Plas Llangoedmor, translates as ‘House by the Church of the Great Wood’ and this perfectly describes the idyllic situation of the estate located in a grove of welsh oak and specimen trees less than half a mile from the market town of Cardigan. Plas overlooks the Teifi Estuary Nature Reserve and is just a few minutes from the stunning Blue Flag beaches and famous Coast Path.
Sepia watercolour of the original house (exists online)
There has been an important country house recorded in this location since 1550. Over the generations there have been many alterations and additions to the footprint but what stands today (in our opinion!) is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Wales. The mansion, walled garden, entrance gate pillars and outside privy are all Grade II or II* listed and are part of the ongoing restoration of the site. The Privy is one of only a couple of listed toilets in Wales, and is currently being restored with modern plumbing! The main house itself, still exists today courtesy of its Tudor foundations and timber A frames that enabled the building to withstand a damaged roof and years of water ingress to the point of near dereliction. The original timbers can still be seen in the Lloyd Suite and attic rooms.
St Cynllo’s Church
The grounds of the property are just as interesting as the house. The site is located on a medieval, (possibly much earlier), pilgrim route and contains numerous wells and springs including the Nant Cynllo stream named after Saint Cynllo who was reputed to have lived in the area during the late 5th and 6th centuries.
Cynllo’s knee prints, made as he said his devotions are said to exist in a rock just outside Llangoedmor near the beautiful village church (also called St. Cynllo). The Church is well worth a visit containing many memorials to the generations of family who have lived at Plas Llangoedmor.
The Georgian façade and ornate features now restored, were added from 1833 under the direction of Edward Heycock of Shrewsbury a renowned architect responsible for many important buildings across Wales and the Midlands. The Vaughan family who commissioned the transformation of Plas were also infamous for their role in the Rebecca Riots (1839-1843), a seminal moment in Welsh social history. The rioters often dressed as women and went by the name of ‘Merched Beca’ which translates as Rebecca’s daughters drawing from a biblical figure. The local farmers rose up in protest against the placement of tolls on key roads and bridges providing access to trading markets. As well as a preeminent local Squire, Vaughan was the Chairman of the local turnpike trust and responsible for signing toll policies and as a result Plas Llangoedmor became a target for retaliation. There is a record and accompanying flintlock pistol, stored in St Fagan’s National Museum of History, referencing the servants of Plas being given guns in preparation for a potential battle in front of the house – we often imagine how the scene might have looked, a stand-off between Farmers dressed as women carrying pitchforks lined up on the far side of ha-ha, (the recessed ditch separating the front gardens from the fields), facing the grim Servants and Gardeners who have been instructed to protect Plas at all costs.
Credit Image: Glen Johnson – The History Man
The house has witnessed many colourful events over the centuries and provided a home for some fascinating characters. Mainly four interconnected families have owned the property, (the Lloyds, Millingchamps, Vaughans and Berrington Davies).
Relatives of these families have also owned and lived in Cardigan Castle and if you visit the Castle you will see similarities between the two properties, in fact it is believed that some of the Castle rubble was dragged up to build the 20ft high kitchen garden walls at Plas.
Amongst the many previous occupants, the life of Archdeacon Benjamin Millingchamp is one of note, he was a writer, theologian and explorer of the Middle and Far East and also a pre-eminent collector of Persian manuscripts that were stored in the house library.
We decorated the bedroom named after this line of the family as closely as we could to match the colour and a tiny snippet of exotic wallpaper found behind many layers of paint and paper.
Women have also featured repeatedly through the history of the property, often outliving their partners then left to manage the Estate alone.
Image credit: South Wales Squires
We are fond of the tales about the formidable Sarah Vaughan nee Millingchamp (who’s portrait hangs proudly in the Dining Room), she was known to terrify her Tenant Farmers when they came to pay their rents.
If you are interested in finding our more about the history of the property it has appeared in a number of published books including; The South Wales Squires (Herbert M. Vaughan, 1926) or the more recent The Faded Glory (Gerwyn Morgan, 2022).
There are a number of copies of both books around the house and we also provide our own illustrated coffee table book in each bedroom with information about the ten year restoration project. In our book we have included some of the many tales and myths about Plas Llangoedmor and the immediate area.
If you come and stay with us you may also be lucky enough to catch a fleeting glance of some of the previous occupants who, (allegedly), still pass through from time to time or you might just hear a refrain of the fiddle and sound of dancing coming from the servant’s quarters…
Image credit: South Wales Squires
All Season Breaks In West Wales
Looking for a luxury family self-catering cottage or exclusive adult B&B break in Wales? We can offer multi-stay breaks or even private hire of Plas Llangoedmor mansion. Situated within the Cardigan Bay coastal belt and near to the Pembrokeshire National Park, the Plas Estate collection has the right dog friendly holiday for you. Coast or Country we can provide the perfect five star base to explore the beauty and attractions of West Wales.