Gardens - Wales

Plas Brondanw Gardens, Llanfrothen, Gwynedd


Delightful gardens designed by Clough Williams Ellis


Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, who designed the Italianate village of Portmeirion in North Wales was given Plas Brondanw by his father in 1902. The house and garden had long been abandoned by the family. Over the next seventy years, he not only restored the house, he created a unique and typically CWE garden landscape using the same architectural tricks seen in Pormeirion but using plants rather than buildings. He relied on stone walls, topiary and avenues of trees to frame vistas leading the eye to the distant mountain tops.

Plas Brondanw Gardens

The 17thC house is private and is a tall dark stone building with slate roof so characteristic of North Wales. The turquoise eagle on top of the roof and turquoise woodwork are pure CWE panache.

Plas Brondanw Gardens

In front of the house is a massive evergreen oak tree with a metal seat painted turquoise. Iron railings and gates around the garden are painted turquoise and this colour theme is continued through all the estate buildings in the gardens as well as the Brodanw Arms and the terraced houses just down the road from the gardens.

Plas Brondanw Gardens

The gardens are laid out with carefully trimmed yew hedges which are used to channel the eye to the different views. This is cleverly done to continue beyond the boundaries of the garden, making it seem larger than it is. The use of topiary adds extra interest as do stone pillars  and statues.

Plas Brondanw Gardens

Plas Brondanw Gardens

The attention to detail means the stone planters are carved with images of a small girl holding fruit in her skirt and a small boy holding a basket of fruit.


At the end of a yew tree avenue is a circular garden planted with azaleas and rhododendrons with a small fountain. Elsewhere, yew tree hedges form secret gardens with statues or ponds. Foxgloves, yellow Welsh poppies, pink geraniums, hostas and ferns provide colour and interest.

Plas Brondanw Gardens

Plas Brondanw Gardens

Don’t miss the delightful quarry garden on the opposite side of the road to the parking area which was landscaped by CWE with two ponds.

Plas Brondanw Gardens

On the hillside above it is  Pentwr tower, reached by a short walk.  This was built by CWE using money given to him as a wedding present by his fellow officers just after the First World War. Apparently he suggested that silver might not be the most useful present…

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