Orphan seeks new carers: Plas Gwynfryn, Gwynedd

Plas Gwynfryn, Wales (Image: SAVE Britain's Heritage)
Plas Gwynfryn, Wales (Image: SAVE Britain's Heritage)

It’s often been said that there are no problem buildings, just problem owners.  However, an even more difficult situation is where the house is ‘orphaned’ because no legitimate owner can be found.  This can make it doubly frustrating for those looking to buy and restore a property who are forced to sit by and watch a building deteriorate as the search goes on to find the owner.  This also highlights something of a legislative loophole as having no known owner also prevents the council serving an ‘Urgent Works Notice’ to force repairs thus ensuring that the house will continue to deteriorate. Which brings us to Plas Gwynfryn; an orphan with good prospects if adoption takes place quickly.

The grade-II listed Plas Gwynfryn is another of the many Welsh country houses built to serve the minor gentry, with their increased wealth from the Victorian industrial boom.  The estate had been inherited from a childless uncle by Owen Jones Ellis-Nanney in 1819, and he hugely increased the size of his lands by purchasing the neighbouring Plas Hen estate. On his death it passed to his son, Hugh John Ellis-Nanney.  Having been educated at Eton and Oxford and, on his 21st birthday, now owner of a huge estate, Hugh was the epitome of the eligible bachelor and wanted a house to reflect his status.

The old house was demolished in 1866 and the new house was completed by 1876 at the then astronomical cost of £70,000 (approximately £3m in today’s money).   The design, by architect George Williams, was regarded as very fashionable to the extent that the house was featured in ‘The Builder’ magazine in June 1877.  Hugh was very active in local politics and in 1895 almost beat the local Liberal candidate, the future Prime Minister David Lloyd George, losing by only 194 votes.  Almost by way of consolation Hugh was given a baronetcy and happily lived out his days at Plas Gwynfryn, dying in 1925, with his wife following in 1928.  As their only son had died aged just eight, the house was inherited by their daughter who moved out to Plas Hen.  The house was then let to the Church of Wales before being sold off in 1959 when the estate was broken up.

It then became a hospital and then a hotel before a mysterious fire entirely gutted it in 1982.  Since then it has stood as an empty shell, slowly deteriorating, and is now in serious danger of collapse with the tower a particular risk.  Almost no work has been done on the house except for a brief period when a conservation-minded squatter moved in and started work.  This prompted the only known appearance by the apparently Canadian owner who appeared in a local court during eviction proceedings.   Since then nothing has been heard of the owner and the local council, though aware of the situation, seem powerless to act unless the owner can be found.  A local developer, Aaron Hill, who has completed other historic restorations, is keen to find the owner and buy Plas Gwynfryn with a view to fully restoring it as a family home – which would surely be the best outcome.

Although rare, this example shows that despite the combined efforts of the local Council and a potential buyer an owner can remain a mystery, thwarting well-intentioned efforts to rescue a house before it deteriorates beyond the point of repair.  If there is a legislative loophole it must be closed to prevent any other houses languishing in such a way.

Perhaps councils could be given the legal power to compulsorily purchase when a house is at risk of complete loss, with the money held in escrow in case the owner should appear. Councils are often reluctant to use their powers of compulsory purchase as they become legally responsible for repairs but surely in cases like this with an owner desperate to take the house on, the risk to the public purse is very low. The power would have to only be used in extremis when all other avenues had been exhausted but at least it would give a tool of last resort to ensure that more of our heritage is not lost just because a problem owner can’t be located and forced to honour their responsibilities.

If you are the owner and you happen to read this, please do get in contact with either me or the Council or SAVE Britain’s Heritage who would be more than happy to help get the process of rescuing this house under way.

60 thoughts on “Orphan seeks new carers: Plas Gwynfryn, Gwynedd

  1. Dave June 14, 2010 / 09:09

    It would seem that the one way to draw the owner out would be to do what the squatter did – take possession of the site and file a claim with the Land Registry. Speaking of the Land Registry, has anyone definitely run a check there to see there is no Registered Owner for the land? If someone has a postcode for the property, I could check the records.

