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The Close, Llanfairfechan

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Map ReferenceSH67SE
Grid ReferenceSH6844174731
Unitary (Local) AuthorityConwy
Old CountyCaernarfonshire
The Close is an estate of houses designed by the outstanding Arts and Crafts architect Herbert Luck North (1871-1941), who lived and worked in Llanfairfechan from c.1901. It was built on land owned by the North family and was developed gradually over North's working life. The sloping site above Llanfairfechan faces north-west towards Anglesey, and is laid out informally, served by a narrow lane meandering up the hill before returning in a loop to the village.

The earliest houses are at the bottom of the site, parallel with the village high street; these four (Nos. 5-7 and No.1) were built before the First World War. After the war the estate expanded up the hill, with a group of three small double-gabled houses built in 1922 (Nos. 2-4) and, opposite, a group of seven slightly larger gabled houses with verandas, built in 1925 (Nos. 8-13 and 16). The top of the site was developed from 1926 to 1940, and just one house (No. 20) was designed after North's death by P. M. Padmore, his partner (and son-in-law) since 1926. Further expansion was intended by North in the fields above his home and office in Penmaen Park, but the war postponed this; and planning permission was refused when Padmore later attempted to implement North's plan.

The houses were built mostly for specific clients; a few were speculative. North's own advertisement extolled the virtues of Snowdonia, the village's micro-climate, the `most lovely unspoilt views of Mountain and Sea? and its easy access from Liverpool, Manchester and the Midlands. The houses are `of picturesque design and sound construction? - roofs of graded Welsh slates, white roughcast walls, cottage-casement windows, steep gables, and all built sensibly and economically. Some have small detached garages, others stone outbuildings. Garden boundaries are traditional slate fences and beech hedges. Traditional features also appear inside the houses, such as exposed ceiling beams and fireplace inglenooks.

1 Northfield (1912)
2 Brooklands (1922) (NPRN 409681)
3 Coedfa (1922) (NPRN 409682)
4 The Haven (1922) (NPRN 409683)
5 Bolnhurst (1899) (NPRN 406858)
6 Ty?n Coed (Woodcot) (1903) (NPRN 409684)
7 Whylome (1907) (NPRN 409677)
8 Rose Lea (1925) (NPRN 409752)
9 Ty Hwnt yr Afon (1925) (NPRN 409755)
10 Hillcroft (Llys Hywel) (1925) (NPRN 409756)
11 Maes Aled (Cloud End) (1925) (NPRN 409749)
12 Parciau (Westernie) (1925) (NPRN 409750)
13 Araulfan (1925) (NPRN 409751)
14 Trewen (1931)
15 Efrydfa (1928)
16 Carreg Fran (Crowstones) (1925) (NPRN 409748)
17 Bryn Ffawydd (1928) (NPRN 409747)
18 Ael-y-gwynt (1936) (NPRN 406860)
19 Acorn Cottage (1940) (NPRN 96649)
20 Carreg Lwyd (post-1941, by Padmore) (NPRN 407664)
21 Hillcrest (1935)
22 Grey Gables (1928)
23 Dwyfor (1937)
24 Greenhills (1926)
25 Neuadd Wen (1926)

Names in brackets are the original house names.

Adam Voelcker, 29 October 2009.