Nestled in the picturesque rolling hills of the South Denbighshire countryside, this beautiful arts and crafts house built in local sandstone is characterised by its period features. Located in the heart of the Clwydian Range AONB, near Ruthin, recently named the best place to live in Wales by The Times, the house is set in 3.5 acres of beautifully landscaped private gardens, woodlands and paddocks with uninterrupted views of the surrounding valley. Internal accommodation unfolds over 3,000 sq ft across two storeys, and there is a multitude of outbuildings and a greenhouse.
Setting the Scene
The local architecture in Llandegla and the surrounding area have strong links with the Bodidris Estate and its late Elizabethan mansion. Bodidris was owned in the 19th century by the Williams family of Bodelwyddan Castle. Sir William was involved in the construction of the new school in Llandegla, and his sister, Lady Willoughby de Broke, paid for the rebuilding of the Llandegla church. The Dewhurst family purchased the estate in 1919 and built this house in 1921 for the estate manager.
Exceptional original hand-crafted joinery and woodwork detailing runs throughout the house, which the current owners have lovingly renovated. Set in the centre of its generous plot, the house is defined by its beautiful views in every direction. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
A long private drive just off a quiet country road out of Llandegla leads up to the house. A wooden porch surrounds the front door, which opens into an inviting central hall. Here, the original parquet runs underfoot, and the honeyed tones of the original pitch pine staircase draw the eye upward. Many original features remain, including box panelling, the high picture rail and an arched doorway with moulded architrave.
A sitting room is at the front of the plan, finished in pale green wallpaper by Graham and Brown, and with a handsome wood and stonework arts and crafts fireplace. A glass alcove with glazed doors looks onto the garden allowing light to pour in. A cosy study sits next door, where bookshelves painted in a rich green line the walls, offsetting the wooden ceiling panels and parquet floor. Built-in cabinetry and the original estate manager’s safe are still in place.
A large reception room is at the rear of the plan. A later addition, the space is open and airy, finished in neutral tones, cleverly complementing the original arts and crafts architecture. Three sets of French doors welcome natural light in and open to the generous wraparound patio, which becomes an extension of the interior in the summer; a wood burner warms the room.
An open-plan kitchen and morning room lies on the opposite side of the plan. Sleek stainless steel cabinetry and worktops are set into an alcove, contrasting with the cheerful red Aga in the more traditional morning room. Next door is a large dining room, and behind the kitchen, a large pantry and utility area has been cleverly conceived. There is also a handy downstairs WC.
The pitch pine stairs in the hall ascend to the first floor, where five bedrooms and two large bathrooms are arranged around a large central landing papered in a William Morris design. In all bedrooms, oak casement windows with brass furniture frame fantastic rural views. The central landing is lit with a Velux window and has a large cupboard for stowing bedlinen and towels.
A large garage with room for two cars lies to the back of the plan.
The Great Outdoors
The beautiful gardens have been carefully nurtured. Surrounding the house, they thrive with various herbaceous perennials, fruit trees, flowering shrubs and vegetables; a mature mulberry tree is the jewel in the crown, surrounded by four majestic walnut trees. Separate sections are divided and beautifully landscaped, and there are two sheds and a useful Gabriel Ash greenhouse. Two further paddocks and woodlands border the plot.
Out and About
The house, a seven-minute walk from the centre of Llandegla village, sits within the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, a landscape of heather-clad hills crowned with ancient hillforts. This bucolic rural setting and its rich cultural heritage are incredibly appealing; the Offa’s Dyke Path, a 177-mile trail, can be picked up in the village, passing through the Clwydian Range, Shropshire Hills and the Wye Valley and is a perfect way to explore the tranquil Marches.
The surrounding towns and villages offer a good provision of daily amenities. Llandegla itself has a community shop and a village primary school. Mold and Ruthin are both approximately a 20-minute drive away from supermarkets, post offices and pharmacies, as well as excellent delicatessens and independent shops. For more cultural pursuits locally, there is the Ruthin Centre of Craft and the Clwyd Theatre in Mold. Mold also hosts the Bailey Hill festival for live music and a well-established food festival annually. Llangollen and the Dee Valley are located a 10-minute drive away over the Horseshoe Pass. Plas Newydd in Llangollen is run by the National Trust and offers a fascinating day out.
The city of Wrexham is a 20-minute drive from the house, where there are numerous pubs and restaurants and excellent coffee at Lot 11. Just outside the city centre, Erddig Hall is well worth a visit, as much for its exquisite walled garden and parklands, designed by William Emes, as the 17th-century manor house.
Despite its rural setting, the house is well-connected. Chester is a 40-minute drive; from here, trains run directly to London Euston in approximately two hours. By car, Liverpool can be reached in just over an hour and Manchester an hour and a half.
Council Tax Band: H
The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB is not simply a spectacular natural landscape but one that is steeped in vibrant history too. Over thousands of years, the distinctive beauty of the region has been shaped by generations of people occupying and working the land. Remaining today, ancient churches and fortresses, ruins and industrial monuments give character to the rich culture of this landscape.
Completed in 1805, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was designed by renowned civil engineers Thomas Telford and William Jessop. An elegant masterpiece of the industrial revolution, the aqueduct stands at 38 metres tall and spans 18 iron-arched ribs over the River Dee in the Vale of Llangollen.
While the aqueduct at Pontcysyllte represents an early work, Thomas Telford went on to have a prolific career and be elected as the first president of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Telford had command of all types of civil engineering, designing canals, bridges, roads and harbours, and was even consulted in 1806 by the King of Sweden about constructing a canal between Gothenburg and Stockholm.
- Five Good Things: what to see, read, visit and buy this OctoberPursuits
- At the Table: an evening of fun and feasting with Olympia and Ariadne IrvingLeisure
- Northern Lights: five homes in the north that have us in awe
- A Maker’s Story: Roddy Maude-Roxby, the man behind the maskInteriors
- Inspiration of the Week: more is more at this timber-framed house in Suffolk