Plas Machynlleth
Plas Machynlleth
The former home of the Marquess of Londonderry, Plas Machynlleth (or Y Plas as the family called it) is a Victorian mansion built from an 18th century house, itself a remodelling of an earlier 17th century building.
History
There was a house here on the edge of Machynlleth at least as early as the 17th century. There is still a datestone of the central entrance, dated 1653. Parts of that 17th century building were incorporated in a new house built in the 1750s by John Edwards, who called his new house Greenfields. That 18th century building forms the east block of the current house.

In 1841 Sir John Edwards, an MP, retired from politics and spent the rest of his life restoring and rebuilding Greenfields. He gave the house a new east facade and added north and south wings. Edwards also installed the grand entrance gates we see today, and landscaped the grounds to accord with Victorian fashion. When Sir John died the house passed to George Vane-Tempest, who later became the 5th Marquess of Londonderry.

Sometime before 1888 the house was renamed Plas Machynlleth. The 6th Marquess was Charles Vane-Tempest, who counted among his acquaintances the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. The Prince visited Plas Machynlleth along with other leading lights of late Victorian society.

During WWII the house was used as a girls's school, and in 1948 the 7th Marquess gave the house and its 40 acre estate to the town of Machynlleth. The estate grounds became a public park and the Las itself was used as local council offices.

Then in the 1990s the council moved out and the house was converted into an interactive museum called Celtica. Budget cuts closed Celtic in 2006, and the Plas is now used as a community centre and a venue for hire, with an art gallery, cafe, and shops as well as offices. The Plas Machynlleth grounds are open daily, and are free to enter.