Siambr Wen, Llangollen

Siambr Wen, Llangollen

The house with the castellated frontage, on the far side of the canal from the towpath, is Siambr Wen (or “Siamber Wen” in Victorian times). It’s thought it was built in the 18th century and rebuilt with its Gothic frontage c.1800.

Siambr Wen was home to Alexander Reid before he moved to Llantysilio Hall (a little further up the Dee). He was a director of the Minera Mining Company. He died in 1866.

Portrait of Sir Henry RobertsonThe extension you can see to the left of the frontage was arranged by Scottish railway engineer Sir Henry Robertson, who had moved to North Wales to improve industries such as ironworks and collieries. His railways included the line from Ruabon to Llangollen and on to Bala. His masterpiece is the 1848 Cefn Bychan viaduct, which carries his Chester-Shrewsbury railway over the Dee on 19 arches. He was MP for Shrewsbury for two periods in the 1860s and 1870s. He is pictured here courtesy of the National Library of Wales.

Siambr Wen was home to Sir Henry’s brother Dr Robertson and their three sisters, Anne, Jessie and Christina. It was said they were so attached to each other that they never risked spoiling their happiness by marrying!

Dr Robertson had been an army medic in various parts of the world, mainly India, for over 20 years. He was based in Ireland in 1846, during the potato famine, and advised on sanitary improvements for the army’s Dublin barracks. Having settled at Siambr Wen, he helped to establish Llangollen’s cottage hospital and board school. He died at Siambr Wen in 1883.

Jessie and Anne died of influenza on consecutive days in 1892. Christina remained at Siambr Wen until her death five years later.

Later Siambr Wen was home to retired building contractor Richard Beckett, who was praised for widening and extending the ancient Llangollen Bridge without harming its character. He worked on many church restorations, particularly in Cheshire. He died at Siambr Wen in 1915.

Postcode: LL20 8DU    View Location Map

Canal & River Trust website – Llangollen Canal