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Latitude: 52.9917 / 52°59'30"N
Longitude: -4.0659 / 4°3'57"W
OS Eastings: 261428
OS Northings: 345818
OS Grid: SH614458
Mapcode National: GBR 5S.HGT2
Mapcode Global: WH55F.J219
Entry Name: Dolfriog
Listing Date: 9 December 1999
Last Amended: 9 December 1999
Source ID: 22772
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Situated on the W side of the Nanmor Valley accessed by a long drive from the lane that runs SE from Nantmor; the house is c1km E of Nantmor.
Traditional County: Merionethshire
The estate of Dolfriog has a long history centred on old Dolfriog which survives to the S of the present house. It is Old Dolfriog which is associated with Dafydd Nanmor as the home of Gwen o'r Ddol to whom he addressed several cywyddau, and which was later home of the Anwyl family until the mid C18. In 1830 the Nanmor estate was bought by George Holmes Jackson, and it was Jackson who built the present house. In 1885 Dolfriog was acquired by William Lowson, who spent a great deal of money on improvements to the property: it is possible that some of these included changes to the house, since its architectural character appears the result of more than one phase of building; it could be possible that a villa in a Georgian Gothick style was given its present Tudor-gothic character in the later C19: there is documentary evidence to suggest that Jackson had not finished the house when he died.
Gentry house in Tudor-gothic style. The house comprises a main range with short stair-case wing alongside larger L-plan wing to rear. 2 storeys with attics and service basement, with the ground floor thus devoted to living rooms commanding varied prospects of the valley. Coursed and dressed slate-stone with scalloped slate roofs. Axial stacks flanking the central bay of the main elevation, and on gable end of rear wing (truncated). Pronounced overhang to eaves. Main range has plinth and stressed angle pilasters which continue to give pedimented emphasis to the gables. The house was apparently rendered until relatively recently: the render may have been associated with the presumed later C19 alterations to the house - its removal has revealed blocked windows in the main elevation, and exposed the rough brick construction of the dressings. Jackson's building was said to have had Bath stone window frames, so perhaps these were cut back in later C19 changes. Rear wing has markedly different masonry style incorporating larger blocks of stone. Entrance front is a long and relatively low 3-bay range with advanced central gable over entrance. This has wide 4-centred arched doorway in caveto moulded architrave with intersecting traceried overlight, and flanking side lights with lattice glazing. Oriel window over the doorway with 3 segmentally arched mullioned lights, and chevron moulded apron. 2-light mullioned window in gable apex above. flanking bays have blocked windows to ground floor (with possible scars of hood-moulds), and 2-light round-arched mullions with hood-moulds above. String course below first floor continues across the return elevation to W which has tiered windows of 3-, 2- and 1-lights, with traces of hood-moulds to ground and first floor windows. Parallel gable of L-plan rear range which has windows in its S-facing elevation: paired mullioned and transomed lights with marginal glazing on each floor. Advanced gable beyond this has 5-light ground floor window with high-set transom, and oriel window above, similar to that of entrance front. Small light in gable apex. E-facing elevation has oriel bay with round-headed mullioned lights to ground floor (over French doors and windows of basement) in return gable of entrance range, 2-light window above with hood-mould, and similar window to attic storey. This attic window has blind round-arched head suggesting an earlier window of different type (a detail also found in Cae Dafydd). Stepped stair window beneath the eaves in the short rear wing.
Plan comprises principal rooms to either side of a wide central hall, with staircase offset to rear (a layout similar to that at Cae Dafydd), and additional principal rooms in L-plan rear wing. Hall dominated by a large, richly decorated timber chimney piece incorporating carved narrative panels (assembled from church furnishings perhaps of continental origin) forming an overmantel, and with built-in seats to either side of the fireplace. Dado panelling with gothic arched detail, echoed in the carpentry of the doorways. fine cantilevered staircase with trefoiled decoration to balusters and quatrefoil enrichment to newels. Joinery of a high order survives throughout, and there is one exposed fireplace in gothic style.
Listed as a very good example of a C19 small country house retaining good gothic character and with exceptionally fine interior detail. The house is the best-preserved of a series of substantial C19 houses in the Beddgelert area, indicative of local prosperity, and imparting a strong character to the landscape around Beddgelert.
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