Kinmel Hall

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Kinmel Hall
The house at Kinmel in 1794
Kinmel Park (closed to the public)

Kinmel Hall is a mansion near the village of St. George, close to the coastal town of Abergele, in Conwy county borough, Wales.


The present chateau style house, the third on the site, was built for the Hughes copper mining family;[1] the house was designed by W. E. Nesfield in the 1870s, and the adjoining Venetian Gardens were designed by his father, W. A. Nesfield. The adjoining Neo-palladian style stable block is attributed to William Burn, with construction completed in the 1850s. Materials for construction were bought from the nearby Lleweni Hall.

The house is set in walled gardens of around 18 acres (73,000 m2), which are themselves set in grounds of around 5,000 acres (20 km2), encompassing open fields, parkland and forests.[citation needed] The 1870s structure is an example of the myriad of new types of buildings that were arising during the Victorian era to fulfil increasingly specialised functions. For example, there was a room in the mansion that was only to be used for the ironing of newspapers, so that the ink would not come off on the reader's hands.[2] It was called a 'calendar house' as it had 365 rooms.[1]

Ownership of the house has been dominated by the Hughes, Lewis and Fetherstonhaugh and Gill families. There are many heraldic shields displayed throughout the house which show evidence of the unions between these families. The property was last used as a private home in 1929, after which it was converted to a 'rheuma spa', a health centre for the treatment of people with rheumatism, by Mrs Florence Lindley, formerly headmistress of Lowther College, at the nearby Bodelwyddan Castle. The spa remained until the outbreak of World War II, when the hall was taken over as a hospital.[3]

Post-war the hall became Clarendon Girls' School, but after extensive fire damage in 1975, the school was forced to close. Restored by businessman Eddie Vince as a Christian conference centre, it was sold at auction in 2001, but a proposed redevelopment by Derbyshire Investments failed to materialise.

The property was to be offered for sale by auction on 12 October 2011 with a reserve price of £1.5million which did not include the 5,000 acres of surrounding land.[4] However it was bought shortly before auction by a businessman who bid closest to the £1.5m guide price.[5] He intended to develop the property into a hotel,[6] but these plans never materialised, and the property lies derelict.[7]

Kinmel Hall was identified by the Victorian Society as one of the top ten at-risk Victorian and Edwardian buildings in 2015.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b Hayward, Will. "These houses helped shape Wales' history but are now crumbling". Wales Online. 
  2. ^ Spain, Daphne (1992). Gendered Spaces. The University of North Carolina Press. p. 111. 
  3. ^ "Lowther College". Archives Network Wales. Retrieved 2007-12-01. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Discount Downton: Welsh 'Versailles' mansion has another 57% slashed off price... but will still set you back £1.5m". Daily Mail. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Conwy mansion Kinmel Hall sold to mystery buyer". BBC. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Hotel development plans at Kinmel Hall revealed". BBC. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Pier and boat store on top 10 at-risk buildings". BBC News. 16 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Griff Rhys Jones launches 2015 Top Ten Most Endangered Buildings list". The Victorian Society. 16 September 2015. 

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Coordinates: 53°15′42″N 3°31′45″W / 53.2616°N 3.5291°W / 53.2616; -3.5291