Royal House, Machynlleth
This medieval building was originally the home and shop of a mercer, a dealer in textiles. Carbon dating has established that the main roof timbers date from 1560-1561.
The building gives us an insight into how Machynlleth would have looked, from medieval times to the 19th century. Towns in medieval times were commonly divided into burgage plots, strips of land at right angles to the street. This explains Royal House’s long, narrow form. The shop front we see today was probably added in the 19th century, replacing a more informal commercial frontage such as a lean-to. It was common for medieval traders to have a small shop at the front of their homes.
It’s said that King Charles I stayed at the house in 1643, which is how it comes to be known as Royal House. Another story tells of Owain Glyndŵr imprisoning Dafydd Gam in the house after an assassination attempt on the Welsh leader. We know that Glyndŵr did imprison Dafydd Gam in 1412. Dafydd Gam died in the service of King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt, France.
The building was acquired in the 1990s by the Machynlleth Tabernacl Trust, which owns and operates the nearby museum of modern art. The building now hosts a shop and self-catering holiday accommodation called Sgubor Newydd (“New barn”), reviving a name which was attached to part of the building as far back as 1628. The trust restored the building with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust.
Postcode: SY20 8AG