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Plas Glyn-y-Mel, including quadrant wall & gatepier to W service court

A Grade II* Listed Building in Fishguard and Goodwick (Abergwaun ac Wdig), Pembrokeshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.9938 / 51°59'37"N

Longitude: -4.9639 / 4°57'49"W

OS Eastings: 196612

OS Northings: 236965

OS Grid: SM966369

Mapcode National: GBR CL.JFF0

Mapcode Global: VH1QM.X45W

Entry Name: Plas Glyn-y-Mel, including quadrant wall & gatepier to W service court

Listing Date: 24 November 1978

Last Amended: 7 January 2002

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 12256

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Situated in its own grounds at the end of Glyn-y-Mel Road.

County: Pembrokeshire

Town: Fishguard

Community: Fishguard and Goodwick (Abergwaun ac Wdig)

Community: Fishguard and Goodwick

Locality: Lower Town

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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History

Country house built for Richard Fenton, the historian of Pembrokeshire, in 1797-9. The building work was partly intended to alleviate unemployment caused by the failure of the Irish Sea herring fisheries. The house was particularly notable as an early example of picturesque landscape principles, Fenton being acquainted with the leading theorists of the Picturesque, Uvedale Price, Richard Payne Knight and Thomas Johnes of Hafod. The site was chosen for its rocky gorge, and there was a grotto, the cave of St Dubricius in the grounds, which were notable for exotic trees and wine-producing vines. The house itself was possibly to Fenton's own design, unusual in the high basement storey. The facade was probably originally roughcast, though stone is exposed in c1908 photo. Fenton died in 1821, the family sold the house c1866. Later owners included John Worthington in the late C19, and the Chambers family through the C20 until sold as an hotel c1975.

Exterior

Country house, rubble stone with brick window heads, probably originally roughcast, with slate hipped roof. Two rendered ridge stacks on front roof and NE end stack. Tall 3-storey 3-window S front raised on a full basement. Overhanging eaves with Greek Doric flat mutules to soffit. Broad front has cemented surrounds to openings (to conceal the red brick). Second floor or attic storey has a paired casement to each side and an unusual traceried oval light in centre, pivot-hinged. First floor has plain early C20 4-pane sash each side and centre 4-12-4-pane tripartite sash with small fanlight over, to form a simplified Palladian window. Ground floor has a larger 4-pane sash each side of broad door which is set in a later columned porch, apparently added as a large fanlight is just visible above the porch flat roof. The porch has timber pilaster responds but the columns appear to be reused iron pipe, simple cornice and flat roof (a sketch of 1825 shows a wooden pedimented porch here). The porch is at the head of a fine stone double stair of 11 steps each side, with wrought iron balustrades. Broad doorway with half-glazed panelled double doors and side lights. Basement each side of steps has 4-pane window set in shallow niche with semi-elliptical head.
W side service court is behind quadrant wall that curves out to surviving large battlemented gatepier, built around a rough stone monolith. Behind is convex-curved whitewashed rubble outbuilding with grouted lean-to roof, 2 2-light shuttered windows and a board door.
W side of main house has 2-window range, 4-pane sashes to left, centre 9-pane attic sash and 12-pane to main floors. Basement door between 2 windows to left, and added hipped projection to right of centre with lean-to further right. Lean-to has door and 16-pane sash.
E side of house is rendered and has basement C20 conservatory, 2 big c1900 4-pane sashes each floor to main floors and 9-pane sashes to attic.

Interior

Fine interior with square entrance hall, screened by 3-bay Roman Doric colonnade, from axial passage and centre rear stair. Hall has C19 marble fireplace. Basement reached by dog-leg stairs down, possibly renewed in 1920s. Main stair may have originally had a double lower flight, as there are matching arches with square pilasters each side of the return flight, but present stair up to left only, with ramped rail, the terminal scrolled unusually on a slope, and scrolled tread ends. Axial passage gives onto principal rooms. Paired doors to left to 2 W rooms, with pilaster between. Front left room has leaf cornice with guilloche moulding, shallow Adamesque sideboard recess with pilasters, and 1920s fireplace. Six-panel doors. Much simpler rear left room with 6-panel door, shutters and plain cornice. Right side has double 5-panel doors to single large room probably altered in early C20 with altered fireplace. Simple cornice.

Reasons for Listing

Grade II* as an architecturally significant late C18 country house, of unusual design, and of historical interest as built for the historian Richard Fenton.

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