Historic Landscape Characterisation

Ardudwy - 31 Glyn Cywarch (PRN 18264)


© Crown copyright. All rights reserved, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, 100017916, 2005

Historic background

The house was built by William Wynn in 1616 (possibly on the site of an earlier one), and the gatehouse, though undated, may be contemporary. Extension and restoration in the 1870s was sympathetic. A drawing by Moses Griffith shows the house in 1805.

Later in the 17th century the estate came by marriage into the hands of the Owens of Clenenney and Brogyntyn, and for most of the 18th century Glyn was the agent’s house, but in the 19th century began to be used for summer visits. It remains with the same family (despite several name changes due to passing through the female line), and is still a secondary house, a fact which may have contributed to its survival without major alteration. However, the fact that the family title, conferred in 1876, is Baron Harlech may indicate that the estate was always considered of importance to the family.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Early 17th century house with small, semi-formal garden, walled kitchen garden, park and extensive woodland

The terrace in front of the house and the courtyard between house and gatehouse, with other areas close to the house, are probably much as originally laid out in the 17th century. The present walled garden also probably overlies an original enclosed garden. It continues to be well maintained in traditional style.

The layout, with woodland on one side of the valley at the head of which the house lies and open parkland on the other, may have remained little changed until the later 19th century, when changes to the house indicate a period of renewed activity. The lookout tower at the top of the north-west valley side and the walk leading to it are likely to date from this period, and some of the surviving ornamental planting may also do so. The farm, close to the house but hidden at a lower level, is of 19th-century date. Much of the woodland now consists of 20th-century conifer plantations. The house is listed grade II* and the gatehouse grade II. The site appear in the Cadw/ICOMOS Register of Landscapes, Parks and Gardens: part 1 at grade II*, and is within the Snowdonia National Park. The walled garden, unusually, continues in use and is very well maintained and efforts should be made to support this.

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