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Plas Castell, also known as Castle House

A Grade II Listed Building in Denbigh, Denbighshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1821 / 53°10'55"N

Longitude: -3.4184 / 3°25'6"W

OS Eastings: 305305

OS Northings: 365940

OS Grid: SJ053659

Mapcode National: GBR 6M.3J44

Mapcode Global: WH771.G8DW

Plus Code: 9C5R5HJJ+RJ

Entry Name: Plas Castell, also known as Castle House

Listing Date: 2 February 1981

Last Amended: 20 July 2000

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 971

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Located on a commanding, elevated site immediately to the E of Leicester's church, within the Old Town.

County: Denbighshire

Community: Denbigh (Dinbych)

Community: Denbigh

Locality: Denbigh - Castle

Built-Up Area: Denbigh

Traditional County: Denbighshire

Tagged with: House

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History

Several buildings are shown on this site, immediately to the E of Leicester's Church, in John Boydell's famous topographical view of Denbigh, published in 1750. The present house originated as a substantial second-quarter or mid C18 house and is therefore likely to be the large building shown to the rear of the group in this depiction. The building was a substantial double-pile house, the construction material for which consisted almost entirely of plundered limestone and dressed sandstone from the ruins of the castle and Leicester's church; of the primary period, moulded sandstone eaves to the sides and rear survive, together with 2 large Venetian windows (one now ex-situ). The house appears to have undergone substantial remodelling in the early C19, and again in the 1860s or 70s, when it acquired an Italianate facade. In 1835 the Misses Howarth are recorded as the owners. In the late C19 Plas Castell was the home of David Saunders Davies, MP, son-in-law of Thomas Gee, the famous printer and publisher. In 1882 the new owner, Mrs E A Fazackerley, added a large 4-storey gate tower; this is now split-off from the house and is independently listed.

Exterior

Large 3-storey detached townhouse, with lower, 2-storey service wing adjoining to the N. The main block is of double-pile plan with hipped slate roofs. Limestone rubble construction with sandstone dressings, the E side of the service wing rendered; plain red brick Victorian chimneys. Symmetrical 3-bay facade to the main block with 3 steps up to a central porch. This has engaged Tuscan columns and piers, and surmounting entablature with dentilated cornice. Flat roof with stone balustrade and square balusters; simple part-glazed double doors. Flanking the entrance are canted ground floor bays with dentilated cornicing and pierced ocular balustrades to flat roofs; plain sashes. The first floor has tripartite sandstone windows with segmental central sashes and narrow round-arched flanking sashes; moulded dripstones in the form of cornices, that to the central group dentilated. The upper floor has 3 plain, square sashes with moulded sandstone architraves and projecting stone sills; that to the centre has a moulded label carried on consoles. Primary moulded cornices to the rear and sides and a C19 dentilated cornice to the main facade. This has a panelled parapet with raised central section with relief-carved wreaths and a central heraldic shield.

The S (L) elevation has 2 canted bays to the ground floor with plain parapets. Above the westernmost of these is a tripartite window, as before; 2 further square sashes to the second floor, with, between them, brick quoining to a blocked-up primary window. Asymmetrical rear elevation with primary 2-storey central projection. This has a large Venetian window with plain sandstone surround, which acts as a stair light. Flanking this originally were 2 further, rectangular windows, that to the L now blind and that to the R reduced and with late C19 plain sash; further sash and modern window below. C19 infill extension to the R with plain sashes having brick quoins; this with tall brick boiler chimney.

Adjoining the main block to the R (N), is a 2-storey service range with single-storey rear addition; central 2-stage chimney, its upper stage of engineering brick. Extruded in the angle with the main block (to the L) is a modern conservatory addition of rubble and timber. To the R of this is a large tripartite entrance group contained within a chamfered, depressed-arched opening; part-glazed central door with plain flanking half-window sections. Beyond this is a deeply recessed entrance with part-glazed door and rectangular overlight. Large first-floor tripartite window to the R, otherwise sashes as before. The single-storey rear addition to this range has an advanced, late C19 section to the R. This has a porch with round limestone arch with keystone, and deeply-recessed 4-panel inner door with rectangular overlight. To the L of this is a large (C19) Venetian window with plain pediment above. Beyond this, in the recessed section to the L, is a further Venetian window. This is C18 and ex-situ, having been placed here in the late C19; it presumably originated in the principal facade of the main block. A 2-storey
section adjoins to far L with plain sash to ground- and paired sashes to first floors; 3-stage chimney with laced and oversailing brick upper courses.

Interior

Entrance hall with fine plasterwork modillion cornice with dentilated and egg-and-dart enrichments; late C19 parquet floor and oak dado panelling. Leading off are four 4-panel Victorian doors in panelled Regency architraves with rosette bosses to the corners; panelled reveals. A depressed arch separates the entrance hall from the stair well; this is supported on enriched plasterwork consoles. The stairwell has the same modillion cornice and has a stained glass panel in a C20 cupboard arrangement under the stair. The staircase is of narrow well type rising to the attic floor and is a Victorian replacement of its Regency predecessor; cast iron decorative pieced, flat balusters and swept mahogany rail (reused and adapted). Heavy, enriched plasterwork cornice to the Drawing Room with egg-and-dart and foliate motifs; framed-out walls in plaster ribbing, with indented corners and rosette motifs. Victorian figured grey marble fireplace with shouldered arch and mantelpiece supported on consoles. The Dining room has similar plasterwork and shallow ribbed plaster ceiling of conjoined geometrical shapes in the Serlian manner. Wide segmental buffet niche with panelled pilasters and architrave; plastered dado panels. Oak carved fireplace with paired, fluted pilasters, acanthus capitals and bases, and a heavy moulded mantelpiece above a gadrooned cornice. Frieze with Renaissance-style relief panel.

The principal first floor rooms have good fireplaces: one is of grey figured marble with steel grate having bird relief panels. Another is a bizarre Victorian Baroque fireplace with eclectic carving including swag, wreath and modillion elements. In the front-facing left-hand bedroom is an arched fireplace in C19 French Rococo style with shell and volute motifs. Recessed 6-panel doors throughout, with moulded architraves and panelled reveals.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its special interest as a large house with bold Victorian modelling and C18 origins.

Group value with other listed items at Plas Castell.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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