Cochwillan – house


The house in Cochwillan was built around 1465 by William Ap Gruffudd, who, in thanksgiving for the support of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth, was awarded with the position of Caernarvonshire Sheriff. In 1620, the building was bought by third Earl of Pembroke, who however did not live in it and sold it quickly. Eventually, Cochwillan became the property of John Williams, archbishop of York, who joined it with the neighboring property of Penrhyn. From about 1870, the house ceased to be inhabited, and began to serve as a barn and warehouse. The building was renovated in 1969.


The building was erected of stone on a rectangular plan with a centrally located large hall and two smaller rooms at both ends of the house, serving as a dining room and kitchen and bedroom. These rooms are separated by timber partition walls. The first floor was occupied by the owner’s private rooms (solar). In an unprecedented way, the fireplace was placed next to the longer side wall, instead of at one end of the building. The most impressive element is a timber 15th-century hammerbeam roof, rising to a height of 9 meters and extending into three spans of the main hall.

Current state

The house in Cochwillan is considered one of the best examples of a late medieval, non-defensive residence in Wales. To date, it has maintained an almost unchanged appearance, and the value of the object is raised by the original timber roof truss. As the building is a private property, its interior can be visited only through pre-arranged reservations.

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Website, Cochwillan.
Website, Cochwillan Old Hall.