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PARK; Y PARC, CROESOR, LLANFROTHEN

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 404989

Map Reference SH64SW

Grid Reference SH6271243967

Unitary (Local) Authority Gwynedd

Old County Merioneth

Community Llanfrothen

Type of Site BUILDING COMPLEX, HOUSE

Broad Class DOMESTIC

Period Post Medieval

Site Description Ancient and chief seat of the Anwyls, one of the most notable families of Meirionedd in the Tudor and Stuart periods. A junior branch of the Clenneny family, they were settled at Parc by the mid 16th century and possibly earlier. Robert ap Morris (d.1576) was responsible for the first of a series of unit-planned ranges which, by the late 17th century comprised a large complex of 4 domestic blocks and a gatehouse, as well as associated stable and agricultural ranges. Robert's grandson, William Lewis Anwyl was the first of the family to hold the office of High Sheriff (Meirionedd 1610 and 1623, and Caernarvonshire 1636). He is known to have greatly extended Parc in the early 17th century and his will (1641) mentions the newly-built plas. A cywydd by the poet Huw Machno speaks of 'his new house of great construction,' as well as mentioning gardens, orchards, walls, parks and 'fair towers.' It is likely that the primary house was rebuilt or remodelled during this period and that the second, third and fourth ranges (Parc 2,3 and 4) were also fully or partly his work. Of these, the first two houses were long ago demolished and now only traces remain. These are incorporated in the northern-most section of the two conjoined ranges which now comprise Middle Parc; the SW gable end of the second house survives, and retains its (now altered) fireplace newel stair. The northern section of Middle Parc is a much-altered link-block between the second and third houses, the latter being represented by the main section to the SW. Both blocks have elegant cylindrical chimneys which, if original (ie late C16 or C17) would be unparalleled in north Walian vernacular. It is however possible that these are additions of the second-quarter or mid C19, and are 'Tudorbethan' cosmetic alterations. Both blocks were altered by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, owner of the Brondanw estate, who converted the buildings for moden use after the last war.

The adjoining fountain basin is likely to have served both as spring, conduit and washing basin and probably relates to one of the earliest phases at Parc. In its location to the side of the main domestic group and away from the formal garden areas, it can be presumed always to have had a service function.
(Source; Cadw listing database) S Fielding RCAHMW 09/10/2006

Additional: A classic unit-system site described by W. Hemp and Colin Gresham in Archaeologia Cambrensis 97 (1943). Tree-ring dating commissioned by RCAHMW and reported in Vernacular Architecture 38 (2007) with notes by R Suggett, Daniel Miles, Margaret Dunn:

12. LLANFROTHEN, Parc (Park)
(a). Principal House (House 4) (SH 6268 4395) Felling dates: Summer 1660; Spring 1668; Winter 1669/70
(b). Subsidiary House (House 3) (SH 6273 4396) Felling date: Winter 1654/5
(c). Gatehouse: Gatws (SH 6282 4402) Felling dates: Winter 1617/18
(a) Collars 1669(52C), 1650(30), 1619(1); Principal rafters (4/5) 1667(58¼C), 1644(23+21 NM), 1633(17), 1620(8+44 NM); Queen strut 1659(37½C); Purlin (0/1); (b) Transverse beams (0/1) 1654(36C); Lintel 1583; (c) Principal rafters 1617(50C), 1614(53); Purlin 1588(h/s); Collar (0/1); Transverse beam (0/1). Site Master 1386-1669 BDGLRT22 (t = 11.8 WALES97; 11.2 BDGLRT8; 10.7 BDGLRT17)
Parc (Park) is the classic example of the unit-system, as described by Hemp and Gresham, Archaeologia Cambrensis 97 (1943), 98-112. Sampling was undertaken to establish the relative phasing of the group as a preliminary to future reinterpretation. As it stands (using Hemp and Gresham's numbering) the buildings in chronological sequence are. House 1 (16th century demolished); the Gatehouse (1617/18); House 3 (1654/5) set corner to corner with House 2 (ruined and possibly earlier); House 4 with the date inscription 1671 (last dendro date 1669/70). The great barn and the cow-house remain to be sampled. (R.F.Suggett/RCAHMW/July 2007)

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