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Hen Wrych Lodge including adjoining crenellated boundary walls and towers

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llanddulas and Rhyd-y-Foel (Llanddulas a Rhyd-y-Foel), Conwy

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2888 / 53°17'19"N

Longitude: -3.6095 / 3°36'34"W

OS Eastings: 292808

OS Northings: 378076

OS Grid: SH928780

Mapcode National: GBR 3Z7D.CS

Mapcode Global: WH657.JLFM

Entry Name: Hen Wrych Lodge including adjoining crenellated boundary walls and towers

Listing Date: 12 November 1990

Last Amended: 12 November 1997

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 19039

Building Class: Gardens, Parks and Urban Spaces

Location: Facing the road at the eastern boundary of the community, approximately 600m NE of Gwrych Castle

County: Conwy

Town: Abergele

Community: Llanddulas and Rhyd-y-Foel (Llanddulas a Rhyd-y-Foel)

Community: Llanddulas and Rhyd-y-Foel

Locality: Hen Wrych

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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History

Castellated gate lodge conceived as one of a series to serve Gwrych Castle. Begun for Lloyd Bamford Hesketh c1819, Gwrych Castle ranks as one of the most important castellated houses of the Picturesque in Britain. The castle and its associated lodges and park walls were designed collaboratively by the client and Thomas Rickman, the architect and architectural theorist. A castellated scheme was prepared by the architect C A Busby as early as 1814, though this was abandoned by the owner in favour of his own designs. Rickman was consulted from 1816 onwards, producing a full scheme in 1817. The foundation stone was finally laid 1819. Cast iron Perpendicular-style windows from John Cragg's Mersey Iron Foundry (where Rickman had collaborated on his iron churches at Liverpool), were incorporated in the scheme. Hesketh was still producing designs as late as the 1850s, though the main work at the castle was complete by 1822; it is likely, therefore, that the main lodges also belong to this primary phase and were included in the original overall conception. The walls in particular, are however, not of one period and represent three or more different campaigns. It is consequently probable that many of the lesser turrets and bastions were still being added well into the second half of the C19.

Exterior

The lodge consists of a twin-arched entrance between flanking square, battlemented towers; of local limestone rubble with limestone dressings. The adjoining walls begin at the E end at a small round turret with corbelled parapet; this is not shown on 1st edition OS map dated 1873. The section of the wall between here and the gated entrance has a small, blocked pointed arch doorway with blocked slit-light 10m E. Beyond are the 2-four-centred arch gateways. These have dressed voussoirs are set back between taller square towers with deeply corbelled parapets (in machicolated manner) including diagonal corbelling at the corners; lower, similar parapet over the gateways, the left hand of which leads up to the Castle and the other into the forecourt of Hen Wrych. Above the gateway is a centrally-placed limestone shield with cast iron rosettes; the contemporary plain iron half-gates survive to both entrances. The left tower is Gwrych Lodge house and has 3 small-pane, cast-iron windows to the rear (entrance front); 4-centred arches and voussoirs as before. Advanced, storeyed entrance bay to R with modern boarded door to Tudor-arched entrance and modern part-glazed porch; C19 brick chimney to corner of this. The rear of the right hand tower has camber headed doorways and four-centred arch window openings, the cast-iron glazing (by Rickman) recently removed (5/97). 20m to W the wall steps down at a masonry break where a square tower with corbelled, but unbattlemented parapet abuts, flush with the walls to the front. The wall steps down beyond this to continue westwards to adjoin a further, similar tower; this section of the wall has been heightened. This tower forms part of Nursery Cottage, a modern house built to the rear of, and abutting the wall. Immediately L of this tower is a blocked, small pointed-arched doorway. Further W is a broader entrance, also blocked (with breeze blocks), with another masonry break and a further stretch of crenellated wall terminating in a similar flush bastion at the westernmost corner of the walled gardens; a recent low, roadside wall continues up to a broad gated entry to the former gardens.

Adjoining the N (inner) side of the wall, W of the western-most gate tower and terminating at the first bastion, is a 5-bay lean-to cart house. Tudor arches, except that to the far E which is now a modern car port with slated roof brought forward; slating to bay 4, the remainder corrugated.

Reasons for Listing

Listed II* as an especially fine Picturesque lodge composition associated with Hesketh and Rickman's nationally important works at Gwrych Castle.

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