Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Nantclwyd House  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
Located in a block of buildings fronting Castle Street  


Broad Class

A very large timber-framed town-house of several phases of construction, exceptional for its completeness and the detailed developmental sequence of vernacular building styles and techniques. A recent dendrochronology project has dated some of these building phases, and remarkably, these have been directly tied to events from historical documents, providing a detailed history of the house. The timbers of the original medieval hall-house have consistent felling dates of 1434, making it the earliest known urban hall-house in Wales. It was built on a double burgage plot for Goronwy ap Madoc, a cloth merchant; it was unusual for a Welshman to be granted such a house, but his wife was English. In 1490-1, the house was bought by John Holland, whose family sold it to Thomas Wynn ap John ap Harry in 1571. It passed to his son, Simon, who took the surname Parry; he established the Nantclwyd Hall estate in Llanelidan. A number of wings were added at various confirmed dates during the C17, along with the porch. Much of this work was undertaken by Parry, his son William, and grandson-in-law, Eubule Thelwall, a prominent lawyer. In 1722, the house was sold to Edward Wynne; the SW wing was altered and re-roofed, with timbers felled in 1734. The house passed by marriage to another Wynne family in 1776, who retained ownership until 1925. It was frequently let out: as a Doctor's surgery, to Joseph Peers, Clerk of the Peace for Denbighshire, as a girls' school, a rectory for Llanfwrog Church, and Judges Lodgings. The house was sold to Samuel Dyer Gough in 1934, who undertook much restoration work, passing to Denbighshire County Council in 1984. A major programme of restoration took place in early C21, with plans to convert it to a visitor centre.  

A box-framed 3-unit hall-house, with 2-bay hall and storeyed unit to N end, forming an inner room; the central hall truss is arched-braced and jointed. The entrance, originally to a cross-passage, is probably in its original position towards the S end of the hall. Recent archaeological evidence has suggested a further 2 bays to the S of the hall, making a 5-bay hall-house originally. The following additions were made in the C17, with accompanying tree felling dates: A wing was added to the NW of the hall-house (1619); the 2-storey 2-window S range was added in 1625, replacing the S end of the medieval house; the original W wall of the S range was moved out, after which the SW gabled wing was added (1662), shortly followed by a 2-storey NE wing (1663). The entrance was fronted by a 2-storey gabled porch wing (1692). A long range of service buildings continues W from the N end of the house, terminating in a cross-wing. The dating of these was unsuccessful but they are likely to be C17; the cross-wing may have been a brew-house. Construction: The ranges are timber-framed, mainly box panelled on stone plinths; the ground floor framing of some of the wings was replaced by white-washed rubble stone in the C19. Slate roofs and brick stacks; renewed wooden barge boards to gables. The windows are mainly wooden casements with quarry glazing, some with diagonally-set timber mullions. Porch: The 2-storey gabled porch, located roughly to centre, is open to the ground floor. The upper storey is jettied on a dentilled bressumer, the jetty supported by wooden columns with Ionic capitals to the angles, on high stone bases. Flanking the columns are square wooden piers with large scrolled brackets. Inside the porch, a wide boarded and studded door in a moulded wooden frame. The upper storey is constructed of narrow box panels with diagonal braces; 2-light casement to front and to each side. Medieval Hall-house: Part of the medieval hall is visible to the R of the porch. It is single-storey, constructed of 2 tiers of large box panels with curved braces to the upper tier, on a rubble stone plinth. It contains a wooden cross-window with Art Nouveau stained glass, probably early C20. There is an opposing doorway to the R of the rear elevation, with segmental head and boarded door; gabled dormer above with 2-light casement. The N gable end of the former inner room faces a passage and is storeyed and jettied with substantial moulded bressumer; the gable has curved braces to collar, and vertical struts above. It contains 2 x 2-light casements to each storey, not aligned. NE wing: The 2-storey NE wing, facing the road, has been built against the hall. It is gable-fronted, the lower storey of whitewashed rubble stone, the upper storey of small box panels with plaster infill, the gable with decorative framing, diamond panels with quadrant circles. The front has a 4-light wooden casement to each storey, with ovolo-moulded mullions and quarry glazing; similar 3-light windows to L- and R-returns, possibly infill of a pedestrian through-passage. Left-hand return also has a doorway to far L, a boarded door with Art Nouveau style carving and stained glass light. South Range and SW Wing: The tall 2-storey 2-window S range, to L of the porch, has brick end stacks and raised stone copings. The front is of small irregular box panels, the S gable end of red sandstone, the wall showing signs of alteration. Transomed casements to ground floor, 4-light to L and 3-light to R. Similar windows without transoms aligned to upper floor. South gable end has 2-light wooden casement offset to L of attic storey; 1st floor has 9-pane sash to L and an opening infilled with brick to R. To rear, the gabled SW wing has been added, the lower storey replaced in rubble stone; the upper storey gable is rendered, but the L-hand return retains box-panelling; R-hand return not seen. Gable end has 2 hornless sash windows to each storey, 16-pane to ground floor offset to L, and 12-pane in moulded surrounds to 1st floor; 2-light casement with quarries to attic. Left-hand return has 2-light casement to ground floor with diagonally-set timber mullion. NW wing: To rear of hall is the NW wing, single-storey-with-attic. Its N side is aligned with the N gable end of the hall and is of 3 tiers of irregular close-studding on a stone plinth, containing 2 x 4-light casements with quarries; the wall continues to the R, the lower part of white-washed rubble. South side of this wing is box-panelled with 4-light window to L, above which is a gabled half-dormer with 5-light window; to far L, a narrow 2-storey hipped-roofed projection, the upper storey close-studded with 2-light casement to front and to L-hand return. Rubble stone wall beneath with doorways to sides, that to W blocked; this formed a lobby-entrance beneath a large stone ridge stack with clustered brick shaft. A long service range, single-storey with attics, altered and with irregular openings, runs W from the NW wing, forming the N boundary of the property. It N side is of white-washed rubble stone under a slate roof with wide through-passage to L of centre, its E interior side box-panelled. Irregular 2-light casement windows, 2 to L of through-passage and 3 to R. Large timber-framed gable to L with 6-light window and 2-light window above tie-beam; 2 smaller gabled dormers to R with 2-light casements. The S side has wooden door and 2-light casement to R of through-passage; similar casement to L of through-passage. Attic storey has large timber-framed gable to R, opposing that to N side, with a boarded door which formerly led to a balcony; to its R, a 4-light window, with 2-light casement above. To L of through-passage, a 2-light casement, above which is a gabled attic dormer. At the L end is a stone cross-wing, the E side with a lateral brick stack and a doorway to its L. South gable end has 2-light casement to each storey; W side has similar windows, that to attic under a raked half-dormer. It is continuous with gable end of main range which has a 2-light casement over a 3-light casement.  

