In a town blessed with a wealth of historic houses, Plas Mawr reigns supreme. Conwy, enclosed within a ring of 13th century walls and protected by a mighty castle, is one of the world’s finest medieval towns.
In the narrow streets at its heart stands Plas Mawr, the ‘Great Hall’, built between 1576 and 1585 for the influential Welsh merchant, Robert Wynn.
The tall, lime rendered walls reflect the status of its builder as does its richly decorated interior. But do not let this rugged exterior deceive you, for within it is rich in ornamentation.
Plas Mawr is an architectural gem, the finest surviving town house of the Elizabethan era to be found anywhere in Britain.
It stands as a symbol of a prosperous, buoyant age, epitomised by the style and taste of Robert Wynn, a remarkable and well-travelled courtier and trader who rose to pre-eminence amongst the Welsh gentry. Wynn’s ‘worthy plentiful house’ is especially noted for the quality and quantity of its ornamental plasterwork, now fully restored to its original splendour (look out for the many initials ‘R. W.’ in its crests and coats of arms).
Particularly exquisite is the plaster overmantel in the hall, repainted in its vivid original colours, which immediately proclaimed Wynn’s wealth and status. Other riches in this noble dwelling include the glorious decorated plasterwork ceilings and friezes and skilful carpentry.
Plas Mawr’s authentic period atmosphere is further enhanced by furnishings (many original to the house) based on an inventory of the contents in 1665. Visitors can take an audio-tour of the house which describes the restoration and the life of the Tudor gentry (not just Wynn’s generous entertaining and feasting, but also the work of the servants which underpinned such a lavish lifestyle).
To mark the 400th anniversary of Wynn’s death in 1598, Cadw plan to re-create the Elizabethan garden around the house.
Photos:- Right:- the Great Hall. Left:- the kitchen
Access:- Conwy by A55 or B5106 – Railway:- Conwy.