Plas yn Rhiw house and collections

Plas yn Rhiw has had its fair share of tenants throughout the years, all leaving their mark on this 19th century house; discover what treasures were left behind and how the Keating sisters made it unique to them.

Inspired by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis

As you enter Plas yn Rhiw, you’ll notice a distinctive green-slate flagged floor along with a picturesque Gothic door; both brought here by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis.

He also brought in the oak tree trunk columns carrying the neo-Georgian plaster arches.

Sir Clough Williams Ellis is known as the Welsh architect who created the Italianate village of Portmeirion; and was also close friends of the Keating sisters.

Unwind in the parlour

The Keating sisters enjoyed sitting in the parlour listening to records on their wind-up Columbia Grafonola. They often invited friends over such as Sir Clough Williams-Ellis.

Here they had an array of furniture and collections to suit all tastes at that time. Their best furniture, such as the perfectly placed Regency secretaire and the 17th century oak chest-of-drawers, was brought from Nottingham.

The Keating’s exhibited their collections of lust ware jugs and tea-pots on their furniture, along with the fireplace that had its own bread oven and plate warmer.

Late 19th-century Viennese vases on the side table in the Hall
Vases at Plas yn Rhiw, Pwllheli, Gwynedd

New Kitchen

The north kitchen wing was added in the mid-19th century by the Lewis family.

When the Keating sisters acquired the house, they used it more as a utility room. Nevertheless, they equipped it with a slate sink and a Valor paraffin stove; although Plas yn Rhiw didn’t have any electricity- even by the 20th century.

Spiral staircases

Over the years we believe there was much debate about position of the stairs throughout the house, from the Lewis family, the Roberts to the Keating’s.

Now you’ll see the stairs centres the house. Although the lower flight is stone and upper flights are oak. This is because the damp rotted to the base of the stairs, which had to be re-built by Sir Clough.

The previous staircase dated back to the early 17th century when the original house was built. These were blocked up in the 1820’s when the new stairs were built.

Medicine cabinet

The Keating sisters had a well-stocked medicine cabinet that included a selection of pills, creams and drops to treat the range of ailments which they suffered from over the years.

It also included an early 1900s food warmer which Honora may have used during her nursing career. 

Discover inside the medicine cabinet; a small container, prescribed for 'Miss Keating'
Medicine at Plas yn Rhiw, Llyn Peninsula