14 Nov 2012

Plas Newydd (New Hall), Llangollen, Wales. The garden and grounds

As you can see, the frontage of Plas Newydd is very different from the back of the house. The design styles of the formal and informal gardens reflect this and both areas are very interesting to walk and sit in. 

I wish that I had had more time to explore the woodland walks at the back of the house where the Ladies would have spent time and on occasions taken their many guests who called to see them... Robert Southey, Richard Sheridan, Josiah Wedgewood, Sir Humphrey Davy, Mrs. Piozzi (friend of Samuel Johnson).  William Wordsworth and his family took tea with them in 1824 and sent them a poem composed in the grounds.

This is Lady Eleanor's Bower at the back of the house which overlooks the valley through which the Cyflymen stream flows.  Here the Ladies built wooden bridges, planted trees and set up antiquarian stone objects that they had collected, influenced by the picturesque and romantic ideals of the day.

On the edge of the woods there are some more formal areas with striking features such as a viewing tower and iron lions.

In the Ladies' time the area was still meadowland where their cows grazed.  There was a shrubbery behind the house planted with lilac, syringa and white broom with borders of roses and banks of woodland flowers as well as a fruit and vegetable garden.

Although the gardens and grounds of Plas Newydd have been altered since the Ladies lived there it has been possible to recreate the character of the place using the archaeological survey, water- colours painted in the early 19th century and the Ladies' own diaries.

What caught my eye was this bird table and I was interested to see an illustration of a water-colour painting of the era included on an information plaque nearby.  I wonder if it is the original  structure?  In any case, it creates the romanticism that the Ladies would have enjoyed in their rural retreat.

This is the little dairy.

It was interesting looking through the windows to see the dairy equipment...

and amusing to look straight through one of them and see the inside of the door....

and also look through the window in the door to the opposite window.

Nearby is a beautiful wrought iron gate.


  1. the front and back almost look like two different homes. i love Eleanor's bower, the gate and the fence that are with it. the stone bridge is awesome. a great place to wander and snap, even through the windows like you did.

  2. The story of the Ladies is fascinating. What a treat to walk in the gardens and peak in the windows.

  3. I'm writing here because I have lost your email.
    Sorry to hear you are having eye sight problems, not fun at all.
    Thanks for coming by and visiting me at Delights of the Heart.
    I always love to see you there.

  4. An interesting post and I spotted a fence I love, very rustic.

  5. Beautiful. The house architecture is very interesting.