The house at Plas Newydd
Plas Newydd, which means new mansion in Welsh, sits along the shore of the Menai Strait. The ancestral home of the Marquess of Anglesey, its history stretches back over 5000 years to a Neolithic burial chamber nearby.
With superb views of the mountains of Snowdonia across the Menai Strait, it’s easy to see why a house has stood in this same spot since the early 16th century.
The house itself has changed over the years, from the original Tudor house, to the changes made by the fashionable architect James Wyatt in 1793-9 and the modernisation during the 1930s when the family of the 6th Marquess made Plas Newydd their main residence.
In 2019 we began work to upgrade the pipes and wires throughout the building. The Covid 19 pandemic forced us to stop and the building work is on hold for now. In this unfinished house, we’re presenting ‘unfinished’ artworks by Rex Whistler.
Occupying several of the former “domestic offices” the Military Museum is an exhibition of items and pictures of the 1st Marquess and his part in the Battle of Waterloo, this exhibition was curated by the late 7th Marquess. It is here that you can see the famous Anglesey Leg.
The Whistler mural
Plas Newydd is home to one of the largest and most well-known murals in the United Kingdom, painted by artist Rex Whistler.
Once the main sitting room of the house, it still boasts fantastic views from the large bay window. The Saloon contains the pastoral landscapes which date back to 1789 and were painted by the Flemish artist, Balthasar Paul Ommeganck.
The Saloon also has a temporary collection of unfinished Rex Whistler artworks.
The 7th Marquess’s study
A much loved and lived-in area of the house, the study remains just as the 7th Marquess left it following his death in 2013. Full of personality, this fascinating room gives a real insight into the Marquess’s work as a leading military historian and patron of local arts. You can still smell his cigar smoke, which lingers in the pages of the surrounding books and documents.
A Whistler portrait of a young 7th Marquess is also on display in the study. Other portraits of the family can be seen upstairs in the house; one of the 6th Marquess and another of Lady Caroline.
The Gothick Hall and the Music Room
Although it may look as if it’s made of stone, the ceiling is plaster painted to look like marble and the columns are wood. The walls are decorated with several paintings, including Van Dyck’s full-length portrait of Katherine Manners, Duchess of Buckingham.
The Music Room is one of the largest in the house, and displays some of the largest portraits including one of the 1st Marquess which sits above the fireplace.
Currently the Music Room also houses a temporary collection of unfinished Rex Whistler’s artwork.
Join us in celebrating 125 treasures.
Our Rex Whistler mural has been selected as one of these treasures. Come along and have a look.
A new book – 125 Treasures from the Collections of the National Trust – shares the stories behind some of these remarkable objects.