Delve into the Plas Newydd archive

This series of photographs from our archives take you through a changing period within our history. From the very Victorian residence of the 5th Marquess to the pleasurable house of the 6th, and to the well-loved family home of the current Marquess.

    Plas Newydd in the 1880s

    Plas Newydd as it was around 1800, Anglesey, North Wales

    Known as Anglesey Castle at the time, Plas Newydd was a very different mansion, while the 5th Marquess lived here. A party house filled to the brim with all sorts of furnishings. The house was significantly altered and restored to Plas Newydd by the 6th Marquess in the 1920s.

    Victorian life at Plas Newydd

    Plas Newydd

    Our music room looked very different around 1900 when the 5th Marquess was in residence. A formal reception area existed to greet his guests and do business, full of opulence and objects showing off his wealth and theatrical taste.

    Theatre at Anglesey Castle

    The theatre at Plas Newydd, Anglesey c.1900

    The 5th Marquess's theatre: a lively space for him to perform to the local community. He always insisted that he was the one to play the lead role. A Gothick chapel stood here before, a perfect space for a theatre according to the 5th Marquess. All traces were removed by the 6th Marquess and adapted into bedrooms for his children.

    Our Saloon's Victorian oppulence

    Plas Newydd

    This is our Saloon as it was when the 5th Marquess lived here around 1900. Packed full of furniture and items he collected on his travels. He loved to spend money, unfortunately this led to him squandering the family fortune. The great Anglesey sales were held to recoup some of the losses. All items in the house had to be sold. It is estimated that only 10% of their true value was raised to pay off the debts.

    Local man Buretta's ceiling

    Buretta and Whistler work on the dining room ceiling in 1937, at Plas Newydd, Anglesey.

    'Buretta', a local gentleman, helped Rex Whistler work on the dining room ceiling in 1937. While Rex designed the layout and squares, Buretta spent the time on his back painting. The squares repeat in the pattern of a knight's move on a chessboard.

    Moving into the 1970s

    Plas Newydd

    Compare this with the picture above. This is what the Saloon looked like in the 1970s. A very different Saloon that was handed over to the National Trust by the 7th Marquess. Showing the differing styles of the Victorian era and modern times, a  more sparsely furnished room.

    Today's Whistler exhibition room

    A kitchen in Plas Newydd in the 1970s, Anglesey, North Wales

    Now the Whistler Exhibition room, this was a small kitchen in the house in the 1970s. It was badly damaged and unusable by the 1970s. Deemed uninteresting and turned into an exhibition space to show off the work of Rex Whistler before you enjoy his mural in the dining room.

    Remains of the servant quarters

    Plas Newydd

    Now the Waterloo exhibition room, this was originally the Victorian scullery of the house. Used for storage in the 1970s, these were the original cupboards that housed the family's crockery. Today you'll find this space interpreting the story of the 1st Marquess's connections with the Battle of Waterloo.

    The original kitchen in the 1970s

    Plas Newydd

    Today families enter this space to play games and do some colouring after visiting the house. Originally, it would've been the double-storey Victorian kitchens. By the 1970s it had been reduced to a single-storey room and turned into storage. You can make out the original fireplace to the right of the picture and just imagine the big working range with cooks preparing a family feast.