Conwy, the walled market town of North Wales is a firm favourite with our members and they were excited to be back.
Sitting in the shadow of 740 year old Conwy Castle (1283 and 1287), the medieval town of Conwy is known for its phenomenal historic interests and as something or everyone. We’ve been a good few times and it never fails to delight. Even when it lashes down with rain, you still have places to go and see.
We ventured to Plas Mawr (English: Great Hall), which is an Elizabethan townhouse dating from the 16th century (1576 and 1585) and stands in the heart of Conwy on the High Street. Plas Mawr is an architectural gem, said to be the finest surviving town house of the Elizabethan era to be found anywhere in Britain. It’s a great place to visit and it’s like going back in time, as the building is pretty much as it was over 400 years ago.
The whole building has been wonderfully restored and staged to show the life of the wealthy merchant, Robert Wynn, who built it in the 1570s.
With the plain white facade and with little to entice you in, we couldn’t have been more surprised when we went inside. The fine interior rooms from wood panelling to fancy plaster-work and colour which is truly magnificent. And the probs and original fixtures and fixings just transport you back in time.
The furniture and the decorations from the time tell a fascinating story, and all the painted heraldic emblems and fanciful figures are very intriguing especially all the severed heads! They are associated with the family of his wife, Dorothy Griffin. The whole experience, especially getting the chance to dress up in Elizabethan clothes just added to the drama and the fun.
There were lots of rooms to explore and each with it’s own distinct style from a brewing room to an observatory as well as a court house garden. The staff were very engaging and happy to explain about the building or previous owners. We loved our visit and will definitely be back.
The Smallest House in Great Britain, also known as the Quay House (Welsh: Y Tŷ Lleiaf ym Mhrydain Fawr) is a one up, one down cottage measuring just 72 inches across, 122 inches high and 120 inches deep and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Built as an infill between two rows of cottages, it was lived in until May 1900 when it was condemned as being unfit for human habitation (this was before the housing crisis!). An interesting visit, but we’re not sure our members want to be moving in anytime soon.
The last tenant was a 6′ 3″ fisherman called Robert Jones. Quirkily, the owner at the time was another Robert Jones, who, in a bid to save the cottage toured the country with the editor of the local newspaper measuring every other small house to confirm that it was, indeed, the smallest house in the country. The Smallest House is still in the hands of Robert Jones’ family today.
We had a great day in Conwy and we will certainly be back.
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