Neuadd Fawr: A classical beauty

North of the small Carmarthenshire village of Cilycwm and surrounded by beautiful countryside stands Neuadd Fawr, a classically fronted grade II listed mansion set within its own parkland. The house was originally built in 1784 and was subsequently enlarged and remodelled in the 1820s to the neo-classical house we see today. The house remained with the original family until it was transformed into a school in 1940. It then had a brief stint as a youth hostel before being passed back to a distant member of the family. However the upkeep of the house was ignored and the rot set in.

 The house now stands in a field, fenced off and open to the elements. The roof, although still in situ, now heavily undulates and holes are appearing where the slates have slipped allowing the wind and rain to penetrate deep into the fabric of the building. Trees have sunk their roots into the masonry, pushing the cast iron ionic columns of the porch out of line. Inside, the staircase with its Egyptian lotus leaf banisters has long gone and so too have the fireplaces and panelling. The first floor has largely collapsed, leaving the upper walls and doors seemingly floating in space. My initial impression, that this building seemed to be in fairly good order, were now gone! The precarious state of the inside shocked me; I would not be venturing in! It left me with a feeling that time is running out for this fine building. It will just take a single part of the roof to collapse and the process of decay will dramatically speed up. The out buildings surrounding the mansion are in a similar state, apart from the main stable block. They are now roofless and have cracks appearing in the walls and look in a desperate state.

 In 1996 the owner applied for permission to demolish the house, but this was turned down. The building was then transferred into the ownership of a limited company to reduce any impact to the surrounding farmland should the house be the subject of a compulsory purchase order. The house is landlocked with no direct access. What will the future hold? Surely the best option for this building is to revert back to its original use as a large family house. I have no doubt at all that if Neuadd Fawr was to be placed on the open market it would be snapped up in no time at all. Few houses evoke emotions like this one. Let’s hope that someone steps in to save this glorious building…..before it’s too late.

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