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Bodidris

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llandegla, Denbighshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.0746 / 53°4'28"N

Longitude: -3.1883 / 3°11'17"W

OS Eastings: 320487

OS Northings: 353703

OS Grid: SJ204537

Mapcode National: GBR 6Y.B61T

Mapcode Global: WH77K.0Z19

Entry Name: Bodidris

Listing Date: 28 April 1952

Last Amended: 5 February 1998

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 712

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Approximately 2 km NE of Llandegla, at the end of a narrow lane leading N from the A 5104, occupying a commanding hillside position with a walled garden to north and listed estate buildings to south-w

County: Denbighshire

Town: Ruthin

Community: Llandegla

Community: Llandegla

Locality: Bodidris

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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Llandegla

History

Late Elizabethan mansion house, essentially of the later C16, though perhaps incorporating part of an earlier structure, updated in the mid-C17. The Lloyds of Bodidris, an important gentry family, rose to prominence under the Tudors. The main buildings, a later C16 tower-like block and an earlier C17 domestic range, stand at right angles to each other around a courtyard which was once bounded on its N side by a late C16 wing (demolished 1958).

It has been suggested that the tower block at Bodidris is a derivative type of tower-house, similar to the solar tower at Gwydir Castle, and that the tower, being too small to form an independent living unit, must have been attached to another block, possibly where the C17 house now stands. However, several features in the tower - including a rare heraldic fireplace in upper chamber, the roof truss - suggest a later C16 rather than a medieval date, making a tower-house derivation seem less likely, particularly as no evidence of its defensive or semi-fortified character has survived. Bodridis may simply be a later C16 three-storey-and-attic block attached to an adjoining domestic range, comparable say with the arrangement at Allt-y-bella in Monmouthshire where a similar tower dated 1599 is attached to an older two-storey range.

Close to the main house at Bodidris are outbuildings to the SW including the old stable block and Bodidris Cottage. Originally this formed an impressive hall-house, dated 1581: a building of considerable architectural stature, built at about the same time as Bodidris itself, possibly by Evan Lloyd who became Sherrif of Denbigh in 1583. Although in close proximity, the two houses presumably functioned independently, with separate gentry households in each, an example of the 'unit system' identified in Welsh vernacular architecture. Perhaps different generations of the Lloyd family lived apart in separate buildings. Possibly the main house was built as guest accommodation for the Earl of Leicester, who fought with Evan Lloyd in Ireland and knighted him in 1586. Leicester is said to have used Bodidris between 1563-1578 as a hunting lodge and his heraldic badge - the bear and ragged staff - appears on the S gable.

During the C19 the ownership of the Bodidris estate passed to the Williams family of Bodelwyddan Castle. Sir Hugh Williams gave money to build a new school at Llandegla and his sister - Margaret, Lady Willoughby de Broke - paid for the rebuilding of Llandegla church.

Exterior

The tower lies to the S and is of three storeys; the C17 range adjoins to the N and is of two-storeys plus attic. Three big lateral stone stacks with star shaped chimneys project at the back of the house. Constructed of rubble stone with sandstone dressings; slate roof. The tower block faces S, dominated by a gabled wing which projects slightly to right. Two storeys plus attic. Crest of gable decorated by heraldic finial in form of bear with staff, stone gable coping with shaped kneelers. C19 restored ovolo-moulded 4-light mullion and transom windows: dripmoulds have returns. To the left of gable, a big projecting stack has raking offsets and star-shaped chimneys, beyond it ground-floor left is a 3-light mullion and small barred window. To right is a single storey extension with low gabled roof; C20 porch with simple pediment and pointed-arched doorway, and a three-light mullion window. The adjoining wall incorporates late C16 pointed arched doorway with moulded jambs, the former entrance to the demolished N wing. Another gabled wing projects on W side of tower, again with heraldic finial. Carved grotesques project from the upper angles of the tower. Ovolo shaped mullion windows: 2-light on top floor, 3-light below and 4-light mullion on ground floor. The N side of tower has, at first floor level, a chimneystack corbelled out with raking offsets and plain cap. Single light window to right. On ground floor: three-light C20 window (left), C17 doorway (right) with cambered stone lintel and a planked door (originally in two halves but now joined). The C17 range faces W and is roughly symmetrical. Two gabled dormers flank centre; these spring above the eaves and have stone copings and decorative heraldic finials. Ovolo mullions, dripmoulds have returns, except below right hand dormer which has straight dripmoulds. Attic floor has one 4-light window in each dormer; first floor has (left to right) one 2-light, three 4-light, and one 3-light windows; ground floor has two 4-light and one 5-light windows. Doorway, ground floor right, has chamfered, Tudor-arched head and C19 door with narrow vertical panels. To rear of house, a 2-storey lean-to has been added, probably in the late C19: 3-light mullion and transom windows with cambered stone voussoired arches.

Interior

Opposite entrance, staircase round an enclosed well, flanked by post-and-panel partition (probably ex-situ). To left, ground floor rooms of N wing have stop chamfered and moulded beams, stone flagged floors. Broad fireplace openings, one with dressed stone surround with three-centred arched head and plain chamfered jambs. To right of entrance, ground-floor room has chamfered beams with straight-cut stops; C18 style fireplace with lugged architrave, bolection moulded frieze, enriched overmantel with pediment flanked by foliate scrolls each side. Tower block has very fine heraldic fireplace, with frieze of 5 shields, in upper chamber. Collar-and-tie-beam truss with queen posts.

Reasons for Listing

Listed at Grade II* as a highly important Tudor mansion, of distinctive and unusual plan, incorporating a tower block and main range. The house retains its early character in surviving or well-restored detail and ranks as one of the major early gentry houses of N Wales.

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