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Ty-Hyll (The Ugly House)

A Grade II Listed Building in Capel Curig, Conwy

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1007 / 53°6'2"N

Longitude: -3.8595 / 3°51'34"W

OS Eastings: 275597

OS Northings: 357565

OS Grid: SH755575

Mapcode National: GBR 61.8QY1

Mapcode Global: WH54Y.PBB7

Plus Code: 9C5R442R+75

Entry Name: Ty-Hyll (The Ugly House)

Listing Date: 13 October 1966

Last Amended: 27 November 1996

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3182

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Sited slightly above the road on a bend opposite the Pont Ty-Hyll, at the eastern boundary of the community.

County: Conwy

Community: Capel Curig

Community: Capel Curig

Locality: Ty Hyll

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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Capel-Curig

History

The `Ugly House' has been the focus of various myths and legends since it began to achieve tourist popularity in the C19. Traditionally held to be a `Ty un nos' (i.e a house constructed overnight on common land), and dated with amusing improbability to c1475, it seems most likely that the emergence of its `history' occurred not long after its construction and was part of an invented package. As such it represents an interesting example of Romantic myth-making designed to satisfy the burgeoning tourist trade in North Wales during the C19 (a parallel for this is the equally invented story of Gelert, the faithful hound at the eponymous village in Snowdonia). In its cyclopean, dry-wall construction, its curious conical chimney form and pronounced corbelling, it owes little to the local vernacular tradition and looks instead for its inspiration to the Cottages Ornees of the Picturesque movement. The house clearly exerted an influence locally, since the majority of the Gwydir estate cottages, erected from the late1830s to c1850 show a strong stylistic dependance. It is most probable that the Ugly House was built at the time of (or as a response to) Telford's new road and the Ty Hyll bridge. The latter was constructed between 1819 and 1821; interestingly the house is not recorded in the Great Census of 1841. Since 1988 it has been the office of the Snowdonia National Park Society, who have recently carried out extensive repairs.

Exterior

Single-storey cottage in pseudo-vernacular style. Built of huge undressed boulders (some weighing up to 3 tonnes), with dry galetting of smaller stones and packing with moss. Small-slate roof (recently renewed) with deep eaves carried on crude boulder corbels. Tapering semi-circular chimney projection to R gable, ending in a squat conical stack; tall randomly-built boulder chimney to rear. Near-central entrance with modern boarded door and stopped-chamfered frame; flanking wooden mullioned windows (renewed) of 2 lights to L and 3 lights to the R, both leaded. Further leaded windows to L gable end, with primitive triangular-headed window in gable apex; this with late C19 4-pane sash. The verges here are deep and are carried on large slatestone slabs. Narrow 2-panel door to rear with flanking 8-pane casement windows to the attic floor, contained within large gabled dormers.

Interior

Modern slate-flagged floor and 3-bay modern framed ceiling in oak; stopped-chamfered joists. End fireplace to R with slatestone lintel and jambs, roughly-dressed, the latter with crude abaci; semi-circular slate hearthstone to open fireplace. Modern stair and partitioning to attic floor.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special architectural interest as an early C19 Picturesque cottage and for the historical interest of its early association with tourism in North Wales.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Pont Ty-Hyll
    Spanning the Afon Llugwy at the eastern border of the community, and with the Ty Hyll (Ugly House) at its N end.
  • II Milestone
    On the roadside 100m SE of the Pont Ty-Hyll and the `Ugly House', at the eastern boundary of the community; set against a low rubble wall.
  • II* Ysgubor-y-Glyn (adjacent to Capel Curig Training Camp).
    Located off the main road to the S, immediately adjacent to the Capel Curig Training Camp, approximately 1km W of the Ty Hyll (Ugly House).
  • II Milestone
    On the roadside, set against a rubble wall approximately .6km W of the Capel Curig Training Camp.
  • II Pencraig Isaf Farmhouse
    Elevated site facing east, within the Gwydyr Forest and at the boundary of the Communities of Betws y Coed and Capel Curig. Set in the slope and reached by mountain road west from Betws y Coed, on the
  • II Milestone
    Located on the N side of the main trunk road (A5) at the western approach to Bettws-y-Coed, some 500m E of the Swallow Falls Hotel; set against a (later) rubble wall.

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