Town mouse visits North Wales

Few dishes are better than fish and chips, eaten on the harbour wall at Conwy in North Wales. Admittedly, it was a sparkling day when we were there, but the town really seems to have everything-not only a castle, but also a jewel of an Elizabethan town house in the shape of Plas Mawr.

It was built by Robert Wynn, whose descendants did so well, by marrying into the Mostyn family, that there was no need to alter it; they had other seats. As a survival, it’s extraordinary, rich in the rather naïve plasterwork that would later be beloved of the Arts-and-Crafts movement.

Not that one would have wanted to describe it thus to Wynn: having travelled, he wouldn’t have seen himself as provincial, and he must have been tougher than the jovial audio-commentary suggests to have done well in a mercenary age.

The Mostyns still own the house. Wonderfully, Cadw, which has it in care, trusts its visitors to the extent that dead rabbits hang in the kitchen and eminently portable items are on display. The trust is repaid; little gets pinched.

Another of Conwy’s marvels is the railway, sweeping beneath the medieval town walls. Most of the passengers on our train were asleep as we went by, but I felt like blowing a trumpet.

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