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Latitude: 52.4912 / 52°29'28"N
Longitude: -3.4305 / 3°25'49"W
OS Eastings: 302969
OS Northings: 289105
OS Grid: SO029891
Mapcode National: GBR 9M.J41Y
Mapcode Global: VH687.HN83
Entry Name: Plâs Dinam
Listing Date: 26 November 1996
Last Amended: 26 November 1996
Source ID: 17771
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Plâs Dinam stands on an elevated plateau above the valley of the Severn, approximately 1Km N of the village centre. It is approached from a formal driveway from the A.470 Caersws to Llanidloes road.
Traditional County: Montgomeryshire
Plâs Dinam is a mansion designed and built in 1873-4 on a site previously known as Penybryn, by the well known London based architect, W.E.Nesfield. The client was Captain Offley M Crewe-Read, deputy lieutenant of the county and JP, a descendant of the ancient Crewe family of Flintshire and Cheshire whose ancestors included a Bishop of Durham and Speakers of the House of Commons. The Read name was acquired by marriage in 1836. After his death in 1884 the mansion was purchased by Lord Davies, the celebrated industrialist and benefactor of Llandinam, when it became and remains the family seat.
William Eden Nesfield (1835-1888) was the son of the famous landscape gardener W.A.Nesfield, nephew of the architect Anthony Salvin and pupil of William Burns. He had, in the middle 1860's been made responsible by his father for the staff cottages for Lord Crewe at Crewe Hall, Cheshire. As an architect he undertook in Wales work at Bettws Cedewain church (1868), the remodelling of Bodrhyddan, Clwyd,(1872-3) and Gwernyfed Park, Powys, for Col. Thomas Wood, (1877) in a Dutch classical style. His long-standing friendship, and the sharing of an office from 1866-9 with Richard Norman Shaw, was no doubt influential in the design of Plâs Dinam, particularly by Shaw's exhibition of the designs for Leyswood, Kent in 1870, his first large-scale essay in the Domestic Revival or 'Old English' style, originally pioneered by Butterfield, Devey and Street for country parsonage houses, and by Webb and William Morris at the Red House at Bexley Heath.
After Lord Davies of Broneirion acquired the house for his residence, it was altered and extended to the E in c.1897-8, including the construction of a Billiard Room wing, and later to the W by E.S.Hall c.1926, using a hard red mechanical brick. These latter extensions have now been removed and the house returned more nearly to its original form.
The house is organised around the large medievalising hall on the N side, with withdrawing rooms to the W, and domestic arrangements to the E, and various ancilliary accommodation in linking west wing. It is built of red brick and local greywacke rubble, tightly jointed, with limestone dressings, a timber framed storied porch with infill panels, and much silvery-grey small slate hanging. The main entrance approach is to the N front with the main entrance under a storied porch, with a passageway to the main stair. The 2-storey hall lies to the right, with the dining room behind, facing S, and smaller drawing rooms at the W end. The kitchen and associated service rooms lies to the E of the porch block, separately gabled.
The North Front has the Gothic pointed door set behind a recessed limestone ashlar porch, the outer moulded low arch dying into the chamfered cheeks. Inscriptions carved each side rear PAX INTRANTIBUS and SALUS EXEUNTIBUS. Flanking columns support shaped timber brackets for the deeply jettied first floor, with moulded and brattished bressumer. A large mullioned and transomed window lights the upper chamber, and above, a jettied 2nd floor with 3-light moulded window and deeply projecting gable with carved bargeboards. A tall ribbed brick chimney is attached to the W wall. This entrance block owes much to Shaw's Leyswood. To the right, the great hall has stone mullioned windows, with a square dais bay, with triple transoms and lead cornice to light the oriel bay. The leadwork has the sunflowers and pies characteristic of the Domestic Revival movement. Above are canted and hipped dormers very similar to those Nesfield was to employ at Gwernyfed Park. The kitchen and service rooms are independently gabled, with similar stone dressed windows to the ground floor, the kitchen single storey with a lead and timber roof ventilator and pyramidal spirelet. Timber cross windows above the first bay. The bay beyond the hall oriel is separately gabled and has timber windows, the corner restored after removal of the C20 extensions.
The West Front is of less significance, having two 3-storey gables, the left restored, the right with a canted stone mullioned bay window to the small withdrawing room.
The South front, slate hung above the ground floor has similar moulded timber mullioned and transomed windows, and to the E, a canted bay with railed roof walk under a gable. To its right, further smaller gables in a jettied block and stair tower in the corner with the service wing.
The rear of the house is a medley of picturesque gables, brick stacks and irregularly placed windows, the common materials forming a whole.
The main medievalising hall is 1 1/2 storeys in height, ceiling divided by moulded plaster ribs into 9 compartments, coving down to the chimney breast. C19 wall panelling, and lateral fireplace bearing the date, the Crewe arms and monogram initials, to which the Davies arms and initials were subsequently added. The drawing room to the W, accessed through the hall, altered with the addition and subsequent demolition of the extensions. The fireplace has glazed tiles embossed with various ships, the family symbol. To the rear of the hall, the main Dining Room has C17 panelling, probably from Llandinam Hall, and a moulded fire beam obtained from the timber framed house, Pertheirin, in Caersws. The small library in the SW corner also has original fittings.
Included at Grade II* as a well preserved and nationally significant example of the Domestic Revival style fashionable in the mid-late Victorian period, exhibiting a skilful use of traditional materials to create a successful composition
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