Plas yn Rhiw residents and restoration
From a 17th century house to an appealing 19th century manor house; learn about Plas yn Rhiw’s restoration and residents throughout the years.
The 17th century building was for John Lewis, whose family descended from a ninth-century King of Powys and had been at Rhiw since the Tudor times.
The house passed down through the family to Jane Lewis, who married William Williams, the owner of Plas yn Rhiw in 1811. Their daughter married Captain Lewis Moore Bennet, and, as was often the way, it was probably their marriage that led him to remodel and enlarge the house in 1820.
The north kitchen wing was added in the mid-19th century and the estate remained in the family until 1874, when it was bought by Thomas Roberts and occupied by a succession of tenants. One included Lady Strickland who may have laid out the garden.
Plas yn Rhiw was later passed to Mr Roberts’s son and was eventually abandoned.
The Keating Sisters
In 1939 the Keating Sisters acquired Plas yn Rhiw. Their devoted efforts gradually restored the building, which was by then in a serious state of disrepair, re-created the remarkable garden, and tirelessly campaigned to protect the environment.
Originally from Nottingham, Eileen, Lorna and Honora were three unmarried sisters, who, together with their widowed mother Constance, came to live in Plas yn Rhiw in 1939.
The Keating sisters were ardent supporters of the Council for the Protection of Rural Wales and other conservation organisations. They waged campaigns of vigorous opposition against certain proposals; especially against construction of a nuclear power station in Edern.
For ever, for everyone
It was in 1946 when the sisters donated the surrounding land to us in memory of their parents; Constance and William Keating. It was later in 1952 when the Keating’s donated rest of the property.
The sisters opened the house to the public (before it belonged to us) and they continued to live there until Lorna died in 1981.
Plas yn Rhiw still remains the same today, it’s as if the sisters never left. Don’t forget to look out for the datestone on the front of the house; inscribed ‘1634. IL’.