Plas Kynaston Hall, Cefn Mawr
In the 18th century this two-storey house was at the centre of the Plas Kynaston estate, which played a part in Britain’s industrial history. It was empty for many years until it was renovated by the Welsh Georgian Trust in 2016.
Plas Kynaston once belonged to Sir John Kynaston Powell (1753-1822), MP for Shropshire for 38 years. He was one of the originators of the planned canal between the Dee and Severn, for which the spectacular Pontcysyllte aqueduct was constructed near the Plas Kynaston estate. To supply the iron spans for that aqueduct and the iron trough for Chirk aqueduct, innovative ironmaster William Hazledine leased the estate and set up a foundry there. A branch canal carried castings from the foundry to the aqueduct site.
Later the foundry cast the parts for many bridges, including Thomas Telford’s Waterloo Bridge in Betws-y-coed. The house was then home to Exuperius Pickering, who owned collieries and other industrial facilities. He’s best known today as the builder of the first Llantysilio chain bridge in 1817 – his original chains remain in use today.
By the 1870s the Plas Kynaston estate also had a colliery, a chemical factory and a pottery.
Plas Kynaston Hall was partly rebuilt in the early 19th century. Later in that century it was home to members of the Jones family. Humphrey Jones, a corn merchant, was only 32 years old when he died at the hall in 1888. In 1897 the newly formed Deva Orchestral Society, comprising 27 musicians, began to rehearse at the hall, courtesy of Mr E Ll Jones.
The hall was a public library in the 20th century, but was replaced in the 1970s by a purpose-built library nearby. The empty hall was boarded up and its roof was maintained, but various proposals for new uses fell through and the hall was placed on the Buildings at Risk register.
The Welsh Georgian Trust was determined to save the building. An appraisal of options concluded that restoring it to residential use would be the best way to secure its future, and the renovation work was completed in 2016.
Postcode: LL14 3AT View Location Map
Website of the Welsh Georgian Trust