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Tan-yr-Ogof Lodge including adjoining walls and towers to S, E and W

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llanddulas and Rhyd-y-Foel (Llanddulas a Rhyd-y-Foel), Conwy

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2883 / 53°17'17"N

Longitude: -3.6274 / 3°37'38"W

OS Eastings: 291611

OS Northings: 378053

OS Grid: SH916780

Mapcode National: GBR 3Z3D.GY

Mapcode Global: WH657.7LXY

Entry Name: Tan-yr-Ogof Lodge including adjoining walls and towers to S, E and W

Listing Date: 27 October 1950

Last Amended: 12 November 1997

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 232

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Prominently located on the roadside, some 60m E of the junction with Rhyd-y-Foel Road.

County: Conwy

Town: Abergele

Community: Llanddulas and Rhyd-y-Foel (Llanddulas a Rhyd-y-Foel)

Community: Llanddulas and Rhyd-y-Foel

Locality: Tan-yr-Ogof

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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History

Castellated gate lodge conceived as one of a series to serve Gwrych Castle. Begun for Lloyd Bamford Hesketh c1819, Gwrych Castle ranks as one of the most important castellated houses of the Picturesque in Britain. The castle and its associated lodges and park walls were designed collaboratively by the client and Thomas Rickman, the architect and architectural theorist. A castellated scheme was prepared by the architect C A Busby as early as 1814, though this was abandoned by the owner in favour of his own designs. Rickman was consulted from 1816 onwards, producing a full scheme in 1817. The foundation stone was finally laid 1819. Cast iron Perpendicular-style windows from John Cragg's Mersey Iron Foundry (where Rickman had collaborated on his iron churches at Liverpool), were incorporated in the scheme. Hesketh was still producing designs as late as the 1850s, though the main work at the castle was complete by 1822; it is likely, therefore, that the main lodges also belong to this primary phase and were included in the original overall conception. The walls in particular, are however, not of one period and represent three or more different campaigns. It is consequently probable that many of the lesser turrets and bastions were still being added well into the second half of the C19.

Exterior

Medieval-style defensive gateway with large flanking drum towers in symmetrical arrangement. Large Tudor-arched entrance set centrally within a tall castellated wall, some 10m high and 30m wide. The battlements have large crenellations with oversailing ramparts in imitation of machicolation; those sections corresponding to the embrasures are deeper than those to the merlons and the former, consisting of two on each side of the entrance, contain recessed sandstone inscription tablets. These commemorate various historical events which have taken place on this important strategic site (from L to R): the battle between Harold II and Griffith ab Llewelyn; the routing of Hugh Lupus on his way to invade Anglesey; the repulsion of Henry II by Owain Gwynedd, and the betrayal of Richard II by Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. Flanking the entrance are stepped buttresses; in the centre of the L wall section is a blocked 4-centred arched entrance. Advanced flanking drum towers, joined to the entrance wall by short embattled link sections. The upper stage each of the towers is corbelled-out and has large crenellations.

Adjoining the right-hand drum tower to the R (W) is a lower wall section, some 3.5m high, which continues westwards for some 42m. Here it terminates just around the corner at the junction of the Abergele Road with Rhyd-y-Foel Road, in a small corbelled turret. The wall section itself is crenellated, and has large projecting, corbelled-out merlons.

Adjoining the left-hand drum tower to the E a similar wall runs eastwards for approximately 36m where it joins a large unbattled drum tower with corbelled upper stage. Leading southwards from this a plain wall runs for 20m at a height of 3m before turning a right-angle and continuing westwards for the same distance at a height of 6m. It then turns S again and continues for 20m more where it terminates in a large round tower, corbelled as before, and with a bartizan to the N.

E of the roadside drum tower, the wall steps down slightly and continues for another 8m where it turns a right-angle and advances towards the road for a further 8m. At this point it turns eastwards once more and continues as before for some 15m. At the corner, a tall turret with corbelled upper stage; 3m to the L of this is a Tudor-arched opening with modern steel door. Some 6m beyond this the wall again turns a right-angle and terminates finally with another corner turret. From here, a wall runs southwards in similar fashion (with expressed and corbelled merlons) for some 48m into the rising slope of the hill, to terminate at a modern field gate. A modern barn backs onto part of this.

Reasons for Listing

Listed Grade II* as an especially fine Picturesque composition associated with Hesketh and Rickman's nationally important works at Gwrych Castle.

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