  2. aaron June 14, 2010 / 10:37

    the title is unregisterd iy does nt appear on land registry map

  3. countryhouses June 14, 2010 / 20:26

    Just a thought; if the owner has previously turned up for the eviction proceedings then perhaps their details are in the court records. I think these are public documents so it may be possible to get a name from there?

    • aaron June 14, 2010 / 21:28

      Have tried court records they will not let me see them , plus i need a date and the name of both parties involved ………catch 22 !!! if i had the names of both parties i would not need to see the records

  4. Dave June 14, 2010 / 21:36

    Best leave finding info out to the professionals, eh, lads? 😉

    The property is Title Number:
    (Gwynfryn Plas Hotel, Llanystumdwy)

    The Registered Owner is:
    Turner & Tucker (Solicitors), Colman House, King
    Street, Maidstone, Kent.
    Tel: 01622 759 051


    • aaron June 14, 2010 / 22:13

      How do you do that , I spoke with landregistry , they said no reg title , no map ref records !

      • Dave June 14, 2010 / 22:31

        Nothing magic, I’m good at research, simple as that. Hope the info is of use to you, if you would like the complete Land Registry record, please email me at dave at dave-roberts dot co dot uk and I will send it over to you.


    • countryhouses June 14, 2010 / 22:49

      Thanks Dave – that’s impressive. I wonder if the slightly different name is what flummoxed the council. The website for the solicitors is: http://www.gillturnertucker.com/

      @Aaron Hill – I guess you’ll have a look into this so please do let us know how you get on.

      Exciting to think we may have a lead…!

      Thanks again


  5. aaron June 14, 2010 / 22:51

    Have Emailed the solicitors already !!!!
    hope this leads to the owner will keep you informed

    • countryhouses June 14, 2010 / 23:25

      Many thanks – please do! Fingers crossed that this is the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for.


  6. aaron June 15, 2010 / 01:22

    you cant immagine how happy we will be if this leads to the house being saved , time is of the essence , else the tower will be a heap of rubble on the floor !! thanks to dave , we will have to have him round if we get it , show him what hes saved !! thanks to all again , will keep you all posted as to any developments
    thanks Aaron

  7. aaron June 15, 2010 / 01:25

    please all keep in touch , we may need more help yet !!

  8. Dave June 15, 2010 / 09:50

    I’ll certainly be following progress on this. Gwynfryn Plas has been on my list of buildings to visit & photograph for quite a while. Mark Baker & Michael Tree have an excellent book, ‘Forgotten Welsh Houses’ that documents it and many more like it in Wales.

    Perhaps the three of us could become the architectural heritage version of the ‘A Team’?! 🙂

  9. aaron June 16, 2010 / 19:36

    Had contact from the soliciyor , he says they no longer act for the company ……so it looks like another dead end !!!! alas

  10. countryhouses June 16, 2010 / 23:06

    That is disappointing. Did they say when they stopped acting for them? I wonder if they have a forwarding address for them?

    I wonder if this affects the legal position in that the details on the official Land Registry record are invalid. Does this make the property officially abandoned? Does it become Crown property? Does it become the concern of the Official Solicitor?


  11. Dave June 17, 2010 / 00:35

    I was wondering…when that squatter was evicted…how did the Canadian owner find out about him – did the squatter register an adverse possession with the Land Registry and they alerted the solicitors who were then acting for him? If that was the case, then there will now be no way for the owner to be informed of a new adverse possession of the property (10 years possession of the building/land). Thus, the property is effectively in limbo – legally, it’s a difficult situation, made even more difficult by the fact its not a UK company. If it were a dissolved UK company, then it would pass to the Crown.

    As it stands, someone could take adverse possession of the property, hold onto it for 10 years, then apply to become the registered owner. The Land Registry is then bound to contact the registered owner for them to have the opportunity to resist the claim. Being as there’s no means of contacting the owner, the title would then transfer to the person registering the adverse possession.

    I’m just amazed that the owner is happy to just let it rot instead of selling it and making a decent profit. If he was prepared to go to court to protect his title, then you would have thought he’d want to make some money from it. Makes no sense at all!

