Penrhyn Castle is situated in Llandygai, Bangor here in Snowdonia. It’s one of those weird places where I keep passing but never stop to visit. On Saturday we decided to stop and charge the car up. We arrived at lunchtime so after a quick pit stop in the cafe, we headed off for a scout.
Brief History of Penrhyn Castle
Just to give you a very brief history, Penrhyn Castle isn’t actually a Castle. It’s a posh house which looks like a castle. It was built between 1822 – 1837 for George Hay Dawkins-Pennant who had inherited the Penrhyn Estate from Richard Pennant. The Penrhyn Estate had accumulated vast wealth from Jamaican sugar plantations and from the North Wales Slate quarries.
The “castle” is pretty much a show off house. It’s the sort of house that Grand Designs would feature if they were around back in the day. It is said that there’s 200 rooms in the house although no-one seems too sure if that’s accurate!
The Slate Bed
It doesn’t surprise me that there’s a slate bed in the house. It was made using slate from the local quarries owned by the family. The bed was crafted especially for Queen Victoria’s visit in 1859. She flatly refused to sleep in it as it “looked too much like a coffin”. She wasn’t wrong, the carving details does look like that on slate headstones around here. But what do you expect when the bed was carved by local stone masons who’s day job was carving headstones?! I’d love a similar one but seeing as the bed weigh a ton, I don’t think the floorboards of our house would survive!
As mentioned, the house was built using the masses of money and as one of the guides said, when you have so much money, what do you do with it? You build a house and spare no expense. You put in so much detailing in every single part of the house. Everywhere you look there is amazing detail – from the doors, to the ceilings, to the stairs. The above photos are just a teeny tiny bit of it all.
And There’s More…
There’s so much more to see but as we were only there in the afternoon we didn’t get to see it all. We had fun searching for the teddy bears around the house – there were 14 to find in total but we only found 10. We think the rest of them was down in the kitchens which we didn’t get a chance to see. There’s also a mini railway museum which we visited but I’ll post about that separately.
The house is now owned by the National Trust. It’s open all year round and has special events every so often, including an Easter Egg Hunt which the girls did back in April. For more information please see the National Trust’s website.
Oh and if you enjoyed the photos in this post, head on over to the Facebook page for more….