Gwynedd Richard Haslam, Julian Orbach, Adam Voelcker

Pevsner Architectural Guides: Buildings of Wales
Publication date:
12 May 2009
800 pages: 216 x 121 x 46mm
120 colour illustrations


The spectacular landscapes of Gwynedd - the historic counties of Anglesey, Caernarfon and Merioneth - are the setting for many of Wales' greatest buildings. Beaumaris, Caernarfon, Conwy and Harlech castles are unsurpassed as works of medieval military architecture. Penrhyn is the epitome of romantic castle-making from the Regency age, while the bridges and viaducts constructed for Thomas Telford's new high road and Robert Stephenson's main-line railway are enduring wonders of nineteenth-century civil engineering.The Picturesque tradition makes a late and unexpected flowering at Portmeirion, the bewitching Italianate seaside village founded between the wars by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis. Prehistoric and Early Christian sites of immense evocative power are scattered through the mountainous interior, intermixed with a unique inheritance of early industrial monuments, including vast slate quarries and some celebrated narrow-gauge railways. The diverse towns include the planned Georgian settlement at Tremadoc and the ambitious seaside resort of Llandudno. Atmospheric medieval churches, prolific Nonconformist chapels and houses in distinctive vernacular traditions are plentiful throughout. Altogether, no area of Wales is more rewarding to the architectural traveler.

Richard Haslam has contributed to The Buildings of Wales series from its foundation; Julian Orbach is an independent architectural historian; and Adam Voelcker is an architect practising in North Wales.

ÔThis is a fitting conclusion to an impressive and very important series.Õ

ÔThis massive exercise in scholarship is a fitting completion of The Buildings of Wales.Õ

ÔConveys the remarkable quality, richness and giddy range of the architecture of Gwynedd...this magisterial volume has been worth waiting for and is far from being just a gazetteer of fine architecture. It continues the tradition of fine scholarship we have come to expect from the seriesÉBut do not think this results in a dry tome for the specialist: far from it.Õ

ÔA worthy guide at last exists for the buildings of this dramatic, delightful and often surprising corner of the British Isles.Õ

ÔThe publication of a new ÔPevsnerÕ must always be a matter for celebration among those who delight in architecture. No books bring home more powerfully the sheer interest, wealth and variety of buildings in the British Isles. Nor the degree to which the lionÕs share of them remain relatively little visited or known É [Gwynedd] is a landmark É with an excellent body of illustrative material, including plans, engravings and photographs.Õ