Best viewed in winter, when the trees provide a filigree backdrop, "Y Twr" was a monument to the vanity of James Huddart, of Brynkir House fame. He was knighted in 1821, the year when George IV succeeded to the throne and it seems that the folly was a celebration of personal success by someone with rather too much money. However, it also provided local craftsmen with work, in the slump just after the Napoleonic wars, so as a hubristic vainglory it perhaps wasn't so bad. North Wales is full of these gestures in the landscape, one only has to look towards Portmeirion or perhaps the wedding present folly of Castell Brondanw.
Some claim that Huddart was knighted for his services to industry and the sinking of speculative mine enterprises, others that he had the tap on the shoulder from the king while on the Royal Britannia Bridge, which would certainly support the claims to be a captain of industry. He was also a chum of William Alexander Madocks; but at least the Cob was more than a monument to vanity, it was actually of some use.
Which brings the story round, rather ironically, to the present day. The tower has been finely restored by it's present owner, Richard Williams, after having fallen into disrepair. The floors had gone altogether and it was possible to look from the door up through the entire structure to the sky. Helpfully, the Welsh heritage body Cadw came to the rescue, as the building is Grade II* Listed. It then became possible for Mr Williams to apply for grant aid and after a great deal of effort and money from the owners, the tower is back to it's former glory. Except that anyone can stay there for a week or so now, providing they have enough disposable income to spare. It might be worth it, reading some of the reviews on the 'net. I might even try it myself. The views across to Hendre Ddu Slate Mine would be fine, while sipping my morning coffee.
Link here to the holiday accomodation site
|Bryncir home farm seen from the drive to the tower.|
|The tower is set in a beautiful landscape. The weather hides the distant mountains in this shot, but Craig Isallt rises up in the centre distance.|