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Latitude: 52.5674 / 52°34'2"N
Longitude: -3.3522 / 3°21'7"W
OS Eastings: 308446
OS Northings: 297481
OS Grid: SO084974
Mapcode National: GBR 9Q.CCBP
Mapcode Global: WH79Z.GQYL
Entry Name: Gregynog Hall
Listing Date: 6 September 1996
Last Amended: 31 January 1997
Source ID: 17256
Building Class: Education
Location: 1.7km SW of parish church, in a large area of parkland and gardens. The house faces roughly SE.
Traditional County: Montgomeryshire
A house has existed on or near the site since the middle ages. From at least the mid C15 until 1795 it was a seat of the Blayney family, passing to the Tracy, later Hanbury-Tracy family. The previous house (all that remains is early C17 panelling in dining room) was rebuilt from about 1840, architect probably Charles Hanbury-Tracy, 1st Baron Sudeley (plans and drawings exist from 1848-50). By 1872 the house had taken its present form, of brick clad in concrete which imitated the local timber-framed tradition, such as Lymore, Montgomery. The Gregynog Estate is notable for the exceptionally early use of concrete to build cottages, farm buildings and bridges.
Gregynog was sold in 1893 to Sir Arthur, later Lord Joicey, who added the billiard room (now music room), architect perhaps W Scott-Owen, with alterations by Halsey Ricardo. The estate passed through other hands before being bought by David Davies (the 1st Lord Davies). Gregynog Hall was bought by his sisters, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, in 1920, who established the house as an arts and crafts centre for Wales, founding the Gregynog Press and converting the billiard room to a music room, for use in festivals of Music and Poetry, patronised by Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Holst. The Davies sisters’ art collection, of international importance, including works by Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Pisarro, Rodin, Van Gogh was bequeathed to the National Museum of Wales. Gregynog Hall was given to the University of Wales in 1960. Rear refectory block added in 1967, architect Alex Gordon.
Three storeys plus attics with gabled dormers and slate roofs (tall stone chimneys lost). Half-timbered in appearance but clad in rendered concrete moulded and painted in black and white style. E-plan, 7-window main front with stone mullioned windows. The central gabled porch runs up to attic level; at ground level it is faced in stone with a Tudor-headed doorway and buttresses. Single-window bay to each side of porch, then advanced bays then similar bays set back. To R is a 2-storey stone link to the music room, which has a Tudor doorway and 1st floor set back as a balcony. The music room is timber-framed with 3 large mullioned and transomed windows which have timber-framed gables. The L elevation of main block is of 3 windows and 2 gabled dormers. Asymmetrical rear has 5 gables and mainly small-pane hornless sash glazing, but stone bay window to library and stone mullioned window to dining room. To N are 2 black and white wings at right angles, of two and a half and 3 storeys. Between these is a flat-roofed 1960s block in red-brown brick.
The porch has oak panelling and a half-glazed entrance doorway. A transverse corridor runs the length of the house with rooms to front and rear. The hall is oak-panelled, with a ceiling of moulded plaster beams, fireplace to L and archway to stairs to rear. Full-height stairs in stair tower, with stone treads and handrail moulded into the wall. The drawing room, to L front, is in 2 sections divided by an elliptical archway; it has a ceiling with moulded ribs, 2 classicising fireplaces and coved corners to the room. The library, to rear, has a ribbed ceiling of intersecting circles and bay window. Also to rear is a small library with a moulded ceiling in a star pattern. To R of hall the dining room (Blayney Room) is fitted with elaborate C17 panelling from the old house somewhat added to in C19 to fit its new location. The panelling bears the date June 22 1636. Elaborate fire-surround and overmantle with paired end columns, heraldry, and relief figures; other walls have heraldic shields within arcading supported by tapering pilasters framing relief panels, arcaded serving bay with mirrors, 4 elaborate doors above which are fields with dates. The corridor leads on to the music room which has an open roof of arch-braced trusses, and a stage to N. Most other ground floor rooms are now offices, between rear wings. Most rooms on the 1st and 2nd floors retain simple cornices and most have original panelled doors. The attics were converted to offices late C20.
Graded II* as substantial country house, with associations with Gregynog Press, and the Davies Sisters, and early use of concrete.
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