The extant hall-house consists of a 2-bay hall with central open truss, and a storeyed bay to the N. The open truss is a jointed arched-brace, the ceiling following the curve of the truss, concealing cusping to the apex and curved windbraces. Closed truss to N bay, box-panelled with curved braces, the upper storey infilled with later small-scantling timber-framing, and with altered later doorways. Roof structure of N bay has tenoned purlins with substantial curved wind-braces; small window opening with segmental head to E, now facing into NE wing. Ground floor of N bay has C17 ceiling: a medium-chamfered spine-beam with run-out stops, and stop-chamfered joists. In the hall, a fireplace was inserted to make a lobby-entrance, probably in the C17. However, the fireplace has a panelled surround with fleur-de-lis decoration, which has a dendro-chronological date of 1423 or slightly later; it was probably imported in the early C20. Behind the fireplace is a C17 dog-leg staircase with turned balusters and heavy moulded handrail. The balustrading continues as a balcony around the W and N sides of the hall, but is heavier, and may have been brought from elsewhere, possibly by Simon Parry from Llanelidan Church. Wood panelling behind the balustrading may also be an import; flagstone floor. Upper chamber of late C17 porch wing has a particularly fine plaster strapwork ceiling, with central star pattern, moulded coving and fleur-de-lis motifs to corners. The S range has a C17 ceiling with stop-chamfered cross-beams, and some bolection-moulded panelling; SW wing has later panelling, possibly brought from elsewhere, and panelled ceilings with moulded spine- and cross-beams. NW wing has a deeply-chamfered cross-beam and stop-chamfered joists; fireplace with large cambered timber lintel supported by pilasters with corbels; C20 cooking range inside. Service range to W includes one room with C17 ceiling; a medium-chamfered cross-beam and plain joists; stone steps lead down to cellars. The cross-wing has box-panelling with wattle and daub infill, and simple tie-beam trusses; the exterior walls were rebuilt in stone later.  

Reason for designation
Listed grade I as a high-status medieval town-house, the earliest known in Wales at the time of survey, with an exceptional sequence of subsequent development, especially during the C17; the original and later blocks are dated and linked to historical events, and the house retains particularly fine internal and external detail, having been little altered during the C19 and C20.  

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