Bodlondeb civic offices and park

button-theme-evaclink to welsh translation link to french translationBodlondeb civic offices, Bodlondeb, Conwy

The house at Bodlondeb was built in 1877 for Albert Wood, whose family had made its fortune manufacturing anchors and cables at Saltney, Chester. The company’s anchors were selected for Brunel’s Great Eastern, the biggest ship ever built at the time. Wood’s Patent Anchor was used on Royal Navy ships and other vessels. Many other notable buildings along the North Wales coast were also built as idyllic homes for people who had amassed wealth in industrialised north-west England.

Earlier houses had occupied this prime area, up the slope from the Conwy estuary. Thomas Holland, from a rich local family, built one in the vicinity in 1742. The geologist and scientist Abraham Mills died while staying in Bodlondeb in 1828. You can read about him on this page in our mini-tour of Conwy churchyard, where he's buried.

Visitors to Albert Wood's Bodlondeb house included the composer Sir Edward Elgar and prime minister David Lloyd George. Queen Victoria expressed a desire to stay at Bodlondeb, but the house was too small to accommodate her retinue.

Albert Wood played an active role in civic life in Conwy. In 1895 he gave the town the fountain and statue of Llywelyn Fawr which you can see in Lancaster Square.

In 1900 he was one of the magistrates who refused to grant a new licence for the Royal Oak Inn, in Lower Gate Street, despite the High Court in London having ruled just four months earlier that the licence must be renewed.

Lloyd George presided over the ceremonial handing over of the property and 60 acres of grounds to the public in 1937. The house then became the offices of Conway Borough Council. Now it’s the headquarters of Conwy County Borough Council. It features a debating chamber. Additional offices were created in an extension designed to complement the original house.

In 1941, 35 works of art from the Williamson Gallery in Birkenhead were moved to Conwy to escape German bombing. Most were hung in the public spaces at the council’s offices at Bodlendeb and included works by Sir David Young Cameron, John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough. Two watercolours by JMW Turner, ‘Vesuvius Angry’ and ‘Brenver Glacier’, graced the walls of the Sanitary Inspector’s office! Three oil paintings by Arthur Friedenson, Mark Fisher and E A Hornel adorned the council chamber at Conwy’s Guildhall.

The park at Bodlondeb, a stone’s throw from the town walls, is an important recreational area for locals and visitors. It’s home to Conwy Cricket Club and hosts the International Bluegrass Music & Dance Festival each summer. There are public trails through the woods, where the trees include native oak, birch, ash, beech, Scots pine, cherry, yew and evergreen oak. Inside the woods is an unusual alley of holly.

With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front Museum, Llandudno

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode:  LL32 8DU