Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Clytha Park  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
Situated in landscaped park N of old A40 reached via drive from entrance opposite junction with road to Bettws Newydd.  


Broad Class

Neo-classical country house of 1821-8 by Edward Haycock of Shrewsbury, built for William Jones the younger (1798-1885). Called Clytha Court on 1845 tithe map, where it is shown with a park of 60 acres (24 hectares). The house replaces the early Georgian Clytha House built for the Berkeley family of Spetchley, and later owned by William Jones the elder (d 1805), for whom the entrance gate screen and the Clytha Castle folly were built. His nephew, William Jones the younger, took the surname Herbert in 1862, was succeeded by his son Reginald Herbert and then by Reginald Herbert's daughter. Owned by the National Trust, leased since 1972 to Sir Richard Hanbury Tenison. Substantial rear service buildings to the NE were demolished in a restoration of 1957 by Donald Insall, architect, leaving the present square plan house, among the best neo-classical houses in Wales. There was a veranda along the E side and the rear wing ended in an ornate conservatory. The house formerly held Francis Danby's apocalyptic paining, The Deluge, 1840, originally hung on the stairs, later in dining room. When in the dining room it was flanked by Jacobean panelling from Perthir. There was also a collection of sculpture by the Belgian sculptor, Kessels, who exhibited at the 1851 exhibition.  

Country house, Bath stone ashlar walling with Midland sandstone (perhaps Grinshill) for plinth, entablature, cornice and parapets, front portico and W curved colonnade. Slate low hipped valley roofs. Two storeys, neo-classical style, roughly square plan, with facades to S and W. Coped parapet right around, stepped up over centres of S and W fronts. Ashlar corniced chimneys, along each ridge. South front of 1-3-1 bays with angle pilasters, all Bath stone, and fine centre sandstone Greek Ionic tetrastyle portico, with Bath stone pilaster responds. First floor has 4 12-pane sashes in moulded architraves, 2 within portico. Ground floor has fine pedimented tripartite French window each side of 5-15-5 panes, 4 thin pilasters, cornice and pediment. Within portico are stone flags and mid C19 cast-iron half-round glazed porch. This has ogee shallow-dome glazed roof, iron cornice, and 3 sections divided by narrow lights between thin iron columns. Sections have roundel and oval glazing, also to double door. Original half-glazed doors within, in pilastered surround. Timber panelled thin piers with consoles. W front of 2-3-2 window-range, angle pilasters, centre broken forward slightly with 3-window bow, Bath stone, except plinth, pilaster caps, cornice, parapets and bow colonnade. Centre parapet raised higher, with line of side parapets being maintained by a balustraded parapet on the bow. Ground floor of bow has attached Greek Doric curved colonnade with entablature, 3 bays, fluted columns. Curved sandstone steps and paving. E front of 1-3-1 windows is simpler, unpainted stucco with stone dressings. Outer bays with pilasters, Bath stone to capitals and architraves of 12-pane sashes above, 15-pane sashes below, and sandstone entablature, cornice and parapet. N side is altered, 1-2-1 bays with Bath stone cornice and sandstone parapet, rendered pilasters to outer bays, Bath stone frames to openings in left bay and caps to pilasters, stucco similar details in right bay. Centre has two plain upper windows, set lower, and large tripartite ground floor window below in stucco frame.  

Outstanding neo-classical interior: circular S entrance hall giving onto square top-lit stair hall behind. Library at SW corner, drawing room centre W, and study NW, dining room SE and E, present kitchen NE and service rooms N. Circular entrance hall, with mahogany doors on 3 sides, fireplace on E. Niches in diagonal bays with marble busts on marble or granite shafts. Eight marbled Greek Doric columns, marbled entablature with wreaths over columns and enriched cornice with Greek anthemion ornament above. Shallow dome has acanthus decoration to ribs and outer circle of big centre rose. Panels between ribs have small corner rosettes. Centre rose has 12 acanthus leaves within circle bordered with acanthus. Fireplace in black polished marble with pilasters and wreaths. Stone flagged floor with slate lozenges. Large double panelled doors through to stair hall. Stair hall is fine roughly cube space with the same stone floor, fine stone cantilever stair on 3 sides, rising from E side, and architraved doors with cornices E and W, and under stair on N side. Stair has fine iron rails with anthemion ornament. Landing across S side with console brackets to cornice beneath. Fine Greek Revival detail to first floor, deep landing on 3 sides with fluted Doric columns, pilasters on N side. Double scroll moulded band beneath, 3 bays each side, the columns in antis, with full entablature. Wreaths in frieze over columns. Cornice with cresting of anthemion antefixae. Roof is deep-coved up to large square opening bordered with rich double scroll moulding. Within, shallow blank lunette each side with anthemion plasterwork, squinches in angles to octagonal glazed lantern. Lion masks in moulding below, marginal bars to square windows, fluted thin Doric columns between, cornice with brackets, ribs with ballflower ornament, and acanthus rose. Library to SW is square with N fireplace, doors on N and E sides. Cornice and rich ceiling border, acanthus rose. Marble fireplace with fluted columns, rosettes over and lintel with acanthus leafs each side of centre wreath plaque. Fine iron grate. Doors have anthemion ornament in friezes and guilloche to frames. Drawing-room to W has doors S and E, and is bowed to front. Rich cornice and ceiling border with anthemion, lion-mask and rosettes, centre acanthus rose with floral motifs around. N wall fine marble fireplace with 2 torch-bearing caryatids, cushions on their heads under lotus capitals that carry shelf. Fine frieze of anthemion to lintel and centre plaque of mourning cherubs. Shutters to windows Dining-room to SE is longer rectangular room with damask wall covering, rich cornice with anthemion and acanthus frieze. Centre rose with double ring of acanthus and outer scrolls. Two doors in NW corner, N wall full-height serving recess with square columns and cornice, balancing dummy door to right. E wall fireplace, a severe design in dark marble, with iron and brass fire-basket. Three windows to E with shutters. First floor landing gives onto corridors E and W, with six-panel doors to bedrooms. Rear service areas include stone flagged short hall behind main stair hall with service stair off to E. Reused C18 open well stair with turned balusters and ramped rail, 2 flights, 3 returns and 2 landings. NW room is study or office with grey marble fireplace. NE room is kitchen.  

Reason for designation
Included at Grade I as one of the best neo-classical houses in Wales, with exceptional interiors, notably the entrance and stair halls.  

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