Plas Brondanw history

The house, which was built around 1550 and altered in 1660, was abandoned by the family on Clough's grandfather's death. "This house had never been deflowered by restoration or improvement. It had, however, suffered a good deal by being divided up into tenements when the local slate quarries were booming, as also from neglect."

Clough's improvements began in 1908 when he took responsibility for Brondanw: "One begins staidly with a new kitchen range and a bathroom, and yet, in a little while, one finds oneself building terraces, orangeries, triumphal arches and planning further works of almost equal urgency."

In the 1930s, the tall house, already tied back to the hill by long railway irons,  was tilting even more dangerously and Clough designed a buttress four stories high to hold it back.  This reaches up to the roof, straddles the terrace along the base of the house and  provides three extra rooms inside, see photo opposite below. The visitor to the gardens will be likely to walk though its arches. 

In 1951, a disastrous fire swept through the Plas.  The exterior, thanks to the massively thick walls, was left intact and two years later reconstruction was finished and it could be lived in again. Several Country Life articles, reproduced in our Library with the kind permission of Country Life, give wonderful details of Plas Brondanw before and after the fire.

Plas Brondanw 1931

Clough Williams-Ellis
Plas Brondanw gable 1961