and wreath carved consoles supporting a plain moulded mantelshelf. This has a plain frieze with fine central fruit and swag panel in high relief.

The stairwell opens out from the entrance hall via an early C18 entrance with moulded architrave, 2-panel door and raised-and-fielded panelled reveals. The stair is essentially a narrow well stair of the early C18 but the balustrade and rail have been replaced c1770; these are of stick baluster and swept mahogany rail type, and have columnar newels and scrolled ends. At the first floor stair head is a pair of early C18 segmental arches with simple moulded imposts and architraves; that to the L is blocked up and may have originally led to an upper flight leading to the second floor. That to the R gives onto a segmentally-vaulted passage leading to the rear landing. The main first-floor chamber has a c1770 6-panel door with egg and dart moulding to raised and fielded panels, with a similarly detailed contemporary panelled dado and similar cornice decoration; panelled window shutters, reveals and soffits. Contemporary fireplace with classical wooden surround and white, figured yellow and black marble inner sections; scallop and foliated boss decoration. The chambers to the R and L of this inter-connect via small wig (?) closets. The front-facing room to the R has fine original (early C18) large-field oak panelling with raised and fielded panels and a later C18 moulded and decorative cornice. Original grey/white figured marble fireplace, bolection-moulded and with later C18 black decorative iron grate; original 2-panel wig closet door. To the rear, on the L of the first floor, is a similarly-panelled room with original moulded cornice with simple black marble fireplace. Early C18 dog-leg type back stair with flat, shaped balusters, partly boxed-in; the upper flight has a Chinoiserie-style upper balustrade, apparently a later C18 replacement. There is further, incomplete large field panelling to a rear room. In the service corridor on the ground floor is a good early C19 labelled bell-rack with 15 bells.

Reasons for Listing

Listed Grade II* as an important C18 Welsh country house retaining fine external character and good C18 interior detailing.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Terrace Walls, Steps and Gazebo at Garthewin
    Immediately to the NE of Garthewin.
  • II Chapel at Garthewin
    Located 30m to the W of Garthewin, accessed via a flight of parapeted rubble steps.
  • II Garthewin Cottage
    Located 100m to the NW of Garthewin, facing a large rear estate yard; set back behind a small fenced front garden plot.
  • II* C-shaped Agricultural Complex at Garthewin
    Located to the rear (NW) of Garthewin and enclosing cobbled estate yard on 3 sides.
  • II The Bookroom
    Located SE of Garthewin half-way along its main drive and facing out accross the Elwy valley.
  • II Dovecote at Garthewin
    Located approximately 150m SW of Garthewin on a wooded rise.
  • II Dyffryn Elwy
    Set back from the main road approximately 0.5 km NW of the village centre on the N side of the river Elwy; behind a hedged front garden.
  • II Elwy Cottage
    Set back from the main road approximately 0.5 km NW of the village centre on the N side of the river Elwy, behind a hedged and walled garden.

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