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Latitude: 51.4511 / 51°27'4"N
Longitude: -3.2343 / 3°14'3"W
OS Eastings: 314328
OS Northings: 173184
OS Grid: ST143731
Mapcode National: GBR K3Y.SR
Mapcode Global: VH6FC.WSJF
Entry Name: Cwrt-yr-Ala House
Listing Date: 25 April 2002
Last Amended: 25 April 2002
Source ID: 26489
Building Class: Domestic
Location: In a spectacular position, on a terraced slope overlooking a part-wooded valley, Cwm Penllwynog, through which runs the Winstone Brook later joining the Cadoxton River.
County: Vale of Glamorgan
Community: Michaelston-le-Pit and Leckwith (Llanfihangel-y-Pwll a Lecwydd)
Traditional County: Glamorgan
Built 1939 by Sir Percy Thomas for Sir Herbert Merrett following demolition of earlier house which was built 1820 by Edward Haycock of Shrewsbury, enlarged 1850, and the home of the Rous and Brain families. Photographs of this predecessor in early C20 show a wholly different parkland setting confirming that the terracing surrounding the present house is roughly contemporary with it and indeed the ground was reportedly built up with rubble from the demolition; the inscription HHM 1942 beneath the lead fountain may record the completion of this work. To rear however the stone garden wall and the former cobbled service court and buildings are survivors of the earlier period, the coach-house, stables and mill now converted to domestic accommodation; these are shown on the Tithe Map of 1845. The Bridgewater brick walls of the former kitchen garden have stamps for Napoleon III giving a mid C19 date, probably relating to that period of the house refurbishment. The main feature of the grounds is the string of ponds in the valley bottom linked by weirs, some with fish ladders.
Country house in restrained Neo-Georgian style. Rendered with a hipped pantile roof behind parapet; broad rendered stacks sit astride the ridges. U-shaped plan comprising the main reception range with garden frontage at centre, service range on uphill (W) side and billiard room on downhill (E) side. 2 storeys. Windows are large multipane sashes, almost full-length to ground floor, shutters to the main ground floor range; shallow corner pilasters topped by small urns. Entrance frontage is at E, altogether a 6-window range; the return bay of the garden frontage projects to left with a small porch in the adjacent angle, plain single panel door with overlight. Garden frontage is a wholly symmetrical 7-window range, giving onto a balustraded terrace. W-facing elevation (left) has a similar return front bay and a 6-window range; this has views over the sunken garden.
A corridor runs along the spine of the house with the main reception rooms opening off - drawing room, music room, study, dining room at garden end of kitchen range - all with garden views. Staircase with painted cast-iron bannisters rises to rear. Polished wood floors. Most remarkable are the plastered and painted Adamesque ceilings. Elegant fireplaces retained.
Listed as a small country house set in an important parkland landscape designed by Percy Thomas, the distinguished Welsh architect. Group value with The Old Dairy.
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