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Georgian face of Gwerclas Hall.

Byline: By Marsya Lennox

A house has stood on the site of Gwerclas Hall near Corwen in Denbighshire for at least 400 years. The Grade ll* listed property of today, however, dates mainly to 1767 and an impressive rebuild for the owner of the time, H. Hughes Lloyd and his wife Margaret.

George III was on the throne and it was an era of changing tastes in property, affecting whole towns as well as country seats.

Where there was money to spare, landowners set about embracing the fashion for smart brick and clean symmetry, sometimes clearing the past to achieve conspicuous property status.

At Gwerclas Hall, the fine main faiade pinpoints the Georgian upgrade with its three bay frontage, central pedimented porch entrance and photogenic, multi-paned windows varied on each of the full three storeys.

Perfectly placed above the main door is the commemorative plaque bearing some beautiful, painted relief with the initials of the 18th century improvers and the build date.

It bears the words: 'Heb Dduw, Heb Ddim, Duw a Digon' - Without God, without anything, God is enough.'

It's a worthy sentiment but it seems that the Lloyds wantedtemporal trappings too, this elegant new house probably a display of their power and wealth, suggest the selling agents.

Now flanked by two, subordinate wings, the central portion of the house is unusual for its extra height, with an attic level topping the main accommodation, and cellarage forming a fourth storey.

The back of the house tells a different story in its elevations of natural local stone, much more in tune with the vernacular of this area, still dotted with its once fortified farmhouses.

And one could guess that the older, original house on the site set the style for the 'modern' Georgian mansion, even that it survives in part in these tall but plainer, aged-looking portions.

Part of the architectural jigsaw and more hints at the long occupation of the site can be seen in the traditional outbuildings.There is a stone barn, formerly stables and a picturesque courtyard of two storey and single storey structures, currently used for storage, details including arrow slit openings and lovely old stone work.

Lending more classical formality at the front are the Venetian windows to the first floor level, echoed in the lower fenestration and the wide wings.

There are some lovely details from the diaper pattern flags of the reception hall to the fluted pilasters and moulded ceiling work.

An open well staircase in oak links all four floors with an interesting combination of hall levels, providing temptation to stop and look at the views.

And the views in this part of the Upper Dee Valley are hard to beat, taking in the dramatic Berwyn range at practically every turn.

Corwen with its range of local shops is two and a half miles away. Llangollen is about 12 miles, Wrexham 22 and Chester 31 with decent links to Shrewsbury.

The spreading ground floor level provides four main reception rooms including the drawing room with timber flooring, window seat and Adam-style fireplace There is a kitchen with fitted storage and slate flooring with access to back stairs. A breakfast room retains the former ovens and original meat hooks and a back hall leads to the flower room, utility, former dairy with inglenook fireplace, the old salting room with its slate table and a larder.

There are no fewer than eight bedrooms on the next storey, details including oak flooring, fireplaces and three bathrooms.

The uppermost level provides a gallery with fireplace, further storage and another large bedroom with fireplace. The attic level provides a whole run of bonus space, three more large rooms Attached to Gwerclas Hall is a two storey, two bedroom cottage with both en suite shower and bathroom.

Savills West Midlands office, joint agents with Strutt & Parker in Chester expect offers around pounds 1.25 million for Gwerclas Hall with its 6.6 acres of gardens grounds and woodland.

Special outside features include formal areas with clipped holly and yew, wide lawns, a brick gazebo, a mixed broadleaf bluebell wood and a former, spring-fed reservoir.

Details from either 01952 239500 or 01244 220500

CAPTION(S):

The Georgian face of Gwerclas Hall in Denbighshire, largely rebuilt for its wealthy owners in 1767 on the site of a much earlier property. The guide price for the Grade ll* listed property is pounds 1.25 million to include more than six acres; The stone-built rear of Gwerclas Hall with the Berwyn range beyond. Attached to the main house is a two bedroom cottage; The main hall showing the main oak staircase and a traditional glimpse of garden
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 12, 2005
Words:775
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