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Penrhyn Castle

This huge, awe-inspiring Neo-Norman castle was built in 1819-35 by Thomas Hopper for George Dawkins Pennant, whose great-uncle Richard Pennant had made a fortune from the slate mines of north-west Wales. It incorporates within it two earlier buildings: a medieval house and an 18th-century Gothick mansion. The exterior is a picturesque grouping of neo-Norman towers and battlements. There is a 115ft high keep containing the family apartments. The cavernous interiors are elaborately carved with abstract and figurative motifs adapted from medieval and Celtic sources. There are ornate ceilings, probably by Francesco Bernasconi, stained glass by Thomas Willement and early 19th-century Chinese wallpapers. Dawkins Pennant had no sons; his son-in-law Edward Gordon Douglas, created Baron Penrhyn of Llandegai in 1866, entertained both Queen Victoria (1859) and William Gladstone (1861) at the castle.

Visitor Information

Address:
Bangor,
Gwynedd,
Wales,
LL57 4HN

Telephone: 01248 353084

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/penrhyn-castle

Accredited Museum

Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd (Accredited Museum)

This collection has 8,892 items online

There is an important collection of pictures, Dutch 17th century landscapes, genre paintings and portraits, Venetian 16th century conversation pieces, 17th century Spanish portraits and an interesting group of neo-Norman furniture by Hopper, including carpets, incorporating Romanesque motifs and a bed and billiard table made entirely of slate. There is a medium-sized gentleman's library, mostly of books of the period 1760 to 1840, assembled by the Dawkins-Pennant family, slate magnates and former plantation owners. Mostly early to mid nineteenth-century books, but nearly 500 pre-1801.

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