Amis Reunis stone boat on the Quayside in front of the Hotel Portmeirion


20 August 2014

Portmeirion, Penrhyndeudraeth

SH 59051 37200; 52.91367°N, 4.09760°W


Aber Iâ was a modest estate on the Penrhyndeudraeth peninsula, on Traeth Bach, the tidal estuary of the rivers Afon Glaslyn and Aber Dwyryd, 2 miles south east of Porthmadog. Its Victorian country house was built around 1840.

The estate was purchased in 1925 by architect Clough Williams-Ellis (1883 – 1978) from his uncle Sir Arthur Osmond Williams. Williams-Ellis renamed the site Portmeirion and embarked upon what was to become a 50-year project to create a compact coastal resort village 5 miles south west of his Plas Brondanw family home. The former Aber Iâ mansion was renovated and opened as a hotel in 1926. Development of the village, inspired by the Italian riviera, took place in two phases: from 1925 to 1939 and then from 1954 to 1976. 28 hectares of forest, known as Y Gwyllt, around the village were purchased in 1940.

Made famous by the 1967 Patrick McGoohan cult television series The Prisoner, Portmeirion is owned by the Clough Williams-Ellis Foundation charity and its cottages, which are all Grade II listed buildings, serve as hotel and self-catering accommodation. The village itself is also open to the public for day visits.

Further Reading

Portmeirion (Wikipedia);
Portmeirion Village (Official Site)