Foxhall Newydd

Foxhall Newydd

Foxhall Newydd is a Grade 1 listed building and it is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It is located near Henllan in Denbighshire. It was 1592 when the building was started on the same site as an earlier house. It was an ambitious Elizabethan building designed as a statement of wealth. Originally conceived as a symmetrical ‘H’ shape, it was sadly never finished and what is now left visible is just a third of the planned original construction. Nonetheless, this four-storey building is an impressive sight as you walk along the footpath on the northern boundary. It has been left to deteriorate since the late 1800s and although recently some work has been done to remove ivy from the walls, time is now running out for the remaining structure. It is probable that this house was never lived in, and it now seems likely that, in spite of its archaeological interest, it never will be.
It would take an extremely enthusiastic and wealthy new owner to preserve this impressive building.

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Crumbling Iscoed

Crumbling Iscoed

The decaying entrance hallway at Iscoed

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Piercefield House

Piercefield House is a large ruined neo-Palladian mansion on the fringes of Chepstow.  I have made two visits to Piercefield during the last eighteen months. It is situated directly on a public footpath, so it is easy to access the parkland for walking and see the house. The house as we see it today was designed by John Soane. During  the course of the life of the house the cost of building and its upkeep has bankrupted three of its previous owners. As with many of our great houses the two World Wars saw the start of the decline  of this fine house to the ruinous state that we see today. During the Second World War the house was actually used for target practice. The house and grounds were incorporated into Chepstow racecourse, which lies on the western boundary of the parkland, in the 1920’s. Bruised and battered the house has been abandoned ever since.

Subsequently bought as part of a racecourse company business by super wealthy businessmen, the house is now the asset of an off-shore company and is separated from its parkland. Little has been done to strengthen the structure other than the windows and doors being shored up with wooden supports  a number of years ago, now themselves in need of replacing.

Preservation groups are determined to see this important Grade II* listed building saved, possibly by means of a compulsory purchase order.  Save Britain’s Heritage is working tirelessly to drum up support for this project. But as ever, when working with a large important building whose owners don’t seem prepared to consider any “realistic” offers, the road to restoration will be a long one.

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Wern Manor For Sale

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(Image Dafydd hardy Estate Agents)

Wern Manor is a beautiful Grade II* listed manor located just outside Porthmadog. It is up for sale and in need of a new owner. Is anyone willing to renovate and love this old stone manor? It comes complete with stables, a clock tower and summer house all set in listed gardens. What a glorious project this would be!

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Neuadd Fawr

Neuadd Fawr

I had a fantastic trip to Neuadd Fawr – a house that I had wanted to visit for many years. From my 100+ photos taken on that day in March, this one remains my favourite. This inquisitive flock of sheep followed me around the grounds while I took pictures of the glorious remains of this classical style mansion.

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A hint of Italy in Carmarthenshire: part 2

The Italianate  tower of  Pantglas Hall is all that now survives of the main house of what was probably the finest Victorian Estate in Carmarthenshire. The house and also the gardens are Grade II listed. The stable block and a stone bridge have also survived. Decline set in after the house was bought by the Local Authority and used as an asylum. After a relatively minor fire the Council decided not to carry out repairs and subsequently sold the property to a developer in 1972. This owner stripped the house for its valuable materials, demolishing the building except for the tower. The outbuildings and land are now in use in a tourism business with log cabins having been constructed in the grounds of the old hall for accommodation. A  planning application for a vastly expanded holiday resort was made in 2012. This included a huge building which would surround the old tower, but the plans were called ‘bland and disparate’ and have been put on hold, although could be re-submitted anytime.



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A hint of Italy in Carmarthenshire: part 1

Gellideg is an Italianate mansion not far from Carmarthen in West Wales.

The life of this house was a really short one, as it lasted only 100 years before the owners found the house too costly to maintain, so they sold all the fixtures and fittings and removed the roof. Without a roof the house was uninhabitable and therefore they had no liability to pay tax on it.

It was a grey and drizzly day when I made my way to Gellideg. The house is perched on a hill surrounded by trees.  Walking around the house I could see that the majority of the outside walls were intact, but inside, however, was a different story. The stone walls were crumbling and it was hard to see the layout of the rooms. Trees had tried to take over the inside of the mansion, but from what I could see, clearance work had been taking place within this building. It was so good to see that the walls of Gellideg appear strong and that the current owners have been working on clearing the grounds and the inside of the structure.

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