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Mausoleum to N end of Vaynol Wood, with enclosing wall and railings

A Grade II Listed Building in Pentir, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 53.2099 / 53°12'35"N

Longitude: -4.1938 / 4°11'37"W

OS Eastings: 253589

OS Northings: 370336

OS Grid: SH535703

Mapcode National: GBR 5M.1V01

Mapcode Global: WH546.KL53

Entry Name: Mausoleum to N end of Vaynol Wood, with enclosing wall and railings

Listing Date: 26 August 1992

Last Amended: 22 September 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4207

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Located at the N end of Vaynol Park, in woodland, and reached by a path from the National Trust car park. It stands in a circular enclosure surrounded by iron railings.

County: Gwynedd

Town: Bangor

Community: Pentir

Community: Pentir

Locality: Vaynol Park

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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Vaynol was owned in the C16 by the Williams family; later inherited by Thomas Assheton-Smith, owner of the Dinorwic slate quarries, and finally passed into the the Duff family ownership before the estate was split up. The landscape and built heritage of the park has evolved throughout this time, but much of its character stems from the work of the Assheton-Smith family.

The mausoleum was built in the later C19 for the Assheton-Smith family and designed by Henry Kennedy, architect, of Bangor. It appears on the 1st edition of the OS map, surveyed in 1887. A plan in the archives dated 1879 is for the gate piers to the enclosure, having pyramidal caps to the chamfered stone piers, and iron gates.


Built of snecked rubble and freestone dressings, with a banded fish-scale and plain slate roof. Designed in an Early French gothic style, rectangular in plan with polygonal ends and an octagonal belltower off the N corner beside the gabled main entrance. Three windows each side. The tower has a stone tiled roof with deeply crocketed eaves cornice together with similar bands below the open belfry. Broached buttresses. Other gothic details include annulets to foliated shafts and 2-light windows to the apses with quatrefoil oculi. Some good iron strapwork to the main door.

The mausoleum enclosure is octagonal, with stone walls capped with tall cast iron railings. Double gates provide access from the E.


The interior is remarkably tall, with an open roof of hammerbeam trusses rising from a carved timber cornice. Nook shafts to the windows and sill band carried round. The three 2-light E end windows have good stained glass, possibly by Powell. Carved stone tympanum over the doorway leading to the tower stairs, which also descend to the burial crypt below, now sealed.

Monuments: The railings around the central monument have been dismantled. Slate tablets to (a) Enid Mary Archdale Porter [Duff Assheton-Smith], d.1919, and (b) Laura Alice Holdsworth and G.W.Assheton-Smith, d.1940.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special interest as a rare Welsh example of this building type, and a building of some grandeur of design.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Pen-lan Cottage
    The cottage lies directly N of Vaynol Farm, and is reached by a track off the drive that runs to the National Trust car park. It faces E on the edge of Pen-lan Covert.
  • II Kennels
    The kennels lie at the far N end of the group of buildings at the heart of Vaynol Park, and alongside the trackway to the National Trust reserve.
  • II Y Bwthyn
    The cottage lies immediately NW of Vaynol Farm, facing towards the chapel. It was formerly known as Church Cottage.
  • II Hammel and haystore to NE farmyard
    Set at right angles to the NE end of the Long Barn, and on the opposite side of the narrower NE farmyard from the hammel at the rear of the cartshed range. Vaynol Farm lies to the N of Vaynol Old Hal
  • II Cart shed to NW farmyard, including hammel to rear.
    Set at right angles to the Long Barn on the N side, and closing the E side of this farmyard, facing the hammel and haystore in the NE farmyard. Vaynol Farm lies N of Vaynol Old Hall.
  • II Statue of Nelson on shore of Menai Strait
    Situated on a rocky outcrop on the northern banks of the Menai Strait, SSW of the Parish Church of St. Mary.
  • II Stable range to NW farmyard
    Adjoining the Long Barn on the N and at right angles, and closing the W side of this farmyard.
  • II* Long Barn at Vaynol Farm
    The long barn stands at the centre of the Vaynol Farm buildings, the gable end facing the E approach drive. The farm lies to the N of Vaynol Old Hall.

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