Never was a building better named. Plas Mawr, or the Great Hall, is quite simply the finest surviving Elizabethan town house anywhere in Britain.
This was a golden age when fabulously wealthy merchants invested in mansions, rich fittings and lavish entertaining. Robert Wynn, third son of a local landowner, wanted a piece of the action.
He entered the service of Tudor diplomats and travelled to the most splendid royal courts of Europe. His fortune made, he bought a mansion house in Conwy for £200 and between 1576 and 1585 turned it into a celebration of his life, times and wealth.
The house’s main frontage is discreetly hidden away in a steep narrow lane. So the High Street gatehouse only hints at the grandeur within, as you rise via a series of terraces to explore 17 impressive rooms.
You won’t have to look far for clues about its creator. Wynn’s initials – R.W. – can be found all over Plas Mawr’s vividly painted ornamental plasterwork.
Over the centuries it became a courthouse, a school and even an art gallery. Perhaps this continual use enabled it to remain so miraculously intact. Four years of painstaking restoration have recreated the Elizabethan garden and returned all the light-filled rooms to their original glory.
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