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Pen-y-bryn

A Grade II* Listed Building in Aber, Gwynedd

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2347 / 53°14'4"N

Longitude: -4.0118 / 4°0'42"W

OS Eastings: 265824

OS Northings: 372739

OS Grid: SH658727

Mapcode National: GBR 5V.09YQ

Mapcode Global: WH543.BYWL

Entry Name: Pen-y-bryn

Listing Date: 22 February 1952

Last Amended: 7 March 2000

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3651

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Situated on rising ground above the A 55 on the north-east side of the Afon Aber to the east of the village.

County: Gwynedd

Town: Llanfairfechan

Community: Aber

Community: Aber

Locality: Abergwyngregyn

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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History

Pen-y-bryn was crown property until 1553 when it was purchased by the Thomas family, initially through the Earl of Pembroke, in an arrangement which was not regularised until 1610. Although the building has been the subject of varying interpretations, it appears that the substantial, roughly circular tower at the west end of the house is mostly medieval and the east wing is mid-C16. The main range of 3 regular bays was built c1600, probably to mark the formalisation of the Thomas family's ownership, and the top stage of the tower added in the late C17. Rear (south) range added in early C18 and small C19 block at back of east wing. Re-slating of the tower roof in 1993 showed that the structure may have been designed for a lead roof but that this was never put in place; the existing slates date from 1875 (date scratched on one slate and on the plaster torching).

Exterior

Gentry house. Main 2-storey range, aligned roughly east-west and facing north, with a 4-storey circular tower on west and has flush, very slightly lower wing to east; cellars. Very roughly coursed rubblestone with buttered pointing to main and east ranges, rendered to tower, comprising 2 layers, the original a plain clay and plaster render laid directly onto the stonework, overlain by a later roughcast render, which begins above present ground-floor level; slate roofs, graded to main range and tower, with coped verges to gable ends and pendant finial to conical roof of tower. Main range in 3 symmetrical bays has central 2-storey gabled porch (probably formed after 1810 from a former oriel or stair turret) approached by shallow straight flight of steps with low retaining walls; pilastered round-headed entrance arch with keystone and double nail-studded plank doors surmounted by 2-light mullion window with dripstone; narrow rectangular windows with transoms to returns. Gabled dormers with cross-windows breaking eaves on either side of porch with 3-light mullioned and transomed window on lower left and 12-paned sash in moulded stone surround to lower right; square integral end stack on left. Tower has ovolo-moulded cross-window in cavetto-moulded surround on ground floor, a smaller timber cross-window on first floor, a 3-light ovolo-moulded mullioned and transomed window on the second floor and on the fourth floor a large canted window made up of 3 cross-window units; all save the outer lights of the canted window with leaded latticed lights as in the main range; integral end stacks terminate in stone shafts on east and west of tower. East range has two 12-paned sashes on first floor and 12-paned sashes of considerably reduced proportions directly below; substantial integral end stack to left. South range has a small probably C16 arch-headed window and a blocked first-floor doorway in gable end.

Interior

Inspection not permitted at time of Survey, but said to retain much of its early plan-form and several features of interest. Dog-leg oak staircase in north-east corner of main range has massive moulded and swept handrail, turned balusters to lower flight, and double-square newels with capping. The walls of the tower are square internally, probably as a result of the original walls having been cut back and refaced. First floor of early C18 extension has bolection moulded panelling with cornice.

Reasons for Listing

Included at II* as a well-preserved early C17 gentry house with earlier origins. The unusual late medieval circular tower is a particularly distinctive feature of the house.

Scheduled Ancient Monument (218).

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Pen-y-bryn Cottage
    Located immediately to the north-east of Pen-y-bryn to which it is attached by a short section of rubblestone wall.
  • II* Gatehouse/Barn at Pen-y-bryn
    Located to north-east of Pen-y-bryn, from which it is separated by a stone wall/hedge; grassed over cobbled surfaces immediately adjoining on east side.
  • II Tan-y-dderwen
    Located on road junction in centre of village; low rubblestone wall to front on roadside; Pen y mwd, the motte of a probable Norman castle, rises just behind the cottages.
  • II Bro Dawel
    Situated on south side of the road running through the village towards Bont Newydd and Aber Falls; low rubblestone wall to front gardens with roughly squared stones as coping and dressed square piers
  • II Tan-y-dderwen
    Located on road junction in centre of village; low rubblestone wall to front on roadside; Pen y mwd, the motte of a probable Norman castle, rises just behind the cottages.
  • II Bryn Hyfryd
    Situated on south side of the road running through the village towards Bont Newydd and Aber Falls; low rubblestone wall to front gardens with roughly squared stones as coping and dressed square piers
  • II Bron Derw
    Stands in centre of village just beyond road junction, with Pen y mwd just behind; front wall of projecting gable sitting directly on road has low rubblestone boundary wall on either side, gate to Bro
  • II Tan-y-bryn
    Stands in centre of village just beyond road junction, with Pen y mwd just behind; front wall of projecting gable sitting directly on road has low rubblestone boundary wall on either side, gate to Bro

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