History in Structure

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Y Wern

A Grade II Listed Building in Harlech, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.8553 / 52°51'19"N

Longitude: -4.1123 / 4°6'44"W

OS Eastings: 257873

OS Northings: 330739

OS Grid: SH578307

Mapcode National: GBR 5Q.S3KD

Mapcode Global: WH55Z.SHZD

Entry Name: Y Wern

Listing Date: 21 June 2001

Last Amended: 21 June 2001

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 25513

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Set back slightly above the road diagonally opposite Coleg Harlech.

County: Gwynedd

Community: Harlech

Community: Harlech

Built-Up Area: Harlech

Traditional County: Merionethshire

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Y Wern was built c1935 for the first Warden of Coleg Harlech, Sir Ben Bowen Thomas. The house was designed by Griffith Morris, architect of Porthmadog and received a CPRW award at the time.

Coleg Harlech, the 'College of the Second Chance' was the brain-child of Dr Thomas Jones, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet under Lloyd George and was opened in 1927.


One-and-a half storey house in restrained Arts and Crafts style; roughly L-plan with main, entrance section and gabled cross-wing to the L. The house is constructed of local slatestone, the principal elevations with snecked, quarry-dressed facings, the rear elevation roughcast. Slate roof with projecting gable end chimneys with plain cappings; gable parapets with slab copings and stepped kneelers. The main elevation is asymmetrical, with a deeply-recessed central entrance bay. This has a part-glazed door with leaded upper section, flanked by single (L) and triple (R) arched-headed leaded lights. Small semi-circular buttresses flank the entrance. To the R of this is a 4-light transmullioned wooden window with opening upper casement sections; plain returned label. The front roof pitch oversails the recessed entrance bay in the form of a dormer storey. This has a wide, coped and kneelered catslide dormer with paired 8-pane casements. To the L of the entrance bay is the gable end of the cross-wing, with 3-light transmullioned windows to ground and first floor, as before.

The L return (N elevation) has a chimney corbelled-out at first floor, with a segmental opening to the centre of the upper floor containing a 6-pane casement. 3-light transmullioned window to the ground floor L, with meshed pantry window beyond. The S gable end has a slated and parapeted lean-to projection to the ground floor from which the chimney breast emerges; this with two small vertical lights; further, similar though larger lights to the ground floor. Ten-pane glazed door with label to the ground-floor L. Further casement and leaded windows to the roughcast rear, with a recessed catslide dormer to the roof; boarded service door to the unrendered inner return of the cross-wing.

The house is fronted by a narrow terrace with 2.5m high revettment wall; steps lead down to the road.


The interiors are plain, though largely unaltered; painted, panelled doors and thin architraves, picture rails and skirtings, all typical of the period. Plain stair in short flights.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a particularly fine and largely unaltered inter-War C20 Arts and Crafts house by the architect Griffith Morris of Porthmadog; one of a series of highly interesting architect-designed houses built around Coleg Harlech.

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