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Thread: Baron Hill Mansion, Anglesey, North Wales, July 2020

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    Default Baron Hill Mansion, Anglesey, North Wales, July 2020


    1. The History
    Baron Hill Mansion lies parkland to the north of Beaumaris, Anglesey. The first house at Baron Hill was built by Sir Richard Bulkeley in 1618. During the English Civil War, Richard Bulkeley's successor, Colonel Thomas Bulkeley apparently invited King Charles I to take possession of the house and set up his court there. In the early eighteenth century the house was the seat of Richard Bulkeley, 4th Viscount Bulkeley who maintained Jacobite sympathies.

    An old drawing of the manor:



    2020-09-26_10-22-25 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The house was then reconstructed in 1776 by architect Samuel Wyatt in a Neo-Palladian style with its curved faÁade, terraces, follies, and balconies. Additionally, an icehouse in the gardens and a lodge house were also constructed. In the nineteenth century the occupants of Baron Hill remained the dominant Anglesey landowners, possessing estate also at Llanfairfechan and other parts of Caernarfonshire.

    Old map of the estate:

    2020-09-26_10-23-19 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Royal visitors in the shape of King Edward VII:

    2020-09-26_10-30-44 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    During World War I, death duties exhausted the family fortune and made it impossible for the family (by then known as the Williams-Bulkeleyís) to maintain the house. Like many large country houses during the Second World war, it was requisitioned by The Royal Engineers in 1939 and used as temporary housing for Polish soldiers. They found the home too cold and decided to start a fire within the mansion so they would be moved to new accommodation. The fire destroyed a large part of the interior and the soldiers achieved their aim and were removed from the house but only to tents in estateís grounds. The mansion was then abandoned afterwards and is still to this day.

    Post-second world war, the manor was a ruin:

    2020-09-26_10-29-58 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Baron Hill has been a Grade II Listed Structure since 1950. In August 2008, very ambitious plans were submitted to restore the house and turn it into luxury apartments, but predictably, nothing ever came to fruition.

    A couple of archive pictures of the mansion, back in the day:

    2020-09-26_09-25-35 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Baron-hill 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    2. The Explore
    If you are on Anglesey, like Porth Brickworks, this place is something of a rite of passage. Itís a well-trodden path to this place but it is no less enchanting because of that. Having parked up on the road and walked up the hill I came to the overbridge and up and round. Instead of heading in the direction of the house I first headed in the opposite direction, past the overgrown lodge in search of an icehouse Iíd found on the old maps. After a while I came across itís retaining wall and after a bit of a scramble I was up and in. It was a bit of the estate that most people donít see.

    Then it was on to the main attraction. Itís pretty much far gone but very photogenic (although, not easy to photograph). Spend the best part of an hour here and didnít see a soul.

    3. The Pictures

    Walking up the road to the overbridge:

    Baron Hill 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    First up is the lodge. Very overgrown and hard to photograph:

    Baron Hill 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Baron Hill 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Then on to the icehouse:

    img7830 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Baron Hill 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7831 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The back to the gardens of the main house:

    img7840 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Baron Hill 17 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And the stunning colonnade:

    Baron Hill 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Baron Hill 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The on to the servantís quarters:

    Baron Hill 12 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Baron Hill 11 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Baron Hill 10 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Baron Hill 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Baron Hill 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7851 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Then the main house itself:

    img7856 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7860 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7862 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7864 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7866 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7868 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7869 by HughieDW, on Flickr


    Possibly the only bit of original ceiling plaster left in the whole house:

    img7876 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Baron Hill 15 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7856 by HughieDW, on Flickr

  2. Thanks given by: andylen, dewdrop, etc100, Hugh Jorgan, Mearing, MrGruffy, NoseyGit, psykie, shane.c, verdigris
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  4. #2
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    Beautiful and fascinating

  5. Thanks given by: HughieD
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    Looking at before & after its unbelievable how things can go like this!
    What the hell am I doing, I mean really at my age!

  7. Thanks given by: HughieD
  8. #4
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    great pics and interesting history, shame to see it so degraded. The house is probably beyond repair, but a local volunteer group could rescue some of the gardens and the best of the architecture eg the colonnade....? obviously a long term project
    love the tea party, those hats !

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    Fascinating!
    How deep is the Icehouse?

  10. Thanks given by: HughieD
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    It's funny how the official report as to the cause of the fire has changed over the years - from a burning log falling out of an unattended grate, to an act of arson by Polish Troops. Cold as it may have been, Baron Hill was a Palace and a Haven when compared with what those Poles had just escaped from and been through.

    After the War many Poles went on to work in the Yorkshire Mines, and my home town of Doncaster had a largish Polish population. Three such families lived in our street and their stories made horrific listening!

  13. Thanks given by: verdigris
  14. #8
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    Another cracking report Mr D ... !! I have been saying it for years but when im next up there i need to take a day off from slate quarries to go do this .. !!

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