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Maesllwch Castle

A Grade II Listed Building in Glasbury, Powys

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Coordinates

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

Entry Name: Maesllwch Castle

Listing Date: 18 January 1996

Last Amended: 18 January 1996

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

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

County: Powys

Community: Glasbury (Y Clas-ar-wy)

Community: Glasbury

Locality: Maesllwch

Traditional County: Radnorshire

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Glasbury

History

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.

Exterior

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.

Interior

Little survives of the original fine interiors.

Reasons for Listing

Included, despite the loss of much of the main building, as an important and still effective example of the Picturesque castellated movement.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II East Lodge to Maesllwch Castle
    Located at a bend of the minor road leading off the Brecon to Hereford Road to Ffynnon Gynnydd. The lodge stands just within the gates, on the N side of the driveway.
  • II Gate piers, gates and screen to the E drive of Maesllwch Castle
    Located at a bend of the minor road leading off the Brecon to Hereford Road to Ffynnon Gynnydd.
  • II Glan Hen Wye
    Located on the E side and close to the junction of the road leading off the A.438 to Ffynnon Gynnydd, opposite the eastern driveway to Maesllwch Castle.
  • II Stables and Coachhouse at Glan Hen Wye
    Located on the E side of the road from the A,.438 Brecon to Hereford Road, approximately 200m from the junction. The stables and coach-houses lie to the rear of the house, on the NE side.
  • II The Woodlands
    Located on the SW side of the road from Glasbury to Cwmbach, on rising ground set gable end to the road and facing S over its lawns.
  • I Cottage attached to Maesyronnen United Reformed Chapel
    The chapel and adjoining cottage lie at the end of a lane off the road from the A.438 Hereford to Brecon Road to Ffynnon Gynnydd, near the top of a steep bank and overlooking the Cilcenni Dingle.
  • I Maesyronnen United Reformed Chapel
    The chapel and adjoining cottage lie at the end of a lane off the road from the A.438 Hereford to Brecon Road to Ffynnon Gynnydd, near the top of a steep bank and overlooking the Cilcenni Dingle.
  • II Clynheddwch
    Located at the S end of the hamlet of Cwmbach, and set amid extensive lawns on the SW side of the road from Glasbury.

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