Monday, 29 July 2013

Plas Dulas is a site Southwest of Llanddulas and is an unlisted gardens and ruins. The land started life as a late eighteenth century farm and was built on as a small summer residence in the 1820s by Sir John Easthope (1784-1865), an MP who moved in with his wife, Elizabeth. The buildings are on a formal garden which is of Mediterranean design and is still with a lot of original features such as ornamental inscribed stones, a wide tree-lined avenue, walled garden and an ornamental pond.

The site has had many prominent owners including Richard MacGillivray Dawkins (1871-1955) who had the property in the years 1907-1955. Dawkins was a director of the British School at Athens where he carried out archaeological excavations at Sparta. He was a botanist too and introduced many Greek plants into the grounds which have been there for over one hundred years. Due to the many owners that Plas Dulas has had since its creation, it has been neglected and abused with unauthorised demolitions which have put the site in great risk of losing its historic significance. In recent years, a planning application (Ref: 0/36185) to demolish all buildings on the Plas Dulas site put the site at great risk and saw the objections of many different bodies including CPAT, Welsh Historic Gardens Preservation Trust and the Georgian Group. The application was rejected and the buildings are still in their sad condition. For example, the Roof has failed to prevent water damage

The grounds have lost 79 trees from its grounds as of the 15th June 2009. Pleas were made to Cadw to list both the house and garden but it was turned down, and in February 2010 bulldozers took down the eighteenth-century barn and chapel, as well as the orchid house and park wall. Fortunately, the lesser horseshoe bat saved the main house. A conservation trust has been established for Llanddulas with a view to saving the site before it is too late.

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