4 August 2010

The Secret Garden

Life up at Plas y Nant is never short of surprises. It never ceases to amaze me as to what we find each time we set about doing anything, some findings are pleasant and others not so and I'm sure there's plenty more to come. However, one of the most memorable surprises for me was when we decided to take a walk past the chapel.

Not long after we'd finally signed on the dotted line for Plas y Nant we went up on one of our many visits to try and work out what on earth we were actually going to do with the place now that it was ours.  After spending a couple of hours inside the house we desperately needed to get out for some fresh air and decided to explore the path that leads down from the chapel - somehow or other we'd never been down it before.  Well, after battling through the wet undergrowth and overgrowth I managed to catapult myself straight down a set of stone steps and ended up on my backside in a sorry state, much to other people's amusement.  Bravely battling on though, thinking that this exploration had better be worth it, we came across a long, tumbled down building. Naturally we had to go in, being the nosey types we are and seeing it was ours.  

As you can see, I entered very carefully - not wanting to go flying down those steps (and I thought the place was probably full of my favourite bats!) It turned out to be a series of rooms leading off each other, all with a sloping roof and windows just along one side.

After gingerly walking through them we eventually came to a door leading out to what was once a partly enclosed kitchen garden.  

Although as you can see it's slightly overgrown now!

And the building might need a bit of work doing to the roof!

After throughly exploring this part of the garden my dream now (or at least one of my dreams!) is to grow most of the veg that we will need up at the hotel - but I think that for a couple of years I'll have to rely on buying it in!

I'd love to find out more about this kitchen garden and also what the buildings were used for and I'm hoping that one of the Plasites might let me know. Hint hint!


  1. I love old houses like this. You write so very well it makes me want to go and explore in cellars and things. Shame you are doing it up!

  2. When we explored the cellar all we found was a couple of toads and a box full of dinner plates!

  3. The buildings were a hot house with a coke boiler and a vine and were disused for years and years.

    Some bright spark though it might be a good place for the male staff to sleep (late 1980's) but despite having a new roof it was never properly converted.

    In the outside wall facing the bridle path you will find a stone inscribed in Welsh, English and Latin - which came from the previous house on the site.


    Peter the Plasite

  4. Sad to see Plas so run down but great that your rescuing it. Worked at Plas 1969 - 1973, lot of memories. best wishes Maureen

  5. Thank you Maureen. It seems to be a place that holds lots of memories for many people. Hopefully you'll come and see us when we're finished.

  6. Hello, its wonderful to see the photos, I was a guest there in the 70s & staff in the 80s & had the Joy of living in the building you picture half way down the bridal path.
    I supply Outside broadcast vehicles & am a radio station director now, but I remember waking up in the the damp Kitchen garden building like it was yesterday.
    I did toy with the idea of buying Plas myself when I heard it was back on the market, but when i did the numbers I could not come up with a competative room rate to cover the £3.5-4m investment needed to bring it up to scratch. I do look forward to visiting as a guest though & wish you all the luck rescuing the old place.... I hope you have deep pockets! LOL

    All the best

  7. Hello Liam, thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog. I can't imagine anyone living in the kitchen garden buildings but I assume that they were in a slightly better condition then - at least I hope they were!

    I'm pleased you didn't buy Plas y Nant because then we wouldn't have been able to, even though it is a lot of work and money! Keep following the blog and hopefully there will soon be a link to the proper hotel website.

    I look forward to welcoming you back to Plas y Nant and hearing more about your time there.

    Regards, Michelle

  8. LOL well the kitchen garden block did have a roof (leaking), windows (with gaps), & power (just), but there was still water cascading down the walls, plenty of creepy crawlies to keep you jumping, & you had to wring your pillows out every morning, so it hasn't changed all that much.

    all the best


  9. I first visited Plas in August 1951. It was at very short notice and it ws already full, but Harold Bridge was persuaded to accept a party of four, Rev Don Roberson, Joy, my brother Roy and myself. Except for Joy, we had to sleep on mattresses in the Rec which had to be cleared up every morning. There was no mains electricity and power came from a generator under the Rec which ram in the daytime. We had lighting until 11:00 and after that it was candles, and so far as I know there was never a fire. Everyone knew the risks and we were just very careful.

    There were over 100 guests and of course we were resided over by Auntie Lena. Very great fun, and I was very sad when Plas was closed. It is great to see it in use again and I hope to come up again one day.

  10. It's be great to see Plas-y-nant restored ...

    I stayed there and worked on summer staff for many years and it holds wonderful memories!

  11. Nicola Spurgeon23 March 2012 at 10:41

    The male staff lived in there when I worked there in 1987. As you came down those steps, there was a shower in the opposite corner, which wasn't very good if you had to go and find any male staff. I don't know who had the bigger shock when I walked in on Daniel having a shower. I still giggle though when I remember that he covered his nipples when I walked in, instead of covering the more obvious bare bits :o)