Plas Newyyd

After a glorious hot and sunny day on Tuesday, we woke up on Wednesday to grey skies. We’d planned to visit the National Trust Property, Plas Newyyd, near Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch and only a short drive away from our holiday apartment.  The house is in a stunning location on the banks of the Menai Straights with, on a clear day, views over to Snowdonia.

A bit grey today

The house dates from 1470, although there have been substantial modifications since then, and, until it was handed over to the National Trust, it was the seat of the Marquesses of Anglesey. However, they must have made a “sweetheart” deal with the NT as the current Marquess’ son and his wife live there in private apartments.

The National Trust website tells us that

Plas Newydd belongs to the early 19th century and the ‘cult of styles’, cheerfully mixing Neo-classical and picturesque Gothick……. the interior is mainly Neo-classical with very good examples of late 18th-century Gothick work in the hall and music room

Although we didn’t realise it until we’d arrived, the house is currently undergoing a large scale refit (reservicing) that will see the replacement of the majority of its mechanical services including heating, electrical, and other essential systems – many of which were first installed during the 1930s. This means that it isn’t possible to visit many of the rooms I saw during my visit last year and some of the rooms that were accessible had been stripped of their contents or had some, or all of the furnishings covered to protect them from the ongoing works.

The Duke’s library and study, with it’s messy contents, was still open, although we were told that it’s intended to remove them in the near future. Taking out the contents, cataloguing and then putting them back in exactly the same places is going to be one hell of a job!


The NT have done their best to keep the house open and have actually made the reservicing a feature of the tour, which I personally found interesting. They even had a display about the removal of asbestos, including a mock up of an enclosure and a mannequin dressed up in the personal protective equipment the asbestos strippers (that’s the people who strip out the asbestos in case the word conjured up a different meaning in your mind!).

The most interesting room in the house is the dining room where one wall is covered by a large mural created by the artist Rex Whistler in the 1930’s. This was still accessible so we could view the mural, but the furnishings had been removed.

The mural is a trompe-l’oeil seascape painting of an imagined scene of Snowdonian mountains, Italianate churches, castles, and a harbour. There are many tricks of perspective which result in various elements of the painting appearing to change when seen from different parts of the room.

It was impossible to get a photograph of the whole of the mural, so here’s one from Wikipedia

Rex Whistler - Dining Room Mural - Capriccio - Plas Newydd.jpg

After looking round the house and an obligatory visit to the cafe for a brew, we had a wander round the grounds. First we visited the formal gardens


Afterwards we had a walk through the woodland the skirts the Menai Straits to the Rhododendron Gardens.


Unfortunately it was too late in the year to see the Rhodedendra in bloom, but it allowed us to stretch our legs.

We treated ourselves to an ice cream and then, avoiding the wasps attracted by them, made our way back to the car park, stopping off to admire the wild flower gardens with their colourful display of poppies, cornflowers, daisies and other native species.


12 thoughts on “Plas Newyyd

    • Crossing the Britannia bridge, look one way there’s the Menai suspension bridge, loom the er and there’s Plas Newydd. (Have to keep eyes on the road, mind!)

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