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Llanfair Hall including attached courtyard ranges and all subdivided units

A Grade II Listed Building in Y Felinheli, Gwynedd

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1729 / 53°10'22"N

Longitude: -4.2317 / 4°13'54"W

OS Eastings: 250930

OS Northings: 366297

OS Grid: SH509662

Mapcode National: GBR 5K.44J1

Mapcode Global: WH437.ZH2Z

Entry Name: Llanfair Hall including attached courtyard ranges and all subdivided units

Listing Date: 12 July 1994

Last Amended: 18 April 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 14549

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Set in its own grounds with terraced gardens leading down to the Menai Strait; approximately 2km south-west of Y Felinheli and 3.5km north-east of Caernarfon. Reached from the former main-road along

County: Gwynedd

Town: Caernarvon

Community: Y Felinheli

Community: Y Felinheli

Locality: Llanfair-is-gaer

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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Port Dinorwic

History

Owned by the Griffiths family from at least the C16, Richard Griffith was a notable Royalist in the Civil War. Origins of present house earlier C18 or earlier, probably altered in C19 in at least two phases: c1830 the SW entrance front and possibly the staircase, and of c1860-80 the entrance porch, the 2-storey frontispiece on the right side of the garden front and the four-storey belvedere tower on the left end of the same front (all shown on the 1887-8 Ordnance Survey). The mansion was praised in Williams' 1821 Tourist Guide, when owned by John Griffiths. It was one of the four main estates in the area. In 1953 it was divided into three properties.

Exterior

Complex, multi-period country house, stuccoed with slate roofs and, generally, mid C19 corniced stuccoed stacks. The oldest part is the short rear SE wing which was refaced in mid C19 as right bay of the irregular 4-bay SW entrance front. Entrance front is Italianate in detail, continued around corner in a broad 3-bay NW frontispiece projecting from the end gable. This gable is the right end of the NW garden front, linked by a plain one-bay range to the dominant 4-storey left end tower of c1860-80. Of uncertain date is a two-storey and attic rear wing parallel to the entrance front, and running back from tower, this could be C18 or earlier C19.
L-plan 2-storey outbuilding range in squared pink rubble stone runs NE from tower, returning SE to enclose upper end of yard.

The SW entrance front detail is mid C19, with broad band uniting disparate features. To right, set-back, the refronted original range has parapet, 9-pane upper sash, 16-pane lower sash. Narrow blank panel over upper sash, and C19 stack at wall-face, behind parapet. Right end gable stack. The rest of the entrance front has single roof-line, with central stack on roof-slope and axial stack at join to earlier range. To right, broad gable with 12-pane sash above and 5-15-5-pane sash below, then projecting porch with heavy detail of c1860-70, inset entry with pilasters, moulded arch, keystone and panelled spandrels, heavy bracket cornice with panels between paired console brackets. Above, and projected slightly under eaves is 6-pane window. Left side has band continued but window each floor altered to metal casements of c1950.

Garden front right facade has broad shallow gable from which projects 2-storey, 3-window frontispiece with giant pilasters, the original cornice altered to slate pent roof. 4-pane sashes in architraves above, band, and moulded arched French windows below, the detail similar to that on porch. To left, slightly recessed one-bay range with roof parallel to garden. Similar first floor sash, ground floor has an altered French window. Tower to left is rectangular in plan, tall, 4-storey, with Italianate detail. 2-bay front, 3-bay sides. Front has ground floor Venetian window (the arched head blind), and 4-pane sashes in corniced architraves to next two floors with bands between. Top floor is more ornamented with paired pilasters at angles and between unmoulded arched windows, full cornice, and iron railing to flat roof. Big SW wall external stack and S corner stack. Matching upper floor to rear and NE side, but windows blank except for right opening of NE side.

Rear courtyard has rendered side of original SE wing, varied fenestration including first floor timber 4-12-4-pane canted oriel. Then linked at diagonal angles only, is rear wing in angle behind two main front ranges. This has proportions of C18, but no early external detail. Brick left end stack, 2-storey, 2-window NE side, one upper window partly obscured by end of service/outbuilding range (that must therefore be later in date). Ground floor glazed door and broad 36-pane sash. C20 eaves dormer.

Long low 2-storey service range is stuccoed where it is lean-to against rear of tower, but otherwise stone. Two ridge stacks, 4 widely spaced first floor windows, three of them broad 20-pane sashes. Ground floor more varied, and altered, but original openings have stone voussoirs. Return wing has three similar first floor windows and 4-bay ground floor.

Interior

The porch opens into an outer hall with fluted frieze and Victorian Adamesque ceiling ornamentation with central rose in concave-sided diamond and oval-ribbed border. Later small-pane screen divides this from the inner hall containing the simple earlier C19 staircase with scrolled newel, and swept up handrail. Former strong-room beneath the stairs is said locally to have been used during the war for safe-keeping of prime national treasures. The main ground floor SW room was the drawing-room lit by the 3-window bay; original ornate C19 cornice but modern roses; blocked door to right of timber chimneypiece with acanthus moulded and shouldered fireplace. The smaller dining-room to right has 2 round-arched recesses; these are reflected in the bedroom above. Panelled shutters and 4- and 6-panel doors. The top-lit stairwell has broad landing. Blocked archway to the tower. The oldest part, the SE wing, is separate, to right of the main stairwell. This has a fine oak-panelled room of the earlier C18 with fielded panels above and below dado rail. Moulded cornice and shallow skirting. Fireplace has later plain surround with later C18 iron grate, but original large bolection-moulded raised panel above.

Reasons for Listing

A country house distinctively remodelled in the C19, with surviving interiors, and retaining a fine panelled early C18 room. Group value with the former Coach-house and adjacent former Game-Larder at Llanfair Hall.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Former Coach-house to the rear of Llanfair Hall
    Detached range on south-east side of service courtyard. Llanfair Hall is in its own grounds beside the Menai Strait, between Y Felinheli and Caernarfon.
  • II Former Game Larder to the rear of Llanfair Hall
    Set back on embankment to left of and above the coach-house, on south-east side of service courtyard; reached by stone steps at right end of coach-house.
  • II Field Barn at Llanfair Farm
    Situated on the summit of a knoll some 300m SW of Llanfair Hall and some 600m E of the Church of Saint Mary at Llanfair-is-gaer.
  • II Church of Saint Mary
    Situated immediately adjacent to the Menai Strait, down a minor road off the A487 roundabout S of Y Felinheli.
  • II Castell Gwylan
    On the banks of the Menai Strait, SE of Porthamel Hall.
  • II Milestone on A487
    Situated approximately halfway between Caernarfon and Y Felinheli, on the SE side of the A487 and opposite the entrance to Griffiths Cross Industrial Estate.
  • II Ha-Ha to South of Llanidan House
    Curving ha-ha wall to the E and S of Llanidan House, enclosing the garden.
  • II* Llanidan Hall
    Located 20m S of the Church of St. Nidan (old church), c1.2 km E of Brynsiencyn, set within a boundary wall.

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