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Abercamlais (aber-camlais) Mansion, Trallong

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NPRN25005
Map ReferenceSN92NE
Grid ReferenceSN9649029010
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPowys
Old CountyBrecknockshire
CommunityTrallong
PeriodPost Medieval
Description
1. Circa 1600 stone 3 storeys slate roof dormers 17th century windows panelling and fireplace 18th century staircase large rebuilt 18th century Garnons-Williams family.

2. For Jones and Smith (Brycheiniog XIII (1968), 1-86) there is no trace of the house said to have been built by Rev. Daniel Williams (d.1643), and the present mansion is dated architecturally to the e.18th century. This attribution chimes in with what is known of the fortunes of the Williams family (ibid, p29-30).
(source Os495card; SN92NE10)
For the mansion gardens see Nprn86012, and for the privy/dovecote, Nprn31104.
J.Wiles 26.04.02

3. Abercamlais is situated south of the River Usk, 4km east of Sennybridge, just north of the A40. Since the late 16th or early 17th century it has been the home of the Williams family. The Reverend Daniel Williams appears to have built the original house, and his great-grandson, the Reverend Thomas Williams, may have been responsible for the present house. It is a stone-built, slate roofed building, with 3 main floors and grand staircases centrally placed in the back half of the house.

The south front is of c.1710, with seven bays of dressed local stone, enriched by a wooden cornice of foliage consoles and an egg-and-dart frieze which breaks over each one. There are 7 sash windows on the south front and a 19th century Gothic wooden porch. On the east side there is evidence of the early 17th century house, with some windows from this period. Attic dormers were added in 1910 by WD. Caroe.

The interior, mostly early 18th century, has contemporary paneled rooms and early Georgian fireplaces. The entrance hall has a ceiling with a central whorl, with a frame in another style. In the drawing room, the fireplace (said to have come from Fonthill) is carved with two fine neo-classical relief figures with flowing draperies. The essentially late Baroque cartouche plaster ceiling seems to have come from elsewhere, like that in the hall. An ingenious staircase design has produced some attractive work, including turned boxwood balusters and a gently widening lower flight. The smaller east stair has a variety of baluster forms.

A cadet branch of the family built Penpont Manor House in the 17th century, which is just east along the river from Abercamlais [NPRN 16026]. Such a pair of large houses being so close is exceptional in the country, given their outbuildings and bridges and that they have similar date and plan type.
(Sources: R Haslam, The Buildings of Wales: Powys, 1979, p. 368; CADW listed buildings database, 17 January 1963; Brycheiniog 1968-9, Jones and Smith, 'The Houses of Breconshire', p. 30).
Ian Archer, RCAHMW, 24th February 2005

On the west side of the house is a plain conservatory on a stone base, said to have been brought to the the house by Prebendary williams from his previous residence in 1861. It links the main house to the Dovecote Cottage., and is a lean-to structure of timber framing with small, multi-pane glass sections at the right end and larger, single-panes to the front and left sides. Central bay is slightly advanced, and raised at roof level.
(source; Cadw listing description, photographs with RCS2/1/650) S Fielding RCAHMW 11/07/2005
Resources
DownloadTypeSourceDescription
application/pdfAWP - Archaeology Wales Project ArchivesArchaeology Wales Report No 1669 "Abercamlais House, Brecon. Archaeoogical Watching Brief" prepared by Susan Stratton, April 2018.
application/pdfAWP - Archaeology Wales Project ArchivesWritten Scheme of Investigation for an archaeological watching brief at Abercamlais House, Brecon, project no 2568.carried out by Archaeology Wales, October 2017.