Georgian architecture and style that harks back to a different age - but pounds 6.5m mansion is just five years old; OWNER WILL STICK TO ASKING PRICE FOR GRAND PROPERTY.
Byline: DARREN DEVINE
FROM the vast vaulted ceiling of its reception room to its classically columned facade, Parc Maes Ffynnon echoes the most impressive elements of Georgian architecture.
And with its grand double staircase beneath a domed glass cupola cupola /cu·po·la/ (koo´pah-lah) cupula.
A cup-shaped or domelike structure.
cupula. it might have been designed almost 300 years ago to satisfy the Welsh gentility's appetite for regal surroundings. But the grand Monmouthshire manor is in fact just five years old - and may just be the most expensive home in Wales Wales, Welsh Cymru, western peninsula and political division (principality) of Great Britain (1991 pop. 2,798,200), 8,016 sq mi (20,761 sq km), west of England; politically united with England since 1536. The capital is Cardiff. , having gone up for sale for pounds 6.5m. The house, which comes with its own swimming pool, was built near Chepstow for property developer owners Brian and Marlene Lewis, who had always dreamed of creating a grand manor resplendent re·splen·dent
Splendid or dazzling in appearance; brilliant.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin resplend in sumptuous parkland. Now, after seeing their vision realised, the couple are ready to sell up.
Mr Lewis, who also runs his firm the Lewis Group with daughter Melanie Hall and son Guy, now plans to construct another Georgian-style mansion after leaving his current home - which he suggests cost pounds 4.5m to build.
He added: "If I can find a piece of land I'll build another one slightly smaller in the Chepstow area."
Some of Wales' most notable heritage properties, such as Llanerchydol Hall in Powys and Grade II*-listed Plas Rhianfa in Beaumaris, Anglesey, saw their values tumble in the recession.
But Mr Lewis, who before setting up his property outfit ran a Cwmbran-based car battery manufacturer, indicated he won't budge much on the price despite the sluggish market.
He added: "If I don't get my price I won't sell it, but I think it's such a unique house.
"You could have someone from London commuting down here in under an hour with a decent helicopter."
The house, which along with its outbuildings covers 20,000sq ft, sits near the top of Wentwood ridge in 266 acres at the end of a half-mile driveway behind two gated entrances.
Of the seven-bedroom house's parkland there is around 10 acres of drive, formal gardens and paddock, while the remaining 256 acres are let on a farm tenancy. It is being marketed by estate agents Parrys. Nigel Jones, a director of south and west Wales West Wales is the western area of Wales bordered by South Wales to the east. The area is loosely-defined, but is generally considered to include Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, southern areas of Ceredigion, and sometimes the city of Swansea, . estate agents John Francis John Francis may refer to:
Mr Jones said: "It certainly wouldn't be that price down in West Wales, but it's all about location, location, location Location, Location, Location is a popular Channel 4 property programme, presented by Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer. The reality show follows two real estate experts as they try to find the perfect home for a different set of buyers each week. It first aired in May 2001. and it's close to the motorway for getting up into the Midlands and Bristol and it has the land with it as well, so it ticks a lot of boxes.
"How close they'll get to pounds 6.5m time will tell. At that level you're always at the periphery as to how many people are looking.
"Having said that there's probably a limited number of properties of that stature if someone wants to invest in some agricultural land and a bit of an estate."
Meanwhile, Malcolm Parry C. Malcolm Parry (born in Blaenavon) is a Welsh architect, professor emeritus, and popular broadcaster.
Parry was formerly the Head of the School of Architecture at Cardiff University. , 73, a former head of Cardiff University's School of Architecture, said he found the tendency to attempt to mirror architectural styles of the past "terribly disappointing".
Mr Parry, who has not seen the Lewises' home, said: "What people seem to want is something which tells us about the buildings of the past.
"It's a very curious thing that people seem to want to live as people lived in the past. People very rarely seem to ask themselves in the UK about what it might be like to live in the future. It always seems to me terribly, terribly disappointing that people want to do that."
But Mark Baker, an expert on the history of the Welsh country home, says evoking the best of the past does not indicate a lack of confidence to attempt something equally beautiful in a modern style.
National Trust conservationist Mr Baker, 26, who is doing a PhD on Welsh country house architecture, said: "It reflects that we're dissatisfied with modern architecture. We're very nostalgic about buildings in Britain because I don't think a lot of what has been produced satisfies aesthetic needs.
"Eighteenth and early 19th century design seems to have been one of the peaks, especially in Wales. We got some of the most fantastic Georgian buildings and people continuously reference them in modern architecture or try to replicate them.
"So I don't know whether it's lack of confidence - I just think the alternatives are limited."
* Parc Maes Ffynnon boasts a swimming pool, sweeping staircase, huge kitchen and acres of ground, will set a buyer back around pounds 6.5m * Parc Maes Ffynnon, the miniature country estate which is secluded towards the top of a ridge amid some 266 acres of fine pasture and woodland near Chepstow