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Plas Hen

A Grade II* Listed Building in Dolgellau, Gwynedd

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.7431 / 52°44'35"N

Longitude: -3.8299 / 3°49'47"W

OS Eastings: 276568

OS Northings: 317735

OS Grid: SH765177

Mapcode National: GBR 93.07P4

Mapcode Global: WH67V.49JX

Plus Code: 9C4RP5VC+63

Entry Name: Plas Hen

Listing Date: 17 June 1966

Last Amended: 26 May 1995

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4714

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Located some 2km SW of Brithdir immediately to the E of a narrow lane linking the B 4416 with the A 470; raised above the lane and built into the bank of a hill. Also called 'Old Caerynwch'.

County: Gwynedd

Community: Brithdir and Llanfachreth (Brithdir a Llanfachreth)

Community: Brithdir and Llanfachreth

Locality: Caerynwch

Traditional County: Merionethshire

Find accommodation in
Dolgellau

History

c.1700 house built around a late Medieval 5-bay hall-house; mentioned in 1534, and always of local significance. Formerly the seat of the Humphreys family, it passed by marriage to the Richards family in the mid C18. Altered and extended in 1921 in vernacular manner by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, architect of London and Brondanw.

Exterior

Large L-shaped building of one-and-a-half storeys. Of rubble with old, steep slated roof. Later end chimneys with weather-coursing and further chimneys including lateral stacks to the rear. 6-bay N (garden) front with deeply-recessed entrance stepped-up slightly to bay 3; C20 15-pane glazed door. Slightly-recessed 16-pane casements to ground and first floors, those to the latter contained within unusually large rubble dormers with hipped roofs and slate-hung sides. The upper storey retains some external render. Bays 5 and 6 are slightly set back and are raised up above a basement; this with plain-glazed light to far bay (6) and boarded door to W gable. Here a first-floor corbelled balcony with French windows and plain iron balustrade. Beneath, the inscribed date 1921 and the initials HMR; further modern window above. 2 gabled, rendered projections to the rear, that to the L a stair with an adjoining stepped lateral chimney; that to the R is also a lateral chimney, though it is earlier. Both have moulded capping, that to the latter original and the other replaced. Small 4-pane casement to the stair projection. To the R an oversailing roof forms a canopy porch over an entrance; glazed door as before with C20 4-pane window in angled brick wall to R. Part slate-hung flat-roofed dormer above with tripartite 6-pane casement window.

Adjoining to the SE and forming the E range of an L with the primary block, an early C20 one-and-a-half storey wing. First-floor French windows in shallow hipped-roofed dormer giving onto a small slate balcony. This is carried on shaped corbels and has a plain iron balustrade. To the L a small 8-pane casement and to the R a 12-pane window in a hipped dormer as before; modern window to ground floor. Adjoining this range at right-angles and thereby enclosing a small court on the S side, a single-storey service block with rubble gable parapet and kneelers to W gable; weather-coursing at its junction with the E range. Open lobby to L with 3 boarded doors within. In the gable an oculus with 4-pane fixed light. Immediately to the SW of this and connected to the
service range by a short stretch of rubble walling, a single-storey boiler house; mono-pitched slate roof to E section and flat roof of corrugated asbestos to W. Stable door with 4-pane window to R. Squat chimney to E section with capping and weather-coursing.

The enclosed court is slate-flagged and has dwarf walls and stepped access to the down-hill (W) side. Small circular building to N.

Interior

Of the Medieval house, only the 2 western bays, formerly the parlour and upper solar survive. In the latter space, a fine collar truss survives with trefoil and quatrefoil decoration, suggesting a late C15 date. Below, in the former parlour, moulded wall beams survive in a compartmented cellar access (created C18), and relate to this. The main range has walls of up to 4ft in thickness. Panelled hall c.1700, the panels have large-fields and moulded edges. Contemporary bolection moulded firplace to C16 lateral chimney, with moulded mantel shelf and panelled overmantel; 2 contemporary 2-panel doors with moulded architraves. To the R of the fireplace steps up to a boarded door leading to a corkscrew stair. Mid-late C16 post-and-panel screen to R wall of hall. The parlour, beyond, has C18 panelled windows plays and a moulded plaster cornice. Chamfered cross-beam (plastered over), probably third-quarter C16. Mid C18 6-paneldoor (raised and fielded) off the hall to the E.

Reasons for Listing

Included at Grade II* as an important sub-Medieval regional house with Medieval core and sensitive additions by the eminent architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Caerynwch
    Located in its own park 2km SE of Brithdir in a hollow facing the Afon Clywedog; at the end of a long drive running S from the Pont ar Ddibin.
  • II* Braich-y-Ceunant
    Located at the end of an access lane running E from an unclassified road which runs SE off the B 4416; approximately 170mS of St. Mark's church.
  • II Goedlan
    Located off the road on a slight rise, approximately 70m SE of St. Mark's Church; at the end of a short drive.
  • I Church of St Mark
    Located off the road on a slight rise, set within its walled churchyard.
  • II Ty Glas Farmhouse including attached Byre
    Located off the road at the end of a short farm track, approximately 160m NE of St. Mark's Church.
  • II Tyddyn Llwyn Farmhouse
    Located 3.5 Km S of Brithdir, to the E of a lane running S from the B4416 to the A 470; accessed via a gated farm track.
  • II Gwanas Farmhouse including attached Byre Range
    Located off the A 470 about 4 km S of Brithdir; accessed via a farm track leading W from the Caerynwch lane.
  • II Pont Gwanas
    On the loop of old road cut off by the new bridge to the North of the Cross Foxes Inn.

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