Golden Grove, Carmarthenshire
There have been three mansions on the estate. The first was built in 1560 by the Vaughan family which was later ennobled as Earls of Carbery. This was destroyed by fire and replaced in 1754 by a Neoclassical box of fine quality with a long doric-columned portico. [Further detail on this house] - In 1804 the estate was bequeathed by the last of the Golden Grove Vaughans to his Oxford friend John Frederick Campbell, Lord Cawdor of Castlemartin, later 1st Earl Cawdor, who demolished the previous property and built the existing house, designed by the leading architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville 700 yards (640 m) to the south-west above the original: begun 1827, completed 1834. Wyatville was simultaneously occupied in the extensive remodelling of Windsor Castle for King George lV, and subsequently King William lV, as well as the building of a remarkably similar property, Lilleshall Hall in Shropshire, for Cawdor's cousin, George Leveson-Gower, nephew of the Duke of Sutherland. Correspondence exists between the two families relating to the huge costs of construction of both Golden Grove and Lilleshall, and the problems in bringing them to completion created by Wyatville's pre-occupation with the complexities and demands of his new schemes for the King.
Golden Grove remained in Cawdor family occupation until 1935.
During the Second World War it was occupied by the United States Airforce and, until 2003, by Carmarthen College (Colleg Si'r Gar) as an agricultural college.
House, gardens and country park
The house has Scottish Baronial features in a Tudor or Elizabethan architectural style, although it is a late Regency, Georgian, house and not a Victorian house. It is constructed of Llangyndeyrn limestone traditionally called 'black marble'. Its national importance is recognised by its Grade II* listing. Gardens immediate on the house include an arboretum, laid out in the 1860s, and deerpark, both Grade ll listed.
A part of the grounds is open to the public as a country park (Gelli Aur Country Park). Summer opening (1 April – 30 September): 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & bank holidays. Winter opening (1 October – 31 March): 11.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays.
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