  12. Andrew June 17, 2010 / 08:32

    Has anyone been in contact with the Council and Aaron Hill to find out the latest of what they do know about the owner’s name and last know contact address, so as not to replicate what has already been covered? They may already have seen the relevant court documents regarding the old eviction proceedings, or have someone looking for the owner in Canada. Were Gill Turner Tucker prepared to disclose any names or last know contact details of their client, or was that considered confidential? Could they say in which country Casablanca Investments Inc was registered, which would have a registered address with it local regulator, and who the directors and shareholders were, as there are a number of companies with this name listed on the internet? It would be interesting to see if the power of the internet could help where traditional detective work ends.

  13. countryhouses June 17, 2010 / 13:29

    I’ve had a look at the UK Companies House register and the Canadian equivalent and there doesn’t seem to be any company known as ‘Casablanca Investments Inc’ registered with either. So below are some results of a general Internet search for that name:

    * Address: 16809 BELLFLOWER BLVD, BELLFLOWER, CA 90706-5901 | view map
    * Telephone: (562) 929-4450

    PO BOX: 1963
    OKEECHOBEE Florida 34973
    – this one is listed as being a developer

    5673 CORTINA DR
    El Paso, Texas 79912
    – this one seems a bit small

    And there are few listed here:

    Not sure if this is useful but unless the solicitors are able to provide some more details (e.g. country) then it will necessarily be a broad search.


  14. aaron August 21, 2010 / 22:45



  15. Huw September 21, 2010 / 19:49


    Am doing a series of tv items on welsh buildings, and this one interests me. Will be in the area in the next few days and would like to get some info. Is there any progress on finding the owner, anbd is it possible to speak to someone about it? Possibly Aaron?

    • GWYNFRYN FRIEND October 12, 2010 / 15:52

      Isn’t it about time you land grabbing —— stopped trying to get your hands on other people’s property. Gwynfryn Plas is registered with the land registry and the owner will be notified should anyone try to claim adverse possession and if they don’t contact them, I will.
      You may know or not know that the land had been severely contaminated by the so called ‘do good’ squatter and will take thousands to clean up. See government environmental department laws on polluted land. Whoever the next owner is, should the present one wish to sell, which I know he doesn’t, he/she will have a hell of a shock and an enormous bill for clean-up. I look forward to some company or person from GB buying the place so that this can happen
      The present owner is offshore and cannot be pursued for this.
      Of course the Council know who the owner is!!!

      —-Comment edited by Country Houses to remove inappropriate language

  16. Jim October 12, 2010 / 23:13

    Anyone who refers to themselves as GWYNFRYN FRIEND would surely want to see the building protected and looked after is they were a ‘FRIEND’. The building is listed and has national architectural merit. This is a building crying out to be protected and restored to its former glory. The sooner everyone pools their knowledge to achieve this the better.
    It does appear that things might be happening tho’ and some action might be on the horizon.

  17. GWYNFRYN FRIEND October 21, 2010 / 12:11

    I do call myself a friend of the Plas. I personally think it is an extremely ugly building – victorian gothic doesn’t have a lot going for it in aesthetics—BUT—I do think the building should be protected and certainly made safe, but left as a ruin. It is at present inhabited by all sorts of wildlife, which fortunately for them take over the buildings we abandon and use them for their homes. We have taken so much from them over the years that it is nice to see Barn Owls, Ravens and other such rareities finding somewhere to live.
    What I do object to are the people in this world who want something for nothing. What will happen here is that some developer, naming no names, will come in, hope to get loads of grants, do it up and then sell it. Most people I have spoken to who say they are interested in either purchasing or claiming it are only in it for self gain and not for the good of the building. I also believe that if an owner of a building wishes to leave it as a ruin – then surely it is his right to do so.
    The other thing that irritates me is the rubbish that is published about the history of Gwynfryn Plas. People don’t bother these days to do proper research and then they publish things they have made up (or hearsay) to fill in the gaps and perhaps make a better story – more romantic perhaps. This site is guilty of this and in todays world where we can reach millions of people do you not believe we have a responsibility to publish the truth and leave the gaps until someone who researches properly can fill in those gaps.

