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Latitude: 52.6732 / 52°40'23"N
Longitude: -3.8189 / 3°49'8"W
OS Eastings: 277109
OS Northings: 309941
OS Grid: SH771099
Mapcode National: GBR 93.4QCF
Mapcode Global: WH687.92PH
Entry Name: Plas Aberllefenni
Listing Date: 6 December 1999
Last Amended: 6 December 1999
Source ID: 22727
Building Class: Domestic
Location: The house stands at the N end of Aberllefenni, in a loop of the road running to the E to Aberangell.
Traditional County: Merionethshire
The house is traditionally said to be the property of Owain Llawgoch, brother of Llewelyn, who died in c1330. The present building was originally built as a large farmhouse in the early C16, aligned uphill, with an E-W wing, refronted in the early C18, and probably altered again in the C19. It was held together with Rhiwaedog, near Bala, by Sir John Lloyd, knighted in 1636, probably the same man as John Lloyd, sheriff of the county, in 1616, and who died in 1646. Rhiwaedog was acquired in a marriage settlement. In 1696 it was held by another John Lloyd. In 1851 census returns the owner was Edward Edwards, farming 713 acres (288.6ha). After the success of slate quarrying nearby the house became associated with this activity; in 1871 it was occupied by David Williams of the slate quarry, but in 1881 by John Edwards, a wood ranger. The house is also known for its association with a number of minor bards, amongst them Edward Urien, Rhys Cain, Huw Machno, Robert Dyfi and Sion Llwyd y Cyntaf. To the right of the main S front, there was a complex adjoining structure, demolished c1975, known as Y Fferm. This was, from the mid C19 at least, a separate dwelling. It had one ovolo moulded window in the gable, and the sill of another now incorporated in the garden wall, with stoolings for mullions. The Plas is noted for being roofed in slate in the early C16, thus constitutes one of the earliest recorded instances of the use of this material. The slates, of which one in the garden is possibly an original one, measuring c56cm x 100cm was probably derived from Hen Gloddfa, later part of Aberllefenni Quarry.
To the rear, a detached range of farm cottages now only surviving in foundations.
The house is of 'L'-plan built of grey slate cut and coursed above a rubble plinth, and roofed with slate. The main facade faces S, but has, at the left end, an earlier 7 x stepped gable end on kneelers, with offset at first floor ceiling level, terminating with a stack. The masonry of this wing extends to the rear to another stepped gable end to the wing. The facade is of 2 storeys, 5 window bays, with a central entrance approached by 4 steps, two semicircular, leading up to the 4-reeded panelled door with overlight, all within a Classical porch on slender octagonal slate columns. Both floors have large and closely spaced 12-pane horned sash windows, with slate sills and lintels. Coved slate eaves. At the rear of the main front, a small coped gable with a stack, and the re-entrant angle is filled with a large service lean-to. Three inconspicuous roof lights. Some blocked windows in the left gable end, and 1 12-pane sash window to each floor in the rear wing, with a blocked window over the side entrance.
Entrance opens directly to the reception hall, with stair off at rear, a early C17 newel stair open well stair with turned balusters. Living room to left, with a fine strongly-modelled slate fireplace in the gable end. Plastered ceilings, with a number of heavy chamfered cross beams with bar stops, also late C16 or early C17. The partition to the present kitchen on right of hall is probably original. In the rear wing, on the first floor, a chamber with fine bolection moulded panelling, chair rail and cornice. Some original C16-C17 panelled doors. Stair to roof, which has C16-C17 collar beam trusses to both front range and rear wing, some wattle and daub partitions, and at the rear gable end, a remarkable moulded late C16 door.
Listed at grade II* as a major manorial house of early origin, important in the history of the area; the house shows an interesting development of a traditional plan form, and retains many features of the C17, both externally and internally, together with a good C18 south front. It is also significant for the early use of slate for roofing, and has close associations with the early extraction of this material, which has been employed imaginatively in many elements of the structure.
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