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Visiting Penrhyn Castle

The grand dome of the Grand Staircase at Penrhyn Castle with skylight and plasterwork
The grand dome of the Grand Staircase at Penrhyn Castle | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Discover some of the wonderful and elaborately decorated rooms you can see on your visit to Penrhyn Castle. Open the door and step inside where the Pennant family and their famous guests dined and played in opulent fashion.

Things to see inside the castle at Penrhyn

You can’t help but be taken aback by the vast luxurious rooms, Gothic carved stairways and art on display. Hear stories of sugar and slate fortunes and delve ‘below stairs’ in the Victorian kitchens.

The Library

Where better to relax and unwind with a good book and a warming fire? Here, the family could play a game of billiards and enjoy a drink. This was also a place for quiet contemplation and study.

The Drawing Room at Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd showing the oak chairs and sofa designed by Thomas Hopper and the dazzling silk lampas (brocade) and curtains. This room was the domain of the ladies.
The Drawing Room at Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd with oak chairs and sofa designed by Thomas Hopper | © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Drawing Room

Pink colours are repeated throughout this room including the carpet and silk upholstered furniture. It’s hard to imagine this room was once used as an office, during the Second World War, by the car manufacturing company Daimler. The furniture is both solid and elegant and has remained functional to this day.

Ebony Room

This is the room where Lady Penrhyn would write her letters and organise domestic arrangements with her staff, because it was close to the servants’ quarters.

The Lower India Room at Penrhyn Castle, showing oak furniture including a bed, and Chinese wallpaper
The Lower India Room at Penrhyn Castle | © National Trust Images/Michael Caldwell

It’s home to a mixture of exotic furniture, including mahogany on the low chairs imported from Sri Lanka. The beautiful wallpaper is 17th century and, although sadly faded now, would’ve made for a dazzling display on the walls.

State Bedroom

This spacious apartment, together with its own dressing room, was reserved for important guests, with its luxuriously drafted four poster bed this room would’ve been the height of comfort, with its particularly comfortable chairs for having an early or late tea in the bedroom.

Next door is an early example of a fully flushing toilet. This would’ve been flushed with collected rainwater – a very environmentally friendly invention.

The Keep Bedrooms

A suite of rooms containing two bedrooms, a dressing room, sitting room, bathroom and toilet. These rooms would have been the bedrooms for Lord and Lady Penrhyn but were also the guest suite when Royalty visited.

One-ton slate bed

The Keep Bedrooms are currently the home of a one-ton slate bed which demonstrates the versality of the stone and a brass bed ‘fit for a king’, with its imperial crown placed on top which was commissioned for the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1894.

Far reaching views

These rooms command the best views of the Penrhyn estate as it disappears up into the Snowdonia mountain range and, on clear days, the Penrhyn Quarry is visible.

The Keep Bedrooms may only be available to see on tours, subject to availability. The Visitor Welcome Centre will be able to update you at the start of your visit.

Lower India Room

This room is the last room that Hugh Napier (the Fourth Lord Penrhyn), lived in after he was divorced. The room is a reflection of the ‘East’, a label that was attached to anything that came from afar, and many of the things in the room have a Chinese or Japanese origin.

Tours of the Keep

Some areas within the Castle Keep may only be available to see on tours, subject to availability. The Visitor Welcome Centre will be able to update you at the start of your visit.

Visitor looking at the mountains of Snowdonia from Penrhyn Castle's garden at sunset

Discover more at Penrhyn Castle and Garden

Find out when Penrhyn Castle and Garden is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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