Our tour today is focused on the famous Wynn family, who lived during the tempestuous Tudor dynasty of Kings and Queens. Our first visit is to the historic village of Llanrwst and GWYDIR CASTLE & GARDENS – a fine example of a Tudor courtyard house, with Welsh history oozing out of every wall, ceiling, floor & blade of grass. The most famous dynasty, the Wynns, were founded around 1490 after the Wars of the Roses and were renowned supporters of the new Tudor King, Henry VII on his way to the throne of England and beyond. Sir Charles Barry of Houses of Parliament fame, had a hand in Gwydir in the 19th Century, but it has to be said probably one of its most famous residents in the late 1500s was “Mam Cymru” or “Mother of Wales”, Katherain de Berain – the Za Za Gabor or Elizabeth Taylor of Elizabeth I times. Other famous visitors range from royal lovers, to translators of the Welsh bible and many royals themselves, so when Judy Corbett and her husband Peter Welford took on the mammoth rescue and restoration of Gwydir Castle resulting in the magnificent Tudor building and gardens it is today they can be rightly proud of their achievement and are delighted to open their home to visitors.
After our visit to Gwydir, we continue back along the Conwy river valley to the historic medieval town of Conwy. First there’s an opportunity for lunch, as there are many cafés and fish & chip shops to choose from. After lunch we’ll be visiting the historic Plas Mawr or Great Mansion in the middle of the High Street. The town house is very deceptive and a little like Dr Who’s tardis from the outside and then vast once inside. There’ll be an opportunity to find out about Elizabethan life “in the stix” (albeit very wealthy stix) with our tour over the various floors of the house.
This tour is available as a cruise ship excursion from Holyhead or as a full day coach tour from Chester, Llandudno or Caernarfon. Note: Gwydir Castle is open Wed to Sun and Bank Holiday Mondays.