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Latitude: 51.7825 / 51°46'56"N
Longitude: -3.3837 / 3°23'1"W
OS Eastings: 304643
OS Northings: 210216
OS Grid: SO046102
Mapcode National: GBR YP.YWWS
Mapcode Global: VH6CR.9GJF
Entry Name: Hy Brasail
Listing Date: 16 June 2003
Last Amended: 16 June 2003
Source ID: 81189
Building Class: Domestic
Location: On the W side of the Pontsarn to Vaynor parish road some 300m N of Pontsarn viaduct.
County: Merthyr Tydfil
Town: Merthyr Tydfil
Community: Vaynor (Y Faenor)
Traditional County: Brecknockshire
House in Italian villa style created in 1912 around a plain later C19 house, and named for the magical land of the St Brendan legend. The story that the house was built to lure an Italian contessa to Wales is not proven. The additions on a grand scale and of finely detailed Bath stone add very little in terms of living space, a monumental stair in the main tower and one long room above an open loggia, the second tower having no rooms at all.
House in 3 parts, the left side a plain late C19 villa with 2 full-height canted bays, then the Italianate additions of 1912 attached to the right coming forward to road edge, and finally a roughcast house attached behind the end of the Italianate additions, that may also have been there before 1912.
The Italianate additions are in a very fine Bath stone with slate deep-eaved roofs. The main element is a broad square 4-storey belvedere tower against right end of house, containing the entrance and main stair. This has a deep-eaved pyramid roof with wrought iron vane dated 1912, and 4-bay colonnades to the top open belvedere storey. Red sandstone shafts to square angle piers and 3 columns between each face, the moulded caps and bases in grey sandstone. The deep frieze above each side has 4 inset red stone panels. The second floor has one centre rectangular light facing the courtyard, the first floor has an unmoulded single light window with transom, detached moulded cornice above, the window set to the left as large 2-storey wing is attached to right. Ground floor has, between left end of original villa and front of 2-storey wing, a fine ashlar Palladian porch with 2 red stone columns and pilaster responds to broad centre opening and narrow side ones, cornice over side bays continued around blank arch above centre bay, sunk spandrel panels and side panels carved and marked WB 1912. Cornice and parapet over. Within the porch are half-glazed double doors and matching broad side panels. The right side of tower, visible from rear yard has another cross-window at first floor and pyramid roof has small chimney.
The large 2-storey, 3-bay range at right angles has open arched loggia below of 3 plain arches with just a moulded impost on the reveals and three large unmoulded flush cross-windows to single large room above, the transoms slightly set back from mullion. Raised band between floors. Loggia below is open and has one arch to rear left, to back courtyard. First floor rear has one cross-window over the arch and a tall plain chimney.
The recessed end section has 2-bay, 2 storey loggia, the lower storey arched matching the main range, the upper storey with ashlar balustrades to 2 big square-headed openings with corbels under lintels, a third similar opening to end wall to road, though ground floor here is plain without arch. Left bay has pitched roof over, end bay has another, smaller belvedere tower above the first floor, with ashlar broad angle piers carried up from floor below, inset 3-bay colonnades with 2 columns to the 2 open faces, the centre bay broad, the outer bays narrow. The column shafts are of red stone, the caps and bases moulded, but there are no pilaster responds. Plain lintel with moulded string above, broken forward and carried around angle piers. Three blank panels in frieze, rectangle to centre, square each side, and deep-eaved pyramid roof. Rear of tower has broad attached external chimneybreast.
The original house had hipped roof, right side altered when main tower was added, bracketed eaves, and 2 big canted bays to the front with 3-sided hipped roofs, narrow windows in canted sides, broad sash to each first floor centre and French window with overlight to each ground floor. Moulded cornice between floors on bays, continued as plain band on house itself. Left end has added single-storey flat-roofed room dated 1920 on rainwaterhead, with balustraded parapet and large square bay window to front.
Plain roughcast house attached to outer corner is 2-storey with slate eaves roofs, face to road has centre gabled projection with sash window over 2 sashes, the lower ones with stone lintels and single sill. Two paired gables to right end wall with door and pair of sashes below, 2 sashes above.
Interior not available for inspection, the belvedere tower said to contain entrance hall and stair.
Included as a finely executed and theatrically designed Italian-style villa of Edwardian date.
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