Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Aberconwy House  
2 Castle Street  


Unitary Authority
Walled town  
Street Side
On the corner of Castle Street and High Street.  


Broad Class

A storeyed medieval house, with roof timbers built from trees felled in 1417-20. It was probably a high-status merchant's house built close to the town's Porth Isaf (or Lower Gate) and quay. It was originally probably 2 storeys. Fireplaces were added in the late C16 or C17, probably when the ground floor was divided into 2 storeys by the insertion of another floor, creating a 1st-floor hall and ground-floor service rooms. In the C17 it was the town house of Evan David, who had vegetables from his farm sold on the lower floor. In the C18 and early C19 it was the home of Captain Samuel Williams, dealer in slate, copper and lead. From 1850-1910 it was The Aberconwy Temperance Hotel and coffee shop. Subsequently it was a bakery and an antiques shop, before it became the property of The National Trust in 1934. Extensive restoration in 1976 first revealed the Kentish-style timber framing. Casement windows, stair and slate roof all belong to this period.  

A 3-storey house of rubble stone to lower storey, timber-framed in the upper storey, under a steep slate roof (replacing original stone tiles), with projecting lateral stack to the rear and central stone stack to the front roof slope. The ground-floor entrance is at the L end, with steps leading down (the ground floor is below the modern street level). It has a segmental-headed freestone doorway, with replacement half-glazed boarded door. Windows are mainly leaded-casements in wooden frames, mostly in earlier openings. In the lower storey is a 2-light window to the R of the main entrance, and another 2-light window R of the external stair under a renewed stone lintel. At the R end is a probable original doorway with weathered surround, comprising dressed stone jambs and shouldered lintel, under a relieving arch. It has a 2-light casement at pavement level, although the opening was originally lower. Central external stone steps, added when the additional storey was inserted in the C16 or C17, with simple parapet, lead to the entrance to the 1st-floor hall, which is offset slightly L of centre. The entrance details are C18, a boarded door under a 2-pane overlight. To its L is a corbelled oriel window, also added when the additional storey was created, with 3-light casement. On the R of the entrance is an unequal pair of C19 sash windows, of 8 and 12 panes. The 2nd floor is jettied on corbelled brackets, and is framed in Kentish style with large panels and arched braces. It has three 2-light windows, in frames designed for 4-light diamond-mullion windows. The R gable end, to High Street, has a 3-light 1st-floor window under a lintel, although its head and sill have been raised above the original level. On its R side is a doorway cut down to the level of the landing on the main stair, but originally higher, evidence for which is a raised bracket with wooden lintel beneath it. (This doorway is shown blocked in a photograph of 1956.) In the gable is a closed truss and 2-light window similar to the front. The rear is abutted by No 1 High Street, but on the R side is a rubble-stone external stack flanked by shallow outshuts.  

The 1st floor is now 2 units, with timber-framed partition. The hall on the R has a cross beam and dragon beam, with heavy joists. The solar or kitchen, originally the upper end of the hall, has one spine beam, which is on a corbelled bracket to the gable end wall (similar to the external corbelled brackets of the jettied upper storey, and probably re-used from there), and heavy joists. Its lateral fireplace against the rear wall has a re-used timber lintel. The oriel has window seats. The 2nd floor is divided into 3 rooms by C16 partitions, one with exposed wattle. The central room has a ceiling with spine beam. Four trusses, including the High Street gable, have tie and collar beams, and the roof has one order of windbraces. The L gable end against No 4 High Street is rubble stone and has 2 blocked windows. A blocked window in the gable suggests a former attic storey, evidence for which are 2 sawn-off spine beams in the L end truss. The ground floor, which is lower than modern street level, was a service room or rooms. It has 3 late C16 or C17 cross beams with stopped chamfers, and a corner fireplace to the L side of the rear. At the R end, next to the medieval opening facing Castle Street, is a corbel in the gable end wall. The full-height stair, possibly in the position of an earlier stair, was part of the 1976 restoration, and is in C17 style with fretwork balusters.  

Reason for designation
Listed grade I as one of the oldest securely dated houses in Wales, and the oldest and most complete with a distinctively urban plan.  

Cadw : Full Report for Listed Buildings [ Records 1 of 1 ]