Villa Marina, Llandudno

Villa Marina with the Little Orme in the background

Villa Marina with the Little Orme in the background

Date

13 February 2016

Location

Colwyn Road, Craigside, Llandudno
SH 80573 82225; 53.32342°N, 3.79449°W

Information

Villa Marina, for a time also known as Condover House, is a Grade II* listed building in Craigside on Llandudno’s North Shore Beach. The house was designed by Birmingham architect Harold “Harry” William Weedon (1887-1970) for his friend Birmingham cake millionaire John Henry “Harry” Scribbans (1877-1935). Completed around 1936 for £30,000, the house was designed in International Modern style and has an ocean-liner theme with its balconies with ships’ rails and its large rectangular chimneys evoking ships’ funnels. The property has since been a hotel and also a holiday rest home. It was renovated in 2008, sold in 2012 for around £650,000 and is now privately owned.

Weedon’s practice, which he had originally founded in 1912, was in the 1930s appointed by Birmingham entrepreneur Oscar Deutsch (1893-1941) to oversee the Art Deco designs of his Odeon chain of cinemas. It was in this period that Weedon’s practice was commissioned for Villa Marina, which he himself designed. Following World War II, the Weedon Partnership, as it had become, concentrated on designs for industrial facilities and from the 1950s was responsible for all major redevelopments at the then British Motor Corporation’s Longbridge plant. The practice is today known as Weedon Architects.

Harry Scribbans of Scribbans-Kemp Bakeries, which was acquired by Lyons in 1968, started out as a baker’s boy and ended up leaving an estate of £2.5 million. He owned the 18th-century Little Aston Hall in Staffordshire and with his wife Ada (c1881-1953) used to go to Llandudno on holiday. Villa Marina was to be their new holiday home, but he died before it was completed. Ada, however, disliked the house and sold the property for a mere £5,000 – a fraction of its cost – at a dinner party in Llandudno’s St George’s Hotel to a Uttoxeter concrete manufacturer. In 1945 Ada married Lieutenant Colonel Thomas South of Llandudno, whom she had met through golf, in the process renouncing her inheritance – Scribbans’ will provided her with the interest on £1 million, provided she remained a widow.

Further Reading

Condover House (formerly Villa Marina), Llandudno (British Listed Buildings)

Villa Marina

Villa Marina

Villa Marina

Villa Marina

Villa Marina

Villa Marina

Villa Marina

Villa Marina from North Shore Beach. The gazebo and sea wall have Grade II listed status separate from the house. The retaining wall was built to reclaim ground between the house and the beach and the drum under the gazebo was designed to incorporate changing rooms.

Villa Marina

Villa Marina

Villa Marina

Villa Marina

Villa Marina

Villa Marina

22 thoughts on “Villa Marina, Llandudno

    • I own the 1934 Rolls Royce 20/25 built by Atcherley coachbuilders of Birmingham. John “Harry” Scribbans designed, and bought it for his Wife ADA Scribbans, she used it to drive to Llandudno during the building of “Villa Marina”. The Rolls Royce is still in magnificent condition, and like “Villa Marina” it is strongly influenced by the Art deco period, especially the interior. The registration number is ADA888, She owned it until she died in 1954, I really should drive it down there, and have a photo of it taken outside the “Villa Marina”. There are photos of the car on my website http://www.classic-car-london.com

      Liked by 2 people

      • I am sure the owners of the house would gladly let you do this if you wrote and asked them, they are a lovely family. The car is parked outside the gates to protect the gates from the strong winds, the gates have now been replaced with gates much more tolerable to the weather. There are no staff at the house and all the upkeep of the house is undertaken by the family, it is as beautiful inside as it is outside. The family take very good care of their beautiful home.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Very interesting information you have gathered together here, Graham. There are a few fascinating houses/structures along the road here and you have done a great post about this one. Good to see so many people like the building- I loathe it but am glad that it is kept safe, the style seems to work well in industrial settings but for me, falls short in a “domestic” scale. Anyway, really excellent shots and a great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely art deco building. I used to clean flats just up the road from Villa Marina back in the 1970’s and would spend my tea breaks gazing at it. We have a 1930’s Plaza Cinema here in Stockport which has been beautifully preserved.

    Liked by 1 person

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