Country houses for sale

A breathtaking Gothic fantasy of a home, with wall-to-wall colour, four-poster beds and a topiary gardener

Ty Mawr near Brecon is a sublime example of the Strawberry Gothic, and comes with its own thriving holiday accommodation business.

According to its listing, ‘Ty Mawr’s design, features and ownership are of notable provenance’, and that ‘remnants existing from the 14th and 15th century, including sections of fortified medieval wall, were absorbed into a grand early-19th-century creation of Regency Gothic inspiration’.

Which is an extremely wordy way of saying the house looks — well — a little spooky. Or at least it might do, were it not decorated in the most free and joyous style we’ve seen so far this year.

The long main hallway with its vaulted ceilings and arches galore.

Regency Gothic, for those who may not be fully up-to-speed with their more niche architectural terminologies, is a style dating from the late 18th/ early 19th-century era that is exceptionally ornate or, as the kids might say, quite ‘extra’. A good example would be Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham. 

Just as Walpole would have drawn it up.

Recommended videos for you

Thankfully/sadly (delete as appropriate), Ty Mawr is not quite as exciting/horrifying (delete as appropriate) as Strawberry Hill. Situated near the market town of Brecon, Ty Mawr is on the market for £3.25 million with Savills, and offers six bedrooms, 17.5 acres of grounds, various outbuildings and separate holiday accommodation.

It also — and this feels like it’s worth a special mention — has a topiary gardener in the grounds, with his own lawnmower.

Ty Mawr’s gardener. Feel free to add a hat, it you buy the place.

Listed Grade II*, the property is, as previously mentioned, steeped in history. ‘Jewel-toned walls juxtapose with crisp adorned plaster, set against the warm wood hues of moulded architraves, panelled doors and elaborate carvings’, a particularly lyrical agent muses in the listing. 

The façade only hints at the Gothic splendour contained within.

While the exterior façade is quite remarkable, it is the interiors where the magic really happens. Let’s begin with the main hall, which extends the full length of the south porch, and features a ribbed, vaulted ceiling and bays of elegant plasterwork columns.

The drawing room is another highlight, with deep-set ogee french doors, decorative skirting and a pair of embellished gothic doors. Per the agents: ‘the enriched cornice is a delight of interlaced vines, continuing the natural motifs and animal iconography of the plasterwork elsewhere, and linking, as the room does, to the grounds beyond the spectacular windows’. If this agent ever finds themselves out of work, they can come and write for us.

A sitting room that would be the feature of any other home almost looks almost understated in here.

For those who might find themselves tired of ribbed and vaulted everything, planning permission and Listed-Building Consent has been granted for a significant extension to the rear courtyard to create an L-shaped contemporary kitchen, dining room, and a new staircase. 

The gate to the walled garden. It’s all as Gothic as it comes.

Within the 17.5 acres of grounds, you will find a ‘sublime arrangement’ of ornamental gardens, a medieval castellated wall, arboretum, orchard, fields and a copse.

We almost forgot: the present owners have a master suite with four-poster bed. You can always try your luck  getting it as part of the deal during negotiations, but just to be clear, this is a house which very much deserves four-poster beds. As, of course, do you.

The former outbuildings of the estate have been renovated and transformed into five self-catering holiday properties, offering a ‘robust’ annual turnover, and planning permission and LBC have also been secured for the renovation of a sixth property.

Ty Mawr is for sale with Savills for £3.25 million. See more information and pictures.