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Latitude: 53.1332 / 53°7'59"N
Longitude: -3.319 / 3°19'8"W
OS Eastings: 311853
OS Northings: 360368
OS Grid: SJ118603
Mapcode National: GBR 6R.6Q91
Mapcode Global: WH778.ZHQX
Entry Name: Plas-y-Ward
Listing Date: 18 August 1999
Last Amended: 18 August 1999
Source ID: 22150
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Located towards the eastern boundary of the community, approximately 1.6km E of the village of Rhewl; accessed via a tree-lined drive running E from a lane approaching from the former railway.
Traditional County: Denbighshire
The Thelwalls of Plas-y-Ward were amongst the foremost Denbighshire families during the C16 and C17. Originally from Cheshire, one John Thelwall is said to have come to Ruthin in the service of Lord Reginald de Grey and established himself at Plas-y-Ward c1380. By the early Tudor period the Thelwalls were an established gentry family in the locality. Richard Thelwall was appointed one of the Queen's commissioners at the famous Caerwys Eisteddfod of 1568 and famously died during the event. The infamous Simon Thelwall (d.1586) served as member of the Council of the Marches and Deputy Judge to the Court of the Marches. He is remembered, in his latter capacity, as a cruel and merciless persecutor of Catholics. Katherine of Berain, 'Mam Cymru' (the Mother of Wales), cousin to Queen Elizabeth, lived at Plas-y-Ward from 1586 until her death in 1591 as wife of Edward Thelwall. Various Thelwalls of Plas-y-Ward are recorded as having served as High sheriffs of Denbighshire in 1572, 1590, 1612 and 1670.
The present Plas-y-Ward represents a late C17 replacement of the timber-framed Tudor seat. The new house appears to have been built by Sir William Williams, second baronet of Glascoed, who married the Thelwall heiress, Jane, in 1689. Sir William served as High Sheriff of Denbighshire in 1696.
Two-and-a-half storey double-pile gentry house; of roughcast brick construction with projecting and gabled end chimneys to each range, the stacks unrendered. Slate roof with sandstone copings and shaped kneelers to gable parapets. The facade has a main symmetrical section of 5 bays, with a central entrance with simple late C19 wooden open porch; C19 four-panel door with rectangular 2-pane overlight. Near-flush 4-pane C19 sashes with marginal glazing to the ground and first floors; 3 hipped dormers to the attic with similar, squatter windows. A flush single-storey C19 lean-to addition adjoins to the R. This has a large 6-pane early C20 window to the front and a 12-pane sash to the side. Extruded in the angle between this and the rear gable end of the main house is a modern uPVC conservatory addition.
The rear elevation is near-symmetrical and has a central entrance with original 2-panel door; ovolo-moulded pegged oak frame and simple late C19 canopy porch. Above the entrance is a plain 6-pane cross-window, placed between the ground and first floors to light the stair landing; similar cross-windows to the ground and first floors, with 3 gabled dormers to the roof, as before (undergoing restoration at time of survey). A C19 slated lean-to service addition adjoins the centre of the N side.
Entrance hall with oak dado panelling made up from re-used early C17 small-field panelling; arcaded frieze decoration. Original late C17 oak dog-leg stair with square newels and turned balusters. In the ground-floor front-facing room are two primary boarded niches to the rear wall, together with a neo-Tudor stone fireplace.
Listed for its special interest as a late C17 gentry house, the seat of the locally-important Thelwall family, retaining good external character.
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