    • countryhouses October 22, 2010 / 01:42

      @Gwynfryn Friend – thank you for your comments. I don’t believe that anyone is looking to get anything for nothing but they are concerned to see another building being lost – though I understand your preference in favour of the wildlife. So many good houses have been lost in Wales already and Plas Gwynfryn, I think, deserves a chance to be rescued from dereliction.

      With regard to the research, this is what I could find and any errors are either mine or repeated from another source. I would be happy to publish a corrected history of the house if this is something you would like to help with – please just let me know either via the comments or by email.

      Thanks for your interest.

  18. Jim October 24, 2010 / 10:21

    GWYNFRYN friend……(and Neighbour?)
    Are YOU prepared to put up the money to keep the building as a ruin?……I doubt it.
    So perhaps it is YOU wanting something for nothing?………..it seems like it.
    Keeping it safe as a ruin costs money…….who pays?
    Who is it you think wants ‘Something for nothing’ here?……..name names !
    Are you prepared to put everyone right on where they have their facts wrong on the history?, rather than just being irritated….
    Are you prepared to say who this ‘owner’ is who you feel should be allowed to let the building decay as a ruin?……
    You are entitled to an opinion that the building is UGLY, but that is no more than a personal opinion. We live in a democracy where the building has been deemed (through the listing process) to be of architectural merit, and worthy of saving. YOUR rights extend to freedom of speech, but not a freedom to decide which pieces of our legislation are appropriate.
    In society we either earn money though the job we do or we get paid by the state. Which is your route?
    Grants do exist to protect heritage, and again are processed through a democratic process.
    Regardless of this possible option, if a developer wants to repair the building and make some money out of it then what is the problem?
    If a private individual wants to repair it as a private home then what is the problem?
    It seems to be NIMBYism of the highest order at play here.
    When it comes to FACTS…..perhaps the hearsay about contamination could be quantified by GWYNFRYN ‘friend’. Unless you were there at the time the squatter was ‘contaminating’ the building I don’t see how you could know. Or is this just more of the ‘bad-press’ attempts to put off prospective new owners who might look after the building where others have not.
    Publishing the ‘TRUTH’….I would subscribe to that approach; if only everyone did. It is clear that whoever you talk to you get a different story. All this means is that there are different people with different objectives. I can understand that SOME neighbours may want the building left as a ruin; the apprehension of a new neighbour? Most of us have experienced that……keep the staus quo, don’t rock the boat….etc…etc…
    There is hearesay that the owner is local. If that is the case then it is shameful that they won’t make themselves known.
    If they are not local then they need to be contacted to have the opportunity to deal with the property. They may even want to restore it themselves.
    …..and if there is no owner then the sooner it gets transfered to state/crown ownership the sooner this limbo status can be resolved.
    The simple FACTS are:-
    1. The building was a home long before any of the current local residents lived in the area.
    2. The building is a LISTED BUILDING and there is an obligation on the owner to protect it.

  19. a mate of the owner October 30, 2010 / 22:05

    This is to all of you out there who you are planing to go and have a look at the Plas . watch out for the —– — ——- —- —- who think they own the place,they dont it is owned by a MR PHILLIP BUSH.
    As you know Plas Gwynfryn is grade 2 listed and yes the building is a ruin but it dose not have to stay this way as the building is listed its the obligation of the owner to protect it But what if the owner can not be found!!! as the council are saying !!!! yeah right . It’s is down to the Council and land Registry who have the legal power to serve a urgent works notice on the owner but in this case as they say they can not find the owner they have the power just to pin a copy of the urgent’s work notice to the building and if the owner dose not carry out the work the councils have the legal power to compulsorily purchase when a house is at risk .But the Councils are often reluctant to use their powers of compulsory purchase as they become legally responsible for repairs and that will cost them ,at the end of the day its all down to the council not doing there job.

  20. The Truth January 22, 2011 / 10:26

    Dear Jim
    You are correct about Gwynfryn friend, they are — —— who live —- —- — — Plas, they are trying for vacent possession on one of the buildings, I know all the names involved, the squatter etc dates, and I to am trying to track Philip down, at present time he does not want to be found, I did have an address in Geneva and telephone, but a dead end. This story may soon be over.

