Tales from the Butler's Pantry

Llechan Lân / A Clean Slate

tales from the Butler's Pantry - Llechan Lân / A Clean Slate

Castell Penrhyn is changing and we want you to be part of the process. Through tales from the team, residing in the Butler's Pantry, you can share in our findings as we explore our history, our stories and people. Who knows what interesting facts, voices and artefacts we will find along the way.

Welsh graffiti on local slate.

Mindful that we have an obligation to be more honest and truthful about its controversial past and much more to offer in terms of its present and future, we have embarked on a process or investigation and transformation that we are keen to share with our members and visitors. This blog will help us do that.

More about the Butler's Pantry

In a Victorian country estate such as Penrhyn, the Butler was the go-between between the operational side – the kitchens, servant’s quarters etc. – and the formal part of the house. It’s no surprise therefore that in an early 19C house such as Penrhyn, the Butler’s Pantry is located right between the two.

This makes it the ideal location as a base for our  programme to transform how we will experience Castell Penrhyn. This allows us to look back to make sure we represent all sides of the Estate’s history truthfully, and forward to ensure we offer the best we can to our visitors and members.

The Butler's Pantry at Penrhyn Castle, North Wales

The Butler’s Pantry is a little world by itself and consists of a ground floor space and the butler’s private quarters upstairs.

Upstairs is currently occupied by the conservation team, for storage, cataloguing and maintenance purposes.

Downstairs, in the Butler's Pantry, is split into two distinct spaces.

One is dark and connects between the servant’s corridor to the Great Hall and what is now the shop, but used to be the servant's kitchen.

The other juts out at right angles, with narrow, high windows and a skylight providing plenty of light.

This includes many high and deep cupboards, a well as a long counter. It would have had a large table at its centre and here the butler would ready all that was needed by the family and visitors. Riding boots would be polished, hampers readied for fishing and hunting parties and final touches made to dishes just before serving.

We hope to return some of this hustle and bustle to the Pantry one day but, for now, this behind the scenes spot acts as our place of inquiry and research.

Transforming the Penrhyn story

Initially we will develop and roll-out Penrhyn’s transformation from here, but soon we will invite our visitors in and provide them with the opportunity to find out more about the past of the Penrhyn Estate, as well as future plans.

For now, we will keep you updated via the project blog, which will also be a platform for some interesting and, at times, personal stories and experiences of those currently working at Penrhyn and some gleaned from its past.

We can't wait to get started.