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Baron Hill

A Grade II* Listed Building in Beaumaris, Isle of Anglesey

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2672 / 53°16'1"N

Longitude: -4.1032 / 4°6'11"W

OS Eastings: 259827

OS Northings: 376527

OS Grid: SH598765

Mapcode National: GBR JN72.362

Mapcode Global: WH541.Y48N

Plus Code: 9C5Q7V8W+VP

Entry Name: Baron Hill

Listing Date: 23 September 1950

Last Amended: 13 July 2005

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 5694

Building Class: Domestic

Location: In extensive grounds although now obscured by woodland, in a prominent position overlooking Beaumaris Castle, approximately 0.9km NW of Beaumaris town centre, on the N side of the B5109.

County: Isle of Anglesey

Town: Beaumaris

Community: Beaumaris (Biwmares)

Community: Beaumaris

Locality: Baron Hill

Traditional County: Anglesey

Tagged with: Country house

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History

Baron Hill was built in 1612 by Sir Richard Bulkeley (d 1621), but was apparently never finished. It was intended to have a hall with short wings forming a U-shaped plan. A new house, enclosing within it the Jacobean house, was built in 1776-9 by Samuel Wyatt, architect of London, for the 7th Viscount Bulkeley (1752-1822). The house had a landscape park by William Emes and, with a view over Beaumaris Castle and the Menai Strait to the mountains of North Wales, was esteemed as having one of the finest views from any country house in Wales. Baron Hill was inherited by Lord Bulkeley's nephew, Sir Richard Bulkeley Williams Bulkeley (1801-75), in 1822. Princess Victoria visited the house in 1832. Subsequently Henry Harrison, architect of London, was employed to alter the house, but the work was interrupted by a fire in 1836 which necessitated further remodelling. Harrison's work was probably finished c1838, the date on rainwater heads. He lowered the main house from 3 to 2 storeys, added parapet balustrades and an entrance portico, raised the ground level on the E side of the house in order to build a terrace, and built the massive square service block with central courtyard. This new work was combined with a new entrance drive leading up from the S to the W side of the house. This arrangement is first shown on an estate plan of 1861. The house was remodelled again in the third quarter of the C19 by David Moore, who added Italianate detail. The house has been uninhabited since the 1920s and its decline was accelerated when troops were stationed there during the 1939-45 war. Overgrown and roofless by the early C21.

Exterior

A ruined large Georgian country house, mainly of rendered brick and entirely roofless. The 2-storey W entrance front has a 7-bay main range with 3 further bays advanced on the L and 4 bays advanced on the R. An entrance portico has 4 Tuscan columns on high bases, Doric entablature and balustrade. The lower storey is rusticated in the main range. In the upper storey the 3 central bays have round-headed windows and the outer bays architraves with pediments and balustrades. On the L-hand side is a dated rainwater head of 1838. Much of the parapet balustrade has survived. The 3 bays at the L end have architraves to the upper-storey windows and in the lower storey more elaborate architraves, the central with a segmental pediment. To the R, are 3 similar bays and a plainer 4th bay.

The 4-bay N front has windows in architraves. Between storeys, where the brickwork is exposed, are blind segmental-headed windows in the outer bays and blocked oculi to the centre, part of Wyatt's original design.

The E garden front best preserves the spirit of Wyatt's house, although reduced by a storey and with windows and doors opened to a terrace offering views over the park to the Beaumaris Castle and the mountains beyond. It has 3 advanced bays in the centre dominated by a central full-height bow with parapet balustrade, a further bay set back on either side (effectively remodelled cross wings of the Jacobean house) and then lower polygonal outer bays. The lower storey is rusticated and the upper storey windows have architraves with pediments, as do the lower-storey windows of the outer bays.

On the SW side of the house is a massive 3-storey service block of rubble-stone with brick dressings, nearly square in plan. On the W side it is formed of 2 broad pedimented bays, between which are gate piers leading to an inner courtyard. On the S side is a rainwater head dated 1838.

The interior of the house is gutted. At the N end are cast iron girders inserted in place of original beams. In the centre of the house is a 3-storey rubble-stone wall with mullioned window in the upper storey, the only visible architectural feature of the original Jacobean house.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade II*, notwithstanding its ruined condition, for its special architectural interest as an important C18 country house with C19 improvement that retains significant external character, and for its special historical interest as the ancestral home of the most important gentry family in Beaumaris.

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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