28 March 2016
25 March 2016
Liberal politician Richard Bulkeley Williams Bulkeley (1801-1875) of Baron Hill, 10th Baronet Williams-Bulkeley of Penrhyn, built the Bulkeley Hotel in Beaumaris for a royal visit to the town in 1832 by the then Princess Victoria. He engaged architects Joseph Aloysius Hansom (1803-1882) – who later invented the Hansom safety cab – and Edward Welch (1806-1868) and construction commenced in 1829. Hansom, from York, and Welch, from Flintshire, had formed an architectural partnership in 1828 and at the time were also engaged on the renovation of Bodelwyddan Castle (1830-1832). Construction of the three-storey, neo-classical Bulkeley Hotel was completed in 1831. It was altered by Bangor architect Peter Shearson Gregory (b 1862) around 1899 and extended in the 1930s by Colwyn Bay architect Sidney Colwyn Foulkes (1884-1971). The hotel is a Grade I listed building.
19 March 2016
Plas Ty Coch is a Grade II listed early 19th century villa overlooking the Menai Strait on the north-eastern outskirts of Caernarfon. An associated tunnel, also Grade II listed, links the villa with farm buildings on the other side of Bangor Road and is dated 1807. The mansion may have been built around the same time and first appears on local maps in 1841. It was later divided into two separate properties – the main, square-plan villa, and the long service wing to the North East, the latter becoming known as Ty Coch Farmhouse.
In 1998 Ty Coch Farm was sold for £230,000. In 2000 local developer Chris Goalen had plans to convert the villa into a 10-bedroom hotel and 30-seat restaurant. This was part of a wider scheme to develop both Ty Coch and the adjoining Plas Brereton estate, in which Plas Brereton manor would have been converted into a seven-bedroom hotel and a 96-seat restaurant, outbuildings would have been converted and extended for use as a fitness centre and swimming pool, and the private dock and former dock keeper’s house (‘Beach Cottage’) would also have been restored. Goalen’s plans never came to fruition though and the property together with the nearby Plas Brereton farmhouse were offered for sale in 2008 for £3.95 million. Plas Coch has, however, since remained empty with its condition steadily deteriorating. Its most recent owners, Somerset-based Menai Strait Properties, was voluntarily dissolved in June 2015.
19 March 2016
Plas Brereton is a 19th century villa overlooking the Menai Strait on the north-eastern outskirts of Caernarfon. The villa is set in an 11-acre estate which also contains a lodge, a former stable block, a former dairy, other outbuildings and a private dock and dock keeper’s house. The manor house was built around 1820 and was owned by the family of High Sheriff of Carnarvonshire Thomas Turner (c 1811-1873). Turner was a magistrate and served as Mayor of Caernarfon from 1846 to 1848. He also had a wine merchants’ business, Messrs Turner & co., and was agent for the Vaynol Estate. In the latter capacity he supervised Dinorwic Quarry and it was during a visit to the quarry that, falling over some rails, he sustained a spinal injury that was ultimately to lead to his death.
Plas Brereton was put up for sale by public auction in 1896, when it was described as being “in a good position, and would make a capital residence for a gentleman who has inclinations for a rural life, but whose profession compels him to spend a portion of the day at an office in a town.” It was bought for £8,270 by a Miss Turner, who then put it up for sale in 11 separate lots.
More recently, in 2000 local developer Chris Goalen had joint regeneration plans for Plas Brereton estate together with the adjacent Plas Ty Coch. Plas Brereton villa would have been converted into a seven-bedroom hotel and 96-seat restaurant. Outbuildings would have become a fitness centre and swimming pool. And the private dock and former dock keeper’s house would also have been restored. The proposed development scheme did not, however, come to fruition.
In 2008 the then owners Cheshire-based Dowhill Developments Ltd were also granted planning permission to convert the main house into a boutique hotel with an associated spa, gym and swimming pool.
A 26 ft static caravan situated next to the villa burnt down to the ground in 2012. The couple who had been allowed to stay in the caravan in return for watching over the property only narrowly escaped from the blaze.
In 2013 the estate was put up for sale by public auction administered by Manchester-based asset-recovery group Winterhill Largo. The property was purchased for £591,146 by London-based developers Cabot Park Ltd.
In October 2015 Cabot Park obtained planning consent, based on designs created by Llanfairpwll-based DEWIS Architecture, to convert the villa into a nine-bedroom boutique hotel, to build a single-storey extension for a 120-seat restaurant, and to convert existing outbuildings and construct new buildings to create a total of 18 self-catering holiday units. It was then announced that the developers were embarking upon their search for potential operators to run the proposed facilities.