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Latitude: 52.5523 / 52°33'8"N
Longitude: -3.9302 / 3°55'48"W
OS Eastings: 269229
OS Northings: 296693
OS Grid: SN692966
Mapcode National: GBR 8Z.D6Z5
Mapcode Global: VH4DV.T3NQ
Entry Name: Glandyfi Castle
Listing Date: 21 January 1964
Last Amended: 23 November 2004
Source ID: 9874
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Situated on crest of escarpment above the A487, reached by drive from opposite Ranger Lodge.
Traditional County: Cardiganshire
Castellated house of the early C19, built c. 1812 for George Jeffreys, High Sheriff 1819. The Jeffreys family came to the area c. 1760 when Edward Jeffreys of Shrewsbury bought a partnership with Henry Bowdler of Shrewsbury in the revived lead smelting mills of 1704-6 at Garreg. He bought part of the Ynyshir estate from Mrs Skyrme of Shrewsbury in 1792, presumably including the castle site. Edward Jeffreys died 1801, his son Robert in 1802, Robert's son Edward died in Portugal as a soldier in 1812, and the estate passed to his brother George, a barrister, who built the castle and was resident by 1818. George Jeffreys and his wife were friends of the author Thomas Love Peacock, who was married from Glandyfi Castle in 1820. Marked on 1845 tithe map as having 52 acres (21.06 hectares). George died in 1868, his son Edward died in 1888, and Edward's brother Charles died in 1904. The family sold the castle with 370 acres (149.85 hectares) in 1906 to Lewis Pugh Pugh, formerly of Abermad, who kept the land and sold the castle with 43 acres (17.42 hectares) to Major later Lt-Col R. J. Spurrell (born 1855), originally of Bessingham Manor, Norfolk. He had retired in 1905, but was re-called 1914-17 to command the 13th Royal Sussex Regiment. Still owner in 1926. Sold 1944 by a Miss Davies to Rowland Pugh, formerly of Voelas. In 1949 said to have oak-panelled halls, 4 reception rooms, 8 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and kitchen, and said to date in part from the C11. It was then sold to the BSA motorcycle firm, for the use of Sir Bernard Docker, director, but resold with little alteration.
There is no evidence that there was a Norman castle on the site. Evidence for a pre-1812 house is obscure but there are certain blocked openings in the service ranges that may suggest elements of rebuilding rather than a completely new structure.
Glandyfi Castle is the only castellated country house in the county, of the type being promoted by John Nash, the Reptons, and others in the late C18 and early C19. It has strongest similarities to Stanage Park, Knighton, by J. H. Haycock of Shrewsbury, c. 1810, who may have been the architect here. The suggestion that Clough Williams-Ellis altered the house c. 1950 is unproven.
Country house in castellated style, rubble stone with slate roofs and some ashlar dressings. Irregular plan and elevation of one, two and three storeys, with embattled parapets and round and square turrets. Castellated chimneys.
Entrance front has two principal sections, that to left of two apparent storeys and that to right of three, with slightly higher castellated parapet. The left section is L-plan with the porch in the angle and contains the entrance hall with staircase, the stair expressed by a long 3-light stair window to right of porch, with a small triple casement above. The porch is castellated with octagonal angle turret to left of door with segmental pointed head in three steps. Behind porch main range is windowless with raised pier breaking through battlements.
The three-storey, two-bay range to right of stair has an embattled round turret or chimney at S end and external chimneybreast on N. Two 3-light windows to each floor, larger with hoodmoulds to first floor. Second floor windows are smaller and set under parapet stringcourse. Ground floor has 3-light to left, right is possibly altered with 4-light window and door. Timber windows with Tudor heads to lights.
Low service range to N not inspected. 1906 catalogue lists stabling with 2 stalls, harness room and coach-house for two carriages.
W front has a two storey one-bay big square block to SW with a big SW corner diagonal buttress raised and capped as a minor tower (a feature also of Stanage Park) and a big three-storey octagonal corner tower to left. Set back further left is rear of the three-storey section with a final, plainer, square corner tower to NW angle. The SW block has a big cross-mullion window each floor on both W and S sides: small-paned timber glazing with Gothic tracery to top lights, chamfered surround and hoodmould. The octagonal tower has on W face a similar window to ground and first floor, smaller window to second floor. Embattled parapet with embattled circular chimney on SE side.
The set-back range to left is windowless, but the angle tower at left corner has plain pointed openings. Embattled top with taller embattled chimney.
A single storey range at S end looks as if added, but if so before 1906. It narrows to a low rounded tower and has a three-light window on W.
Interior not available for inspection. Said to have imported old panelling and fireplaces. The 1906 catalogue describes the following: entrance hall with lofty mullion window, oak staircase rising in two flights to wide landing, lit by lofty mullion window; dining room 18'6" (5.64m) by 15' (4.58m) [excluding recess with Gothic oak buffet], marble mantel and grate. Ceiling decorated with plasterwork with three column supports, two windows; octagonal library of Gothic character with stone mantel and grate, ceiling of plaster in panels with clustered column supports and capstones. Two windows, the heads with stained glass, four recesses with bookcases; lofty drawing-room lit by two windows with views S and W, the arched heads with stained glass, 18' 6" (5.64m) by 15'6" (4.73m), with coved ceiling and cupboards; smoking/gun room with Gothic latticed window, stone mantel and two cupboards. In the service part were butler's pantry, large kitchen, larder, large scullery or second kitchen with bake oven and boiler, and knife and boot houses. In the service yard were dairy, store, laundry, two toilets and basement cellars.
Upstairs were four best bedrooms and dressing rooms, one octagonal, three maids bedrooms and on second floor 6 bedrooms and dressing rooms.
Included as a Georgian country house in picturesque castellated style, the only example in the county.
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