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Latitude: 52.5585 / 52°33'30"N
Longitude: -3.2154 / 3°12'55"W
OS Eastings: 317698
OS Northings: 296320
OS Grid: SO176963
Mapcode National: GBR 9X.CWJ7
Mapcode Global: WH7B1.LY1H
Entry Name: Cefn Bryntalch Hall
Listing Date: 26 October 1953
Last Amended: 14 July 1997
Source ID: 7714
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Located in a sheltered position near the top of a wooded hill which overlooks the Severn Valley. Close to a motte and bailey castle. The house is approached by a sweeping drive and is surrounded by
Community: Llandyssil (Llandysul)
Traditional County: Montgomeryshire
Dating from 1869, the house is by G.F. Bodley with possible assistance from Philip Webb, who may have completed the project. It was built for Richard Edward Jones who had made a fortune in the flannel trade. His descendants occupied it for several generations including the composer Peter Warlock (formerly Philip Heseltine) b. 1894, who lived here intermittently from 1903 until his death in 1930, and wrote much of his music here.
The design of the house skilfully fuses a vernacular vocabulary with elements of an early Georgian revival to create a harmonious and expressive composition. The plan is arranged around a central stair hall; the 3-bay garden front is to the S, with the entrance front to the E, and the W wing projecting towards the rear (N). Constructed of red brick under tile roofs with 5 tall red brick stacks, arranged asymmetrically, and each with 4 or 6 diagonally set shafts. Two storeys with attics and cellar.
The garden front is the most formally C18 in its detail, with an overall symmetrical arrangement, though a balanced asymmetry controls the detail. Articulated as 3 bays by a range of attic gables, and with outer 2-storeyed bay windows, canted by chamfered angles. These have painted 8-pane flush framed sash windows on each floor, and moulded string courses - the lower one continuing across the elevation, and its return elevations to E-W. Between these advanced bays, there is a central doorway, a narrow, glazed door with integral overlight between a small bracketed canopy. This is flanked by an asymmetrical arrangement of small-paned windows, but symmetry is asserted by the placing of a Palladian window over the doorway at 1st floor level, with its flanking small-paned casements. Casement windows of 2 and 3 lights to attic, above deeply marked string course.
The 3-bay entrance front demonstrates an imaginative combination of the Georgian revival and vernacular styles, blending a partially timbered storeyed porch with a classical Georgian symmetry and brickwork detail. The narrow projecting 3-storey gabled porch is centrally placed. Its upper storey is timber framed with diagonal struts and is surmounted by a bell tower. The brick lower storeys are articulated by angle pilasters, with triangular pediment above the round-arched entrance, and a segmentally arched pediment clasped between the pilasters above the first floor window. Immediately below the hoodmould is a sandstone shield displaying a date of 1869. On the S side of the porch at first floor level is an oval window with quadrant stays. Curved stone steps rise to the front entrance. The panelled half-glazed front door has a round-arched top within a moulded wooden frame with a central ‘keystone’. The parapet, string course and a brick plinth continue across the range from the garden front. The outer bays have narrow sash windows as on the garden front, generally of 8 panes and set flush with their moulded frames. There are 3 attic gables set back from the parapet containing 3-light casements with diamond glazing.
The W elevation is an informal composition which explores the potential of brick architecture in a domestic revival spirit to create a highly expressive, picturesque grouping. At the S end, the parapet and dripmould continue round from the garden front, and there is a pair of 8-pane sashes to the dining room with two widely spaced 6-pane casements above. Beyond, is an asymmetrical gable anchored by a large eaves stack with 3 diagonally set brick shafts on its S side. To the N, the roof of the main range is hipped, and a short cross wing with a partially tile hung gable end projects from this. The main range continues beyond a further large stack with grouped shafts to the N at a lower level, with a catslide roof extending almost to the ground. The windows are 3, 4 or 5-light transomed casements under brick arched heads and with diamond quarries. The floor levels in the servants quarters are lower than in the main part of the house.
To the rear a small courtyard is formed between the advanced E and W wings. Set back in the centre is the rear of the stair hall, with a Palladian window offset at first floor level, (aligned with the similar window on the garden front). At ground level, is a 3-light transomed casement with square leaded lights, and a wood planked door under a segmental arched head. A rendered gablet is set back behind the parapet with a five-light window containing diamond quarries. The west range, containing the servants quarters, extends further than the east range. The W side has a catslide roof to its rear (W), but the E side is of 2 storeys and attic and has transomed casement windows with small quarries under segmental brick arches as elsewhere. One has been altered to form a doorway. The gable end has a modern door into the W side, a 4-pane casement under a relieving arch in the attic and a ground floor window as elsewhere. The E range has a central gable stack. To its E, the parapet and dripmould finish approximately 0.5m from the NE angle, while there are small windows W of the stack.
The interior is consistantly neo-Georgian in style and detail. The main E door leads into a small entrance hall. From here the interior is dominated by a central stair hall and an imperial staircase, which rises to a galleried landing with raised ceiling above. The main reception rooms and bedrooms are located along the garden front at ground and first floor levels, respectively. On the ground floor, there are 3 reception rooms entered from an open corridor; the door to the central room is located centrally to the stair and has a scrolled pediment. Opposite, at the top of the first flight of stairs the Palladian window is set within a recessed arch. The dining room is at the W end, and its door faces E towards the entrance. Supporting the upper flights of stairs are two arcades aligned north-south. They have square panelled piers with mouldings, each supporting 2 basket arches. The hall has a roughly triangular plan, the apex being formed by the staircase which has recessed openings to each side. The staircase has turned balusters and there are 2 per tread. The newel posts are made up of 4 turned balusters and the hand rail has cavetto mouldings. There are 3 front bedrooms accessed from the galleried, balustraded landing, each with a dressing or wash room.
The service area is located in the W wing and the attic, and is large compared with the rest of the house. There is access at all levels between the service and main areas of the house. The attic rooms are entered from a U-shaped corridor which follows the external plan of the ranges. There are dry and damp cellars beneath the house. The dry cellars are subdivided and include wine cellars, all accessed via openings with brick arched heads.
Joinery in the house is consistently detailed, including C18-style panelled doors with moulded architraves, some with round arched heads. There is panelling below dado level, except on the south side of the hall where it continues to picture rail level. There are moulded cornices throughout, panelled recesses and shutters to the windows.
Listed grade II* as a major and well preserved example of G.F. Bodley’s work in domestic architecture, considered innovative for its use of neo - Georgian style, which is worked into the expressive forms of brick vernacular revival to create a house of remarkable refinement. The house is of considerable historic interest as being the home of the composer Peter Warlock. It forms part of a tightly designed group with its service buildings to the rear.
Other nearby listed buildings