Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Plasauduon, Carno, Powys
Plasauduon is typical of the seventeenth-century ‘Severn Valley’ type – symmetrical timber-framed houses distinguished by impressive, central, storeyed porches opening into a lobby at the side of the central fireplace. This form creates two balanced rooms to the ground and first floor; in this case the hall on the right and parlour on the left, and there are bedchambers over. Built around 1660, with a later rear wing that is possibly a rebuild of an earlier structure, Plasauduon is remarkably well preserved.
Although most of the windows have been replaced in the twentieth century, virtually all of the other original architectural features are intact. This is fortunate as the house dates from the midseventeenth century when such houses were particularly well supplied with decorative detail. Most of the door-heads are cut in a double ogee (‘cupid’s bow’) shape, the porch with its fitted seats and original door furniture is delightful, and the decorative ceiling beams in the parlour retain their original plaster. Most impressive of all is the pitched stone floor in the hall, which has a decorative pattern typical of Montgomeryshire.
Display of wealth through the external and internal architecture appears to have been significant for the middle-class farmer who built this home. Both gable ends of the main range are twice jettied on moulded bressumers, with ‘dragon beams’ providing support at the corners. It is sometimes considered that medieval urban buildings were jettied to create more space above crowded streets, but here in the countryside it must have been a display of fashion – and the effect is certainly pleasing to the eye. What makes houses like Plasauduon so satisfying is that their decoration is the result of their structural form and not some whimsical application.
Houses of the Welsh Countryside, fig. 140.
Thanks are due to Fflic and See3D.
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