    —-Comment edited by Country Houses

  21. Hugh Jones January 22, 2011 / 11:03

    “You are correct about Gwynfryn friend, they are two —— — —- —- —- to the Plas, they are trying for vacent possession on one of the buildings”
    So you’re saying that the people who said “Isn’t it about time you land grabbing —— stopped trying to get your hands on other people’s property” are actually….trying to get their hand on someone else’s property? Irony!!

    —-Comment edited by Country Houses to remove inappropriate language

  22. GWYNFRYN FRIEND January 30, 2011 / 15:30

    You really should get your facts correct before trying to be nasty to the wrong people. If you are referring to the — —– who live — — —— as the 2 —— who live —- —- — the Plas, then you would be correct, they ARE trying to get vacant possession of something which is not theirs. They have demolished boundary walls and occupy parts of the buildings which do not belong to them, with a hope, I suspect, of being able to claim these for themselves. They are no different to the majority of the people I have called land grabbers, who pretend to take an interest in the Plas. It is not an interest in the Plas per se, it is self interest in hoping to own what does not legally belong to them.
    Bye the way, Philip Bush is contactable, but no longer owns the plas!

    —-Comment edited by Country Houses

  23. countryhouses January 31, 2011 / 01:11

    Hi – although I’m pleased that this post has aroused strong feelings, in the interest of not attracting trouble I have edited certain comments to remove either intemperate language or information which might identify individuals. If future comments could avoid including either of these that would be much appreciated.



  24. lleol...(thas local to all who dont speak welsh) March 10, 2011 / 21:06

    As a local, of thirty years…. I think the restoration of Plas Gwynfryn would beneficial to the area, and would be a good way to attract more visitors to Llanystumdwy and surounding areas and a welcome boost to the local economy…
    All the best with your search to find the owner
    And to the new owner see you in “Tafarn y Plu” for a pint….

  25. aaron April 24, 2011 / 16:49

    Hi Everyone ,
    Have not posted for a while now as peoples feelings seem to run high on this !!
    If anybody including the owner of the plas would like to make contact with me i would be more than willing to enter into talks to buy the plas……….. i am not sure what people know that i dont but i can say that i am not aware of a way of buying a property without paying for it ……….if you who are calling me land grabbing ….would care to enlighten me perhaps i can follow your route instead of the regular route of accuiring a property .!!!!!!!
    i do indeed own property …..but as of yet have not been able to get one for nothing …..so perhaps you who have would care to share the secret ???? look forward to hearing from you , aaron

    • michael November 10, 2011 / 21:52

      What is the news on your acquisition attempts for the Plas?

    • Jenny Pearce March 30, 2014 / 00:21

      Hi there Aaron how would I get in touch with you please with regards to property?
      Many thanks

  26. Wakefield June 1, 2011 / 10:03

    Plas has been featured on the BBC website

    I would like to add that I think it is criminal that this (and many other properties) are left to rot, we lose much of our culture and architectural history by doing nothing. To the poster that put an argument for the current tenants (the wildlife), you have a point, but perhaps a better solution would be to buy land and let it go wild instead of destroying a rather impressive building.
    I also get quite worked up when I see derelict buildings being sold valued on the speculative value rather than actual value as I believe this promotes situations, such as this, and encourages buildings to be owned and left to rot instead of being sold on and used.

  27. Nia September 27, 2011 / 17:21

    Just get the squatter back in, the owner bound to show up!

  28. Blanca September 29, 2011 / 21:28

    Why is that people own this beautiful places full of history, in this country. But they may have so much money that a house of this type maybe is worthless for them. Or maybe they do not have any money to repair them to the glorious past.They should give it to people that would like to live and bring them back to life. I do not have money But I am a very hard worker and would love to live in a house with such a massive history, in such a beautiful place.

  29. Local! February 29, 2012 / 12:27

    Has there been any updates on this??

