CADW Listed Building Database Record For more information about records from Cadw:

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Plas Carew
Unit 5/7 Cefn Coed
Parc Nantgarw
Cardiff
CF15 7QQ

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Castle Hotel

Street Name and Number: High Street,
Listed Building Reference: 3301
Grade: II
Date Listed: 06/05/1976
Date Amended: 05/05/2006
Co-ordinates: 278151,377591
Locality: Walled town
Community: Conwy
Council: Conwy
National Park: No

Location
A large building fronting the street opposite Llewelyn Street.

History
A building in 3 sections. The earliest part is at the downhill end, which is said to incorporate a former C16 house, later converted to a public house. The central section is C19. The whole building was remodelled as a hotel in 1885 by Douglas & Fordham, architects of Chester. Douglas added a new section at the uphill end, and provided a new façade for the existing section, and for the separate public house. The building is shown in this form on the 1889 Ordnance Survey.

Interior
The entrance vestibule has a decorative tile floor and panelled dado. Half-glazed doors, framed by side lights and overlight, lead into the entrance hall. This incorporates 2 fixed painted panels signed 'JDW 1891', and in the style of Burne Jones. The hall leads to an axial corridor in the uphill section, at the upper end of which is a full-height open-well stair with plain balusters and wreathed handrail. On the 1st and 2nd floors the uphill section has axial corridors with panel doors to the rooms. Rooms in the central section are at a slightly lower level.

Exterior
A large Renaissance-style hotel built in 3 distinct sections, forming a long and asymmetrical front. At the downhill (L) end is a 1-bay, 3-storey former public house, then a central 4-bay 3-storey section under the same roof line and also adapted from an earlier building. At the uphill (R) end is the higher 1885 section, of 3 storeys and attic, and 3 bays. The front is faced in random small pieces of broken limestone to reproduce a flint-like effect, and has moulded brick dressings, bands and quoin with stone to entrance feature. The roof is slate. The R-hand section has a mansard roof to the front slope with 3 stone stacks, brick stack to the L and a further 2 stone stacks to the rear slope. The central and lower sections each have a brick stack on the L side. The main entrance is in the L-hand bay of the uphill section,and has a 2-storey porch in ashlar red sandstone. It has engaged columns with strapwork above the bases and on the capitals. The doorway, with ovolo-moulded surround, has a keyed round arch and recessed panel doors under a wood-framed radial fanlight. The cornice incorporates relief foliage above the keystone, and above the columns are sculpted shield-bearing lions. Side walls have round-headed openings. The 1st floor mullioned window incorporates an oriel between outer single lights with flat ogee heads. The corbelling of the oriel incorporates a foliage frieze. The parapet has relief strapwork above the oriel, and above the outer lights 'Castle Hotel' in raised letters. All other main windows are in moulded brick surrounds and incorporate flat ogee-headed lights and ovolo-moulded mullions and transoms, and are under moulded cornices. Second floor windows have relief cresting incorporating fleur-de-lis. In the entrance bay is a 3-light 2nd floor window under a Dutch gable with pinnacles. The 2nd bay of the uphill section has a shallow full-height bay window, narrower in the 2nd floor, with 4-light mullioned and transomed windows to ground and 1st floors, 3-light 2nd floor window under a Dutch gable. Between ground and first floors is a moulded brick strapwork panel incorporating the mirrored letter C and borough seals. The R-hand bay has a 2-storey canted bay window with 3-light mullioned and transomed windows, shorter to the 1st floor, and coped parapet with relief strapwork, and retaining one ball finial. The 2nd floor has a 3-light window under a Dutch gable, brought forward in the same manner as in the 2nd bay. Four flat roof dormers have small-pane windows. The 4-bay asymmetrical central section has window details similar to the upper section. The bays differ in detail, but all have 2-light 2nd floor windows beneath the eaves. In its 1st bay at the downhill end, is an elliptical passage arch in red sandstone ashlar. The 1st floor has a cross window which, like the 2nd floor window above it, has 4-centred lights instead of the ogee heads on the other windows. The 2nd bay has a 2-storey canted bay window with 4-light mullioned and transomed windows, shorter in the 1st floor. It has a parapet with strapwork and pointed ball finials. In the 3rd bay is a ground-floor cross window under fleur-de-lis cresting, and another cross window to the 1st floor. In the 4th bay is a 3-light mullioned and transomed canted bay window under a parapet with strapwork and ball finials. The 1st floor has a 3-light mullioned and transomed window. At the downhill end is a replacement C20 commercial front in the lower storey, framed by pilasters with end brackets and moulded cornice. It has a glazed door on the R, a 3-light window in the centre, and a former doorway to the L now a window. Openings have overlights and lights above transom, a later arched fascia, and a panelled stallboard. In the 1st floor an oriel window has a 2-light casement below the transom, above which is wood-mullioned small-pane glazing. The 2nd floor window has a freestone moulded sill. Its 4-light small-pane window has a broader central wooden mullion incorporating a bracket below a timber-framed gable with flower petals in pargetting. The gable has barge boards and finial. The R gable end of the uphill section faces the passage to the churchyard and is pebble-dashed. It has superimposed 12-pane hornless sash windows lighting the stair. On the R, in the ground floor is a tripartite hornless sash window with 2-pane sash window to its R. The 1st and 2nd floors have 12-pane sash windows to the R side, which in the 1st floor is flanked by small 2-pane sashes. The rear is more altered. The uphill section has small-pane sash windows and replacement windows in earlier openings, and a large added small-pane dormer on the L side. Also on its L side is a lower 2-storey L-shaped rear wing of cream-painted roughcast, with 3-window elevation to a small courtyard. It has sash windows and half-glazed escape door and stair. A large stack is in the angle. The gable end of the projecting section has double garage boarded doors with strap hinges, one also with louvres. Its 4-window rear wall faces the passage to the churchyard, of rubble stone and with a hipped roof to the angle. It has a 4-pane horned sash window and window to the R with gauze and thick wooden mullion and transom. The upper storey has three 12-pane horned sash windows in brick surrounds, and a further 4-pane horned sash window on the R side. The central section has sash windows and replacement windows to the R and above an added 2½-storey gabled projection with modern detail. The wall is slate-hung above the passage at the downhill end. Inside the passage, of cream-painted scribed roughcast, are replacement half-glazed doors. The downhill section is rubble stone and gabled, with external stack of 2 phases of brickwork above a pebble-dashed lower section. It is flanked by 4-pane sash windows and replacement window in brick surround. A 1½-storey wing has a 12-pane hornless sash window in the gable under a concrete lintel, and has a lean-to below. The side wall has a boarded door, and the main gabled section sash windows.

Reason for Listing
Listed for its special architectural interest as a C19 commercial building, with earlier origins, of definite character, with well-preserved and distinctive late C19 detail to the front, and for group value within the historical townscape.

References
Ordnance Survey, Caernarvonshire sheet IV.12, 1st edition 1889; Hubbard, Edward, The Work of John Douglas, 1991, pp 155, 254-5; RCAHM Wales, An Inventory of Ancient Monuments in Caernarvonshire, vol 1: East, 1956, pp 68-9.