Plas Mawr, which translates to “Great Hall” in English is an Elizabethan townhouse located within the walls of Conwy. Plas Mawr dates back to the 16th century, was built by the merchant Robert Wynn and completed in 1585.
The walled market town of Conwy is an important and renowned tourist destination sitting on the beautiful coastline of North Wales. There are plenty of good reasons as to why it still draws such a plentiful number of tourists: Welsh is still spoken widely here; there are wonderful views from the town over the Conwy Estuary and out onto the Irish Sea; and the Quay House, the official smallest house in Great Britain is situated here.
Another crucial attraction, of course, is Conwy Castle, a magnificent stone structure constructed by Edward I during the Welsh conquest of the late 13th century. The castle is a World Heritage Site, and has played its part in a number of significant battles throughout the history of the British Isles. Some of the most impressive views are to be had from the castle and its adjoining town walls, which are regarded as one of the best and most complete sets in all of Europe.
Conwy is also home to another building, rather smaller in stature but similar in terms of popularity. Its name is Plas Mawr.
It’s had a complicated but interesting history. Wynn’s will was filled with detailed instructions as to how he wanted his estate to be divided; they were a little too detailed, though, and meant that the house was not sold or redeveloped for some time, allowing its original condition to be well-preserved for decades. Between then and the late 20th century, the building was used for all manner of purposes: a cheap lodging house, a school, and even the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art HQ.
The condition of the house deteriorated over the years, but thankfully Cadw (the Welsh Government's historic environment service) purchased the property in 1993 and extensively renovated it. Now a major tourist attraction, Plas Mawr has been redecorated to resemble its 1665 condition replete with Renaissance gardens.
It is regarded as the finest surviving town house of the era, a true gem of Elizabethan architecture. The ornamental plasterwork has been fully repainted, and the Wynn coat of arms is visible throughout the property. In a decidedly modern twist, touch screens have been added to Plas Mawr, which allow its visitors to learn about and experience the history of the “Great Hall” and the surrounding town of Conwy.
Events are held throughout the year, both informative and entertaining, including craft activities such as Tudor quill writing. Be sure to check out the Cadw website before you go to see what’s going on at the house during your visit! Entry to Plas Mawr is free with a Cadw Explorer Pass
Outside, Conwy itself offers a whole host of interesting activities and sights, including the afore-mentioned Conwy Castle as well as the verdant Bodnant Garden, a National Trust property filled with beautiful wildflowers.
A little further afield, you will find the seaside resort towns of Llandudno and Rhyl, perfect for a spot of sunbathing. Conwy also sits just outside of the Snowdonia National Park, making it the perfect place from which to start your adventures into that rugged and beautiful part of the county. To see our self-catering offers in the area, take a look here.
Located within the walls of Conwy on the High Street. Parking is available near by in pay and display car parks or, if you are lucky enough to find a space, on the road outside.
There are lots of steps inside the building. No dogs permitted except for guide dogs.
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Conwy Castle is easily the most spectacular of all the castles in North Wales (and cost the most to build, too!). The castle was built for Edward I by Master James of St George, and is one of the most impressive surviving medieval fortifications in Britain.
The town walls of Conwy are a major tourist attraction for the town, and with good reason: they are regarded as one of the most impressive and most intact walled circuits in all of Europe. Dating back to the late 13th century, they are as old as the town itself, and constructed by Edward I to pair with the equally impressive Conwy Castle, they form a foreboding defensive installation.
Just 10km south of Llandudno, lies one of Wales’ most beautiful gardens. Built and created by five generations of one family, Bodnant Garden is an unmissable haven of colour, wildlife and peace and quiet.
Enjoy everything Conwy has to offer by staying in a cottage in and around the town or Conwy Marina. Attractions include Conwy Castle, the town walls, Plas Mawr Elizabethan House, The Royal Cambrian Academy of Art, pleasure cruises and a wide range of shops and restaurants.
A popular area for holiday makers this has something for everyone - beaches, scenery and plenty of things to do.
Take a walk to the end of the pier, make sand castles on the beach, ride the tram or a cable car to the top of the Great Orme and treat yourself to a meal at one of the many restaurants. Llandudno has a lot to offer and is a great base for exploring North Wales.