    • Hugh Bryson March 4, 2012 / 18:56

      I was born in this house. My mother who at the time had a serious thyroid disease was quite mentally ill and would travel to this home for refuge. Since I was born in 1962 , i am still unsure as to who was running the home, was it the church or had it become a hospital. I am not sure of the length of my stay at the house, I was moved into a foster home in Manchester. I now reside in Canada . I am curious about the history of this house for obvious reasons, curious as who took care of my mother during her stay at this home. I had heard something about nuns but of course it could be nurses. Stories vary, any information would be welcome.

      • Michael John Carroll February 12, 2015 / 14:05

        Hi Hugh,
        I also have been making enquiries about Plas Gwynfryn as I also was placed there in the early 1950s at the age of 3yrs. The house was run by the Sisters of Nazareth and known as “Nazareth House” and at this time had 27 babies , 15 elderly women and 4 girls helping with babies and a community of 6 sisters. According to records Nazareth House was closed in 1965 and moved to wrexham and I was moved to a home in Bebington on the Wirral. I am still looking for further information and maybe we can share if your still interested. Let me know.

        John C

      • Jo March 28, 2016 / 22:01

        Hi Hugh
        I too was at Nazareth House for an unknown period.
        I was born in St. David’s hospital, Bangor in 1963 & I believe then taken to
        Nazareth House & cared for by nuns before being adopted at approx 6 months old.
        I would be grateful of any further info anyone has.


  30. Michael April 21, 2012 / 07:33

    Things have changed .The plas has been tidied up!

  31. katie July 10, 2012 / 18:15

    My Grandparents brought gwynfryn plas, marjorie and brian hooper in 1977 from Tony Cotterall and his wife, both families ran it as a hotel. My grandparents and my mum and me and my brother were the last people who actually lived there. They sold it to a syndicate of people with monies outstanding. My grandfather has since died and very little record left of anything. The sale of the property went through the solicitors of “Liggins and Co “. No one ever moved in there and nothing was ever done with it and it was then that it mysteriously burnt down, rumours of an insurance scam. The synicates idea was to turn it into holiday flats but permission was refused by the welsh tourist board. may be this helps ???

    • Bethan Roberts December 7, 2016 / 09:21

      You must therefore be Susan’s daughter?? Philip and Athena are your uncle and Aunt?? Was your brother called Richard??
      I was around 11 or 12 and used to visit your family at the Plas with my father John who was the butcher in Criccieth and supplied the hotel with meat. My father used to keep horses in the stables up there too and graze the land.
      I used to go with Philip in his Ford Granada car to Bangor train station to pick up his girlfriend on the weekend and help him to pick out records when he did the DISCO! If I’m honest, I think I had a schoolgirl crush on him!!
      I also remember the long corridor to the kitchen and going up the tower to see the wonderful view of the surrounding area. I remember patio doors opening from the lounge out onto the green in front of the property. I remember my father pointing out the building on the left after passing the main entrance, that was used as the mortuary when the nuns were there.
      What a blast from the past to read your post on this site, completely by chance.

  32. katie July 10, 2012 / 20:54

    I have so many memories of Gwynfryn it is strange to hear people talking about what was my home. Its always eerrie to see the pictures of it now, I knew how it used to look with its library and games room , the bar and spooky corridor to the kitchen which we as children would run down screaming with childish fear !! The magificent staircase and chandeliers. The lounge where we had the big open fireplace . We played on the old fire engine and would climb up the tower to fly the flag. I know in its history, and even when we were there, there was a lot of heart ache but it holds a magical place in my heart x

    • hugh July 22, 2012 / 06:22

      I was born in the house but probably stayed a short time before moving into a group home in Manchester. My sister visited the house probably 10 years ago now, from Vancouver Canada and was married in Wales during her visit. She returned to Vancouver and brought me a large photo of the house ,have it on my wall. My mother bless her transient soul would travel to Gwynfryn when pregnant and of course the nuns or nurses would take care of her and the child would be apprehended by the social services and placed in care. Never met my parents, but always wondered about the people that helped my mother during her illness . This house has a lot of stories , Sounds like the memories are good as well as sad, Funny! 1977 was the year I moved to Canada .Thanx for the stories.

