About the Faenol Fawr
Faenol in Welsh means “Manor” and a direct translation of Fawr is “big”. It has been described as the barometer of architectural design throughout four centuries since it was built in 1597. Outwardly it still retains its Tudor form, alteration having been confined to the windows.
It was in 1597 that the then Registrar of St Asaph, named John Lloyd. decided to build an Elizabethan style Manor within four hundred and fifty acres of land at Faenol.
There is no authentic record of what stood on this site before John Lloyd’s time but in 1808 a writer called Fenton reported that he walked over the Faenol Estate and saw great “bumps” of earth on the land. This was where an ancient stone coffin made to fit a niche was found. On that piece of land a Chapel of ease dedicated to St Asaph had stood at one time. The strange coffin is in Whitford Church near Dyserth.
With its outbuildings still in a remarkable state of preservation, the Mansion forms a rectangle with outbuildings consisting of a Bailiff’s house, a bake house, malting house, grain store byres, a forge and stables.
Unfortunately the workers cottages which were also within the group have now vanished.
Estates always have a dovecote and Faenol Fawr has an exceptional fine stone built example located at the rear of the Manor.
In 1650, extensive alterations were made to the domestic quarters and a date which reads “1650” is inscribed on a huge hearth stone.
The grandest alterations were carried out in 1725 when the entrance in the centre of the mansion was moved form the right to the left. This entrance was made to look very ornate and above it was inscribed the date “1725” and below the motto “Vive ut Vivas”.
The Jacobean staircase with a dog gate and carvings has been rebuilt following a fire at the manor in 1984. The Faenol Fawr is now a grade II listed building.
Extract from “A Short Story of Faenol Fawr” by Jane Pugh