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Gwydir Castle in the Conwy Valley near Llanrwst
This page is dedicated to my good friends – Katherine and William Jefferson Wynn of Birmingham, Alabama – a possible descendant of the Wynns of Gwydir.
Gwydir Castle – sometimes spelt Gwydyr – is the ancestral home of the Wyn / Wynn / Wynne dynasty of North Wales. An extremely powerful and influential (with the Royal Court) family. With tenuous links said to date back to the Princes of Gwynedd.
After the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-1541), the extremely important Maenan Abbey was destroyed by King Henry VIII’s men, and some of the masonry and other materials used in building additional parts of Gwydir Castle. Not least was the spiral staircase, once a part of Maenan Abbey.
Gwydir Castle is in the Conwy Valley in North Wales, and is latterly a bed and breakfast accommodation, and is also a venue for weddings etc. This fortified Tudor manor house dates back to around 1500 when it was owned by Maredudd ap Ieuan. I believe that Hywel ap Coetmor owned the house in the 14th century, he having been at the battle of Poitiers in 1356, where he commanded the Longbow Archers under the Black Prince – Edward.
Maurice Wynn – the son of John (Wyn) ap Maredudd – was the first person to actually use Wynn as his surname. It is Maurice’s son – John Wynn – who inherited Gwydir Castle in 1580, following the death of his father. In 1606 John Wynn became Sir John Wynn and first baronet.
When King Charles I was married in the early 17th century, 12 cedar trees were planted to honour him. Four of the trees still survive, and grand they are.
After the house fell into disrepair in the 20th century, the oak Paneling of the dining room in the photographs below was purchased at auction by William Rudolph Hearst – an American press tycoon. After his death, the Paneling want to the Metropolitan Museum in the U.S., where it was put into storage. The Paneling was rediscovered and brought home by the present owners, and the dining room was re-opened by H.R.H. Charles – Prince of Wales in 1998.