  33. Jim Woodard October 22, 2012 / 23:07

    Wow what a story I have just finished reading. I do have first hand knowledge of Gwynfryn Plas hotel as my family stayed there three or four times in the mid-late 1970’s. I will get to that in a moment. I had no idea that this had happened to the hotel until I started doing some research today. I was very upset to see the state of the property now. Shocked is a better word. I can remember my young son playing on the old fire truck outside the entrance. The horses on the pasteur property every time we stayed there were magnificent. The red velvet wall paper in the main hall. The covered arch way you pass through leading up the property to the hotel. The elegance of the interior and the many pints I drank with Tony in the bar lounge. He telling me about his business in London prior to owning the hotel and just talking sports in general with him. He was very knowledgeable. I can verify with a hotel receipt from the summer of 1976 that Tony Cotterall was in fact the owner. He has signed the receipt. He also told me the tragic story of why he left London and moved out to the country. I have photos/slides of the hotel when we were there and the hotel pamphlet with pictures, prices, map of the region and reservation slip. And if Tony might read this, we still have the coat rack you gave us on our last stay there from the Library. He made us promise we would never sell it. Thank you again Tony. I do hope that Mr Aaron Hill will be allowed to bring Gwynfryn Plas Hotel back to its original splendor. It deserves better then being allowed to rot and crumble. My wife and I spent many a romantic night at that hotel during the 70’s. A little back ground on me. I am Jim Woodard. I live in Florida USA. I am retired from the USAF and retied from private industry. I was stationed at RAF Chicksands in Bedfordshire twice 1967-1970 and again from 1974-1977. My wife and I have been back many times to England to visit friends and enjoy the countryside once again. I hope this sheds more light on the problem and hopefully helps in a solution to this once magnificent home.

  34. super8memories November 1, 2012 / 00:15

    These comments are fascinating, and clearly the building triggers special memories for some people. I have some home movie footage taken in the early to mid 1970’s. Mostly in the grounds at the front, showing the building exterior, but also some short footage taken inside showing the staircase. At some point in the film (just a few minutes long), there is a tv outside broadcast lorry parked outside, and some ‘extras’ are on the film too. I think it was an HTV vehicle, so some research in that direction may provide something else for those interested.

  35. Gary February 22, 2013 / 11:14

    Has there been any update on Aaron’s attempts to purchase the house?

    I was just reading another blog about the Plas and noticed a comment from what is apparently a relative of the owner talking about starting a development.

    • aaron July 4, 2018 / 11:13


      • David Roberts July 4, 2018 / 12:55

        Congratulations Aaron! You got there in the end. Best of luck with the project.

      • Matthew Beckett - The Country Seat July 10, 2018 / 23:00

        That’s great news Aaron – congratulations! And coming so close on the heels of the news about Gwyrch Castle and Ruperra Castle being restored – things seem to be looking up for Welsh heritage. Please do keep us updated on progress.

  36. BISH Editor March 20, 2016 / 14:30

    An opportunity has arisen for the charity Love My Wales, through the efforts of Dr Mark Baker (http://www.welshcountryhomes.co.uk), to purchase for £1,400 a collection of 40 original architectural drawings for Plas Gwynfryn, which date from 1875 when the house was rebuilt by the Ellis-Nanney family. The drawings will be deposited with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales to celebrate their move to the National Library of Wales during summer 2016. Anyone who would like to financially support this project, with each drawing costing an average of £35, can do so via the following link, which gives further details –


  37. Dave March 21, 2016 / 11:07

    One wonders why the drawings cannot simply be DONATED? Are they really worth £1400???

    • Aaron November 15, 2018 / 20:27

      Had to go for sale as part of the divorce…. Hope I can keep hold of it and make it my home

  38. Ilona January 9, 2019 / 09:10

    This is all very interesting. I only discovered the house yesterday! I was looking to book a property in the area for a holiday and was umming and ahhing about where to stay till I saw this was near one of the houses. That was the decider so I booked up, thinking I could have an explore. Now on further research I see it’s for sale so that won’t be possible. Oh well, I hope you get to keep it Aaron after all your dreams.It’s a shame to see it say in the ad that it could be turned into flats if a facade is kept. (I hope my holiday home will turn out to be nice too, best laid plans…!)

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