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Latitude: 52.0549 / 52°3'17"N
Longitude: -3.2074 / 3°12'26"W
OS Eastings: 317306
OS Northings: 240305
OS Grid: SO173403
Mapcode National: GBR YX.DR1R
Mapcode Global: VH6BH.CM61
Plus Code: 9C4R3Q3V+X2
Entry Name: Maesllwch Castle
Listing Date: 18 January 1996
Last Amended: 18 January 1996
Source ID: 17217
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Maesllwch Castle stands prominently on a hillside ledge approximately 1 mile N of Glasbury village, providing extensive views over the Wye valley and the Black Mountains of Breconshire. The origina
Community: Glasbury (Y Clas-ar-wy)
Traditional County: Radnorshire
The Maesllwch property, consisting of a manor house containing a hall, parlour, buttery, kitchen, dairy, brewery, larder and chapel, with eight gardens, 8 messuages and 600 acres was held by William Fychan (Vaughan) until 1582, when it passed through the female line to Charles Lloyd of Wernos, the prominent dissenter. After his death in 1698, it passed to Humphrey Howarth of Cabalva, who demolished the old house and built a new building c.1729, of 7 x 5 bays in a Queen Anne style, with roof walk. His son became MP, and was lucratively employed by the crown, until he became bankrupt c.1750. John Wilkins, a Brecon solicitor, who had enriched himself by involvement in industrial development in S Wales, founder of Old Brecon Bank, and MP for Radnorshire 1796 to 1828, bought the estate, and it was inherited by Walter Wilkins II, his son, who had amassed a fortune in India, and who returned to Wales in 1773. He later demolished the Howarth house and built a castellated country house in 1829-1839 to take advantage of the drama of the site, using Robert Lugar as architect. This prodigal building was largely demolished in 1951, leaving the castellated eastern end bay, called the batchelor's wing, and the service wing, the latter an addition of 1872 (foundation stone of Aug 7th 1872) by E.H.Burnell and H.S.Legg, in a similar but more earnest (Haslam) style. This was converted into the present more manageable house. The Lugar house was on a rectangular plan, set further forward than its C18 predecessor and rose from a level terrace. It consisted of a tall circular tower forming the entrance, linked to the main circulation hall at the centre of the block, with reception rooms at the front overlooking the valley. It had corner towers but was asymmetrical in composition.
The remaining, still impressive, facade is set on a rock-faced stone terrace with parapet enclosing a lawn from which the building rises. The castle is built of squared and coursed rock-faced sandstone, with slated and leaded roofs, largely hidden behind crenellated parapets, carried on arcaded brackets. The surviving E tower on the front terrace, once the butler's end of the dining room, is an unequal octagon in plan, of 3 storeys, with various cross windows, each with label mouldings, and having paned glazing. String courses above the splayed plinths of towers, and above first floor level. The work of 1872 is distinguished by a stone of a slightly redder hue, the 2-storey square tower, the gun tower, overlooking the S terrace, with its attached corner stair-tower reducing from square to an octagonal plan. This is divided by string courses into 4 storeys, with a bracketed parapet. The W front, overlooking the rose garden where the former main part of the house stood, has canted bays of 1951, with some exposed brick construction. On the N side, the once tallest tower over the octagonal N entrance, has been demolished, but the tall circular inner tower with its deep bracketed and crenellated parapet survives, and, to the left, a projecting arch-headed porch, and a square tower. The stable yard ranges are generally single storey, punctuated by two storey crenellated towers with similar arcaded corbel tables and mid-wall strings, and have stone cross windows with label hoods in the rusticated stone walls. An arched gate tower, with square corner turrets, at the centre of the E side leads to the forecourt. On the W side of the forecourt, gate piers and elaborate iron gates have been re-located from the original main entrance in Glasbury village.
Little survives of the original fine interiors.
Included, despite the loss of much of the main building, as an important and still effective example of the Picturesque castellated movement.
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