Clytha Castle

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Clytha Castle
Clytha Castle 2, Monmouthshire.jpg
General information
Architectural style Strawberry Hill Gothick
Town or city Clytha, Monmouthshire
Country Wales Wales
Construction started 1790
Client William Jones
Design and construction
Architect John Davenport
Designations Grade I Listed

Clytha Castle is a folly near Clytha between Llanarth and Raglan in Monmouthshire, south east Wales. One of the two "outstanding examples of late eighteenth century fanciful Gothic in the county",[1] "this stupendous folly enjoys magnificent views to the mountains of the north-west, Skirrid and Sugar Loaf."[2] The castle is a Grade I listed building as of 1 September 1956.[3]

Location[edit]

Clytha Castle folly [4] is set close to the A40 Abergavenny to Raglan road, originally within the parkland that formed part of the estate of nearby Clytha Park, some four miles west of Raglan at the Betws Newydd turnoff. There is a car park nearby and the Usk Valley Walk passes close by.

Folly[edit]

Clytha Castle is a crenellated stone folly with gothic windows set on a rounded hill, amid chestnut groves, overlooking Clytha Park and the River Usk. It was built in 1790 by William Jones of Clytha Park in memory of his wife who had recently died. William Jones engaged John Davenport as the architect to realise his ardent wish for a folly built "for the purpose of relieving a mind sincerely afflicted by the loss of a most excellent wife". A tablet set into the walls of the folly records this dedication.[2]

William Jones in his bereavement wanted a beautiful monument, a sanctuary and a retreat. Built of rendered rubble stone with Bath stone dressing it is one of the finest 18th century Welsh follies. The plan is "L" shaped, with a square, two-storyed central block, with screen walls and drum towers to either side.[2] It is exquisitely proportioned with picturesque asymmetry and located in a landscape that balances the building and complements it. "Everything is big and simple, to (be) read from a distance."[2] The round tower is roofless and was designed as a shell in order to add symmetry to the facade.[5]

Clytha Castle today[edit]

Clytha Castle is in the care of the Landmark Trust who have maintained the building since 1974 and enabled many visitors to the area to fully appreciate it through letting it as holiday accommodation.

The accommodation consists of a substantial sitting room in the central tower, a dining room and kitchen, and a ground floor double bedroom. A spiral stone staircase leads to an upper floor with a main double bedroom in the central tower, and a smaller twin room and bathroom over a landing. One of the circular towers is now open to the sky, and is used only for storage.

Pronunciation[edit]

Most people and other visitors (including the Landmark Trust Head Office) use the apparent spelling-pronunciation "Cly-ther" to rhyme with "neither". However, the local and Welsh pronunciation is "Clither" to rhyme with "hither".

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Newman 2000, p. 190.
  2. ^ a b c d Newman 2000, p. 192.
  3. ^ Good Stuff. "Clytha Castle, Llanarth, Monmouthshire". Britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  4. ^ "Clytha Castle (C) roddyp :: Geograph Britain and Ireland". Geograph.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  5. ^ Keen/Burgum 1997, p. 134.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°46′14″N 2°55′24″W / 51.7706°N 2.9232°W / 51.7706; -2.9232