Things to see and do at Plas yn Rhiw
Plas yn Rhiw had many tenants throughout the years, all leaving their mark on this impressive 19th-century house in Gwynedd. Find out which treasures were left behind and how the Keating sisters made it their home.
Inspired by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis
Sir Clough Williams-Ellis was a Welsh architect who created the Italianate village of Portmeirion, and was close friends with the Keating sisters, Eileen, Lorna, and Honora, who acquired the house in 1939.
When visitors enter Plas yn Rhiw, they will notice a distinctive green slate flagged floor and picturesque Gothic door both brought to the house by Sir Clough. He also brought in the oak tree trunk columns carrying the neo-Georgian plaster arches.
Top features to see in the house
The house at Plas yn Rhiw was rescued from neglect and lovingly restored by the three Keating sisters. Here are some of the best parts for visitors to enjoy.
The Keating sisters enjoyed sitting in the parlour listening to records on their wind-up Columbia Grafonola, and often invited friends over such as Sir Clough.
Here they had an array of furniture and collections to suit all tastes at that time. Their best furniture, such as the Regency secretaire and the 17th-century oak chest of drawers, was brought over from Nottingham where the sisters originally lived.
The Keating sisters exhibited their collections of lustreware jugs and teapots on their furniture, along with the fireplace that had its own bread oven and plate warmer.
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, equipping it with a slate sink and a Valor paraffin stove, despite Plas yn Rhiw not having any electricity – even by the 20th century.
Over the years there was much debate about the position of the stairs throughout the house, from the Lewis family to the Roberts and to the Keatings.
The stairs are now at the centre of the home, with the lower flight made of stone and the upper flights of oak. This is because damp rotted 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 1820s when the new stairs were created.
The Keating sisters had a well-stocked medicine cabinet that included a selection of pills, creams and drops to treat the range of ailments that they suffered from over the years. It also included an early 1900s food warmer, which Honora may have used during her nursing career.
The garden at Plas yn Rhiw has a lot to offer through the seasons, from delightful snowdrops to an orchard of fruits and enchanting flowers.
Learn about Plas yn Rhiw’s past residents, from the Lewis family who were descended from the ninth-century King of Powis, to the Keating sisters who restored it in 1939.
Join us for our BioBlitz event - helping us record as many wildlife sightings as possible. A full timetable of activities have been planned with an array of wildlife experts.
Visit Plas yn Rhiw in Gwynedd to find out how the past tenants made this house into a comfortable home.
Plas yn Rhiw is a one pawprint rated place. Here is a guide for what to expect when bringing your dog to Plas yn Rhiw in Gwynedd in Wales.
Find out how a field was transformed into a wildlife-rich habitat at Plas yn Rhiw in Gwynedd.