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Margaret Sandbach

Above: Margaret Sandbach
of Hafodunos, by kind permission of St. Digians, Llangernyw.

 

Plas Teg, Pontblyddyn, Mold

Plas Teg – A Jacobean Country House

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Cornelia Bayley, chatelaine of Plas Teg, commissioned me to author a volume on the history of Plas Teg and its families.  I had stayed at Plas Teg as a guest on numerous occasions, so was very well acquainted with the property. A draft was drawn up in 2003 during an extended stay; however work proper did not commence until late 2005 when Hafodunos Hall – Triumph of the Martyr was completed.  The fame of the house since its remarkable restoration had been striking, yet little had actually been uncovered about the history of Plas Teg.  Ms Bayley herself had accumulated a sizeable archive of newspaper cuttings, old architectural plans, photographs etc… but none of this had ever been synthesised or analysed.   

Plas Teg during the many years of neglect

Another significant resource was Hawarden Record Office, which was luckily the repository for the Trevor-Roper manuscripts which covered several of their estates including Plas Teg.  However, no one had thoroughly disseminated those items which related directly to the Plas Teg Estate. It was utterly fascinating to read the early seventeenth century Steward reports regarding the day-to-day runnings of what was the principal residence of a family of national standing.


Nearly the entire book was written onsite, sitting in the private library, trying to make sense of the convoluted narration of the previous four hundred years.  The launch was held at Plas Teg itself during early December 2006 and over one hundred people came to peruse the new book and enjoy the beauty of the house and grounds. Many myths had developed concerning the history of this country house, many misconceptions had been ingrained into public consciousness.  One of the main objectives for the book was to set the record straight, but also to reallocate those misplaced facts which had given rise to various tales of hanging judges and suicidal wives…  In fact the actual story proved more riveting, involving a deep rooted family dispute, a sorrowful widow driven to insanity and the outstanding restoration of Wales’ most important Jacobean country house which had for over forty years been a ruin. 

Extract from the Plas Teg Estate map