Life below stairs at Plas Newydd

Below stairs would have once been a busy place at Plas Newydd © Emma Gray

Below stairs would have once been a busy place at Plas Newydd

Today at Plas Newydd in Anglesey you see a cavalry museum, exhibition rooms, family play room, coffee shop and shop. But 90 years ago, people were running about, in a bustling kitchen, scullery, still room and servant’s hall. The working hub of any mansion.

A change in the house

When the 7th Marquess inherited (1947), the service areas of the mansion altered. The family were struggling financially and employed fewer staff. They no longer needed the vast service areas. The area was leased out to HMS Conway merchant navy training school, who set about altering the building to meet their needs.

Where were the kitchens?

You will no longer find the old kitchens. Our Cavalry Museum and Exhibition rooms were once these whirring cogs. The Waterloo Museum was once the head servant’s office, a scullery and house maid’s room, boiler house and cook’s room and later a pantry.

What are now the 1st Marquess Exhibition, Bridges Exhibition and family play rooms, were once the large double height open Victorian kitchens.

Other rooms you would find here from the 1900s include slaughterhouse, servants' hall, flower room, bake ovens, still room, trunk room and brushing room. All the additional rooms needed to run a large country house.

Further service areas include:

  • The dairy: Now the main visitor entrance to the house, built in 1810 with a tiled milking parlour, now our tea-room
  • Underground dock: All supplies to the house originally came by boat, from the water an archway in the sea wall, where boats unloaded, leads to a tunnel to access the cellars quickly
  • Stables: Built in 1797 for 14 horses and two carriages, used by the 5th Marquess to house his motor cars and where the 6th Marquess bred his horses in the 1930s