Y Plas, Machynlleth

link_to_french_translationbutton_lang_welshY Plas, Aberystwyth Road, Machynlleth

This mansion, now known as Y Plas, formerly belonged to the family of the Marquess of Londonderry. The house which stood here before their ownership was known as Greenfield and existed by 1673. The Londonderry family changed the name to Plas Machynlleth and greatly enlarged the house. Some of the original structure may be incorporated in the building we see today. The imposing façade dates from 1853.

Guests who visited Y Plas included King George V and Lord Randolph Churchill, father of Winston Churchill.

As soon as the First World War broke out, Lord Herbert Vane-Tempest offered a section of Y Plas (his home) as a hospital, with enough space for eight convalescing soldiers. Lord Herbert was vice-president of the Montgomeryshire Red Cross Society during the war.

Taxes increased to pay for the war, which was costing Britain £1m per day by late 1914. In March 1915 Lord Herbert announced that increased taxation meant he could no longer afford to maintain the Plas Machynlleth Foxhounds. Local farmers made new arrangements to control fox numbers.

Lord Herbert helped to organise an experiment where 43 farmers planted sugar beet in 1915, and allowed the grounds of Y Plas to be ploughed for food production. He died in the Abermule train crash in 1921.

In the Second World War, Y Plas was home to a girls’ school, evacuated from London.

In 1948 the estate was given to the town for use as a public park. The building became offices of Machynlleth Urban District Council. It was refurbished in the 1990s and opened as a Celtic-themed visitor attraction called Celtica, which closed in 2006.

Machynlleth Town Council acquired Y Plas in 2008. The building now features an art gallery and shop run by the Dyfi Arts Guild, a non-profit organisation supporting local artists and craft workers. It also includes a restaurant and rooms for conferences, classes and other community activities. The town council’s offices occupy the upper floors.

In autumn 2012, Y Plas was the focal point of a concerted community effort to find April Jones, aged five, who disappeared from near her Machynlleth home on 1 October. A local man was sentenced to life for her murder.

Postcode: SY20 8ER    View Location Map

To continue the Machynlleth in WW1 tour, go into the grounds outside Y Plas
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