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Glan Gwna Hall

A Grade II* Listed Building in Caeathro, Gwynedd

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1345 / 53°8'4"N

Longitude: -4.2411 / 4°14'27"W

OS Eastings: 250172

OS Northings: 362052

OS Grid: SH501620

Mapcode National: GBR 5K.6G8K

Mapcode Global: WH43F.TGMW

Entry Name: Glan Gwna Hall

Listing Date: 21 July 1999

Last Amended: 21 July 1999

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 22055

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Situated to the north of Ffordd Waenfawr in its own landscaped grounds, most of which are now occupied by the chalets and other structures associated with Glan Gwna Holiday Park.

County: Gwynedd

Town: Caernarfon

Community: Waunfawr

Community: Waunfawr

Locality: Caeathro

Built-Up Area: Caeathro

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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Caernarfon

History

Glan Gwna Hall was built in 1893 by John Douglas (1830-1911) for J E Greaves, the site and land belonging to the old Glan Gwna Hall having been conveyed from J A A Williams to Greaves in 1891. The present house is built on a different site to the old one. Greaves was Alderman of Caernarvonshire County Council, Lord Lieutenant of Caernarvon and President of the Territorial Army: he was awarded the CBE and also had a house at Bron Eifion, Criccieth. Douglas had built Wern House in Caernarfon in 1892 and Glan Gwna was among his last major domestic commissions.

Exterior

Small country house. Elizabethan vernacular revival style, dated 1893, of rambling plan with entrance front to south-west and service range to north-east. Elizabethan-style timber framing on regularly coursed and dressed tooled stone lower walls; windows of timber to upper levels, of stone where in stone walls; Westmoreland slate roofs with carved bargeboards and finials and tall red brick chimneys with decorated terracotta shafts, those rising from walls with stone bases. South-west elevation of essentially symmetrical form, although crenellated stone porch is offset to left; wide gables to left and right, the latter slightly wider and with the date "1893" to the collar, both with concave jettying on carved brackets (several of which have carved grotesque faces) to the gables themselves, which have square panels with lozenge decoration below the collars and herringbone patterning above; 5-light mullioned and transomed windows beneath the jettying with quatrefoils below and herringbone framing to either side; stone lower sections have 4-light mullioned and transomed windows. Inner narrow gables attached to outer gables, similar in detailing to both outer gables and each other, save that right gable is jettied below rather than above window and has cross-window to stone section, whereas left gable is windowless to stone section and has 3 carved brackets supporting timber-framed section above. Section between inner gables has 7-light mullioned and transomed window to first floor and 4-light mullioned and transomed window to ground floor with porch adjoining to left and cutting into part of left inner gable; curved segmental arch-way over ribbed panelled doors, diagonal corner buttresses and windows to sides. Ridge stack to left with 3 twisted circular shafts, 2 octagonal shafts in front roof slope immediately to left of right inner gable and 2 circular shafts to integral lateral stack to right all with moulded bases and capping.

North-west elevation has wide concave-jettied gable projecting to right with canted bay window, starting in stone on ground floor and continuing in timber frame to first floor, rising up to underside of jetty on left; 3-light mullioned and transomed window immediately to right of canted bay window on ground floor; narrower projecting gable to left of elevation has 5-light mullioned and transomed window to front on first floor with single-light windows to returns, the pattern essentially repeated in stone to ground floor; band of square panelling below first-floor windows has variety of timber-framed motifs.

Asymmetrical rear elevation has similar details to remainder; wide concave-jettied gable to right, fronted by narrower gable to its left corner, comparatively short centre section from which a turret projects to the left, surmounted by an octagonal copper-covered cupola with weathervane, both the ground and first floors of the turret approached by timber steps. Projecting to the left of the turret is the wide gable-ended service range (running on the same main axis as the principal house) with square lozenge-decorated panels to gable ends; integral lateral stack to outer wall and another brick stack with grouped shafts to roof slope; there are further similar stacks behind. Wide round-arched doorway to courtyard side of this range in angle with south-east return of main house, which has close-studding to first floor.

Interior

Remarkably well-preserved interior retaining the vast majority of its original lay-out, fixtures and fittings. Lobby to main entrance porch has mosaic floor and half-glazed double doors with stained glass leading to large Jacobean-style half-panelled staircase hall. This is open to arch-braced and panelled roof in 4 bays on stone corbels, top-lit by high-level leaded windows and with curved braces from crenellated collars to principal rafters. The staircase itself is of Jacobean style with carved newels, finials and pendants and elaborate fretwork carving to balustrade, rising in Imperial form to landing which has 3x3x3 tall round-headed arches with fretwork-carved balustrades to approximate dado height around staircase. Principal ground-floor rooms all reached directly from staircase hall, room to right with timber panelling to flat ceiling and fine Jacobean-style overmantel to marble and tiled fireplace; room to left has even more elaborate and overhanging Jacobean-carved overmantel to marble and tiled fireplace, fine decorative plaster ceiling. Library is the most notable room; decorative Jacobean-style panelling to ceiling, another marble and tiled fireplace and ribbed panelled doors but the best feature is the virtually full-height built-in bookcases lining the walls; elaborate 15th-century Gothic-style carving with delicate miniature gabled canopies said to be based on the choir stalls at York Minster. Original detailing survives intact throughout the house; panelled doors, door and window furniture; fireplaces and ceilings with plain plaster cornices to bedrooms, while service areas retain larders and pantries with marble and slate shelving, water closets and wash stands, servants' bells, iron safe and electrical fuses. The whole is remarkably complete.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II* on account of its fine, unaltered exterior and remarkably well-preserved interior with many good original fixtures and fittings illustrative of a small country house built in the Elizabethan vernacular revival style of the 1890s.

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