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Craig-y-Nos Castle Garden, Glyntawe

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Awdurdod Unedol (Lleol)Powys
Hen SirBrecknockshire
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Craig-y-Nos occupies a spectacular and romantic setting in a secluded upland valley, and was bought by the internationally famous opera singer Madame Adelina Patti (1843-1919) in 1878. The gardens were initially laid out for the singer by the noted designer William Barron (1805-1891), and development was continued by Constantine Hibbert, who was head gardener from 1889-1933. The garden incorporates important elements of a high Victorian garden, including a vast conservatory, a modified terraced garden, and pools in the grounds.

The historic park, now the Country Park, lies to the north and south of the castle and its gardens, and opposite the castle (nprn 25344), on the western bank of the river Tawe below Carreg-lwyd. It covers approximately 40 acres (16.2 ha) and includes the fish pond, the far lake, a pavilion lawn, grassy terraces, pine woods, gardens, beech woods and three meadows - the Main, the Small and the Hay - in addition to the walled kitchen garden. The river Tawe bends through the centre of the area in a south-easterly direction, following its confluence with the river Llynfell, itself a feature, about 12m to the east of the kitchen garden. Between the Far Lake and the Tawe within the Beech wood, to the south of the Small Meadow, is an overgrown series of leats and simple, stone features, believed to have been laid out after 1905, possibly as some kind of wild garden. A rustic summer house in the Beech Woods has now gone. In the area of the walled kitchen garden there is an abandoned rock garden, quite extensive, and includes empty pools among the large stones. To the north of the rock garden there is a rectangular fish hatchery.

By 1895 the garden was credited with being a model of the Victorian style, combining the formal and the wild, moving away from the intricacy of the high Victorian period. The addition of the rock garden, as well as the area of leats and stone structures and the introductions of Asiatic exotics such as rhododendrons and azaleas may show this. Soon after 1878 a conservatory, an aviary and, by 1890, a winter garden were also constructed. The latter was re-erected in Swansea as the Patti Pavilion (nprn 31848).

Cadw 1995: Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales, Powys (ref: PGW(Po)16).
Rosate-Lunn, E. (1961). 'My recollections of Madame Patti', Brycheiniog 7, 179-186.

RCAHMW, 5 July 2022

application/pdfCPG - Cadw Parks and Gardens Register DescriptionsCadw Parks and Gardens Register text description of Craig-y-nos Castle Garden, Tawe-uchaf. Parks and Gardens Register Number PGW(PO)016.