A lovely manor house with splendid garden and views
The plaque ‘1634 IL’ shows the oldest parts of Plas yn Rhiw. The house was inherited by Jane Lewis in 1811, and in 1820 her daughter, who married Captain Lewis Moore Bennet, revamped and extended the house to be an attractive manor house. A northern wing was added in the mid-19th century, and it was sold to Thomas Roberts in 1874. After his son inherited it the place became deserted.
Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect and conservationist, was a friend of the Keating family from Nottingham. The father was an architect and knew about the neglected manor house. He told the family in 1938 that the house and land were for sale, and the Keatings went on to buy Plas yn Rhiw for £600. The garden was covered in thorns and brambles, and the only way to enter the house was through the window.
In 1938 the three Keating sisters, Eileen, Lorna and Honora, came there to live with their mother Constance. Over the following years the house was restored, the remarkable garden recreated and the whole environment of the mansion safeguarded.
The most prominent character was Honora, the youngest sister. She was an artist who had studied at the Slade School of Art, and much of her work is on the walls in the rooms.
The sisters opened the house to the public and it remained open until Lorna died in 1981. The family grave is in the cemetery of Llanfaelrhys church.
Keen campaigners for conservation, the sisters were strongly opposed to electricity pylons and cables, and to having a nuclear power station built in Edern. They gave land nearby to the National Trust in 1946 in memory of their parents, and Plas yn Rhiw itself in the same way in 1952.
There are striking views over the garden of Porth Neigwl and the mountains of Meirionnydd. An effort was made to retain the character of the Keatings’ home in the middle of the last century.
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Quarries and Mines
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- Accessible by Public Transport
- Good Walks Nearby
- Family Walk
Please check National Trust website
Follow the signs for Plas yn Rhiw from the B4413 (Mynytho – Aberdaron) or from Rhiw, on the narrow road from Aberdaron
Pwllheli Station - 10 miles
Pwllheli to Aberdaron (passing Pwllheli train station), alight at gate.
Coastal Bus O Ddrws i Ddrws available April-October. £1 only. See website link below.
Easy access from the Coast Path
Partly accessible for wheelchair users.
Full Figure Grid Reference:SH237282
OS Landranger map sheet: 123:
O Ddrws i Ddrws Coastal Bus
- 01758 780219
- Plas yn Rhiw, Rhiw, Pwllheli, LL53 8AB