Q. Is Oriel Brondanw or Plas Brondanw a museum?
A. No. The house, Plas Brondanw, is used as a gallery space.
Q. Is Oriel Brondanw or Plas Brondanw ‘a sort of National Trust house’?
A. No. Plas Brondanw belongs to a private trust and has been set up as a gallery and cultural centre called Oriel Brondanw. The rooms are not furnished to reflect a certain period or personality.
Q. Is Oriel Brondanw and Plas Brondanw the same place?
A. Oriel Brondanw is the artistic space contained in Plas Brondanw the 17th century house. It does not refer to the Plas Brondanw Gardens or Café although they are on the same grounds. If you want to know more about the Plas Brondanw Gardens or Café click this link: http://www.plasbrondanw.com
Q. What does ‘Oriel’ mean?
A. ‘Oriel’ is the Welsh word for gallery. Its origins are Middle English where ‘oriel’ meant portico, corridor, gallery or balcony. It came to Middle English from Old French.
Q. Where is Oriel Brondanw?
A. It is just outside Garreg Llanfrothen, Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd on the northern side. The post code is LL48 6SW. Turn off the A4085 by the Lodge and take the narrow Croesor road. You’ll see the Oriel in a few hundred meters on your left.
Q. Where do I park?
A. With the goodwill of Plas Brondanw Gardens there is a small parking ground on the left, a 100 meters after the Lodge and a few hundred meters from the house itself. Consent to build a new car park closer to Plas Brondanw has been received. There is limited Blue Badge parking opposite the entrance to the Plas and Café.
Q. Does Oriel Brondanw have wheelchair or mobility access?
A. Unfortunately, this is very limited. This 16th and 17th century house has many steps and in some parts is quite narrow.
Q. Does Oriel Brondanw have a café?
A. No, but the Café at the gateway to Plas Brondanw Gardens can be used during the ‘season’ without paying a Gardens entrance fee. Oriel Brondanw has no control over the Café’s opening hours. For information on the Café see: http://www.plasbrondanw.com/cafe
Q. Is Oriel Brondanw up-and-running as a gallery and cultural centre?
A. 2018 will be our second season. However at the time of writing it is still very much a work in progress. See our What’s on? page.
Q. What are the Oriel Brondanw opening hours?
A. See our Opening Hours page.
Q. What is on at Oriel Brondanw?
A. See our Programme page.
Q. Is there an admission fee to Oriel Brondanw?
A. At present, no. Note that admission may be restricted for various reasons.
Q. Can one visit the Plas Brondanw Gardens through Oriel Brondanw?
A. No. The Gardens have an admission fee and are only accessed through the Café.
Q. How does Oriel Brondanw view itself as a gallery and cultural centre?
A. The Oriel Trustees have stated that they want to promote ‘contemporary fine art with a strong conceptual focus and an interest in active viewer engagement’. We have found that the unique space and atmosphere of Oriel Brondanw is a draw to new and established artists and an exceptional space to exhibit work. Examples of past exhibitions can be seen on our Gallery page.
Q. Is there a permanent display?
A. There is a permanent representative display of non-ceramic and ceramic work by Susan Williams-Ellis and by her lifelong painter friend Sarah Nechamkin. The size of that exhibition will vary according to what else is exhibited in the Oriel at the same time.
Q. Who was Susan Williams-Ellis?
A. Susan Williams-Ellis (1918-2007) is probably best known as the instigator of the world renown Portmeirion Pottery. Oriel Brondanw aims not only to celebrate her varied artistic life but through that aim give art in many forms a chance to thrive at her old family home. Susan Williams-Ellis was the eldest child of Clough Williams-Ellis, the creator of Portmeirion, and of the author Amabel Williams-Ellis, née Strachey.
Q. Does Oriel Brondanw have a comprehensive collection of Susan Williams-Ellis’ Portmeirion Pottery?
A. We hold a representative example of Portmeirion Pottery material but it is far from comprehensive. However we are acquiring items regularly.
Q. What did Susan Williams-Ellis create apart from the pottery?
A. The archive we are putting together is a fascinating amalgam of an artist’s life. Susan worked in various 2D mediums as a commissioned and non-commissioned artist. She designed fabrics, clothes and furniture. We have sketches and drawings and notes and items from which she was inspired. Her story in its familial and social context is intriguing. In the fullness of time we hope that the archive will be an on-line resource.
Q. What about Oriel Brondanw as a cultural centre?
A. We intend to host and promote lectures and literary events, discussions and possibly small scale conferences and musical performances. If you are interested in this singular space as a venue, please contact us.
Q. Why ‘small scale’?
A. The house is surprisingly small, so events will always be an intimate experience, even outside on the Oriel’s forecourt.
Q. Are there tours of the Plas Brondanw house?
A. If convenient the Curator may, without an appointment, take individuals and couples around the house to discuss its history and the art on show. However, this cannot be guaranteed. Larger groups must always make a prior arrangement. No group of more than twelve people can be considered. At the moment there is no charge for this tour. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. No dogs are allowed in the house.
Q. Does a tour of Oriel Brondanw (the Plas Brondanw manor-house) include a tour of the Plas Brondanw Gardens?
A. No. However, a tour of the Gardens may be arranged by clicking on: http://www.plasbrondanw.com/tours/
Q. May I volunteer to help Oriel Brondanw?
A. By all means. See our Volunteers of Oriel Brondanw page.
Q. How can I be a Friend of Oriel Brondanw?
A. See our Friends of Oriel Brondanw page.
Q. Do you have an Artist in Residence programme?
A. We do and we welcome applications. See the relevant section on our Artisti in Residence page.
Q. Who runs Oriel Brondanw?
A. Oriel Brondanw is run by Ymddiriedolaeth Susan Williams-Ellis Foundation [YSWEF], Charity Registration Number 1158239. The Trustees are Susan Williams-Ellis’ four children and the Foundation’s official Secretary.
Q. Is Oriel Brondanw linked to Portmeirion or the Plas Brondanw Gardens?
A. There is a historic and family connection but no formal management connection. Oriel Brondanw – Ymddiriedolaeth Susan Williams-Ellis Foundation [YSWEF] – is a different and independent foundation to that which holds Portmeirion, the Plas Brondanw Gardens and The Brondanw Estate in trust. That trust is called the Ymddiriedolaeth Clough Williams-Ellis Foundation, Charity Registration Number 516895. Click on: http://www.brondanw.org for more information
Q. Where can I get more information about Oriel Brondanw?
on Twitter @orielbrondanw
call Oriel Brondanw at 01766 770590