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Maesllwch Castle

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Map ReferenceSO14SE
Grid ReferenceSO1730040300
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPowys
Old CountyRadnorshire
PeriodPost Medieval

Built for Walter Wilkins by Robert Lugar (1773-1855). Designs Exhibited at Royal Academy 1841. [Additional:] Subsequent additions, alterations and demolitions, with a description of the surviving exterior, noted in the listing. (RFS/2001)

[Additional:] Maesllwch has been one of the important Radnorshire estates since the C16th. There have been at least three houses associated with different families on the same site. The elevated, probably medieval siting of the C16th house above Cwm-bach and overlooking the Wye was used to great advantage by Luger for his romantic and impressive castle-house. The phases in summary are:
1. C16th house associated with the Vaughan family. The house has been completely destroyed but there is a late C16th inventory of the rooms of the house, probably of hall and cross-wing type, briefly cited in 'Houses and History in the March of Wales'.
2. Georgian house associated with the Howarth family. A splendid painting by Thomas Jones shows that the house was of the typical Brecon and Radnor gentry type: two-storeyed with hipped roofs and dormers. Maesllwch had a seven-bayed principal garden front with a five-bayed wing. The painting is illustrated in Thomas Jones: An Artist rediscovered, ed. Ann Sumner & Greg Smith (Yale, 2003), pp. 147-8. The house is there attributed to Humphrey Howarth, c. 1715, but the statement is not sourced.
3. Maesllwch Castle, the castle-house designed by Robert Luger for Walter de Witton in 1841, with dated additions of 1871 (the NE.batchelor tower) . The house was requisitioned during World War II and some buildings in the stable and service courtyards were altered. The house was not fully habitable after the war and the principal rooms of the S. elevation were demolished in the 1950s. The remainder remains an impressive residence that still retains Luger's spirited towerered and creneallated medievalising composition.

The house is set in parkland with pre-Victorian planting and a large walled garden. The approach from Maesyronnen has a modest C19th lodge; the approach from Cwm-back has an estate-built church at the entrance to the park. The church contains memorials to the de Winton family.

Private gasworks supplied the Castle and there is a surviving stone and brick house called Gas House Cottage, dating from about 1840. To the north-east of the house is an abandoned building of brick with a slate roof with large openings on its southern face. This was the Gas House, where gas was manufactured and to the southeast was the gasholder which stored the gas. Gas was manufactured to light the castle and estate from the mid-1800s. the gasworks were marked on the OS maps from 1889 to 1905. These gasworks were recorded as built by W.C. Holmes, gas engineer of Huddersfield for A. De Winton of Maesllwch Castle in his book of 1874.

Sources: the listing has a detailed description of the house with an account of the phasing. The entry in the register of parks and gardens has a contextualised account of the walled garden and other parkland features. Photographs in the NMRW show the house before and after the removal of the S. range. They include a photograph of a painting by J.M. Ince of Maesllwch castle from the SE. showing the house in its high-Victorian heydaycopyb R.F. Suggett/RCAHMW/October 2009.

Associated with:
Park/gardens (Nprn86245)
Stables (Nprn97802)
Supplementary stables (Nprn402408).