Llanelli, SA15 4PL
Telephone: 01554 774626
|Photo credits: Peter Owen Jones | Pure Creations | Angharad Gwenter | Benjamin Roberts Ltd. | Alun Thomas | Claire Mansel Lewis|
The Life and Artistic Legacy of Sir Hubert von Herkomer was celebrated at Stradey on 31st March 2014, the Centenary of his death. He was a great friend and painting companion of Patrick’s great grandfather and a frequent visitor to Llanelli. The two men were much involved in the artistic life of the town as well as the National Eisteddfod. As a result, in 1896, Herkomer was asked to design the Archdruid’s robe and regalia as well as the ‘Grand Sword’ which are still in use today. We were so pleased that Dr Christine James, the current Archdruid, was able to tell the story to the assembled gathering as part of the occasion.
110 volt Electricity (March 2014)
140 years after 110 volt Electricity was brought to Stradey, our electrician, Neil Lewis, finally switches the supply off.
Mothers Day Tour at Stradey Castle (March 2014)
There will be a Special Tour on Mothers Day, Sunday March 30th, starting at 2.30pm. There will be an opportunity to have a tour of the House given by Patrick Mansel Lewis, followed by light refreshments. An alternative ‘family friendly’ tour is available on request. If the weather is fine, guests will have the opportunity to walk through the woodland gardens containing a lovely collection of Spring plants in flower. Special price of £5 for all mothers, regardless of age. Otherwise, Adults £10, Concessions £8, Students and school age Children £5. Click here to book.
Heritage Tours at Stradey (February 2014)
Tours will be open to the public on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month between April and September during 2014, with extra tours being laid on during busy periods such as Summer half term (when a Family friendly tour is planned) and during the Eisteddfod (when tours will be offered in Welsh). Please see the Heritage Tours page for more details. If you are part of a group, and would like to organise a Group Tour at your convenience, then please make contact with Claire Mansel Lewis, whose contact details are shown at the top of the page.
Strong winds at Stradey (February 2014)
The strong winds that have been experienced at Stradey over recent months have brought down at least 10 fully mature trees (mostly oak, beech and pine).
Special Christmas Tour 2013
On Sunday 15th December 2013, there will be a special Christmas tour of Stradey Castle, including the large Christmas Tree in the Hall covered with decorations collected by three generations of the Mansel Lewis family. The tour includes tea and Christmas cake and an opportunity to sing Christmas Carols in the Hall after tea. Details and booking form
Note: now fully booked
Swansea Bach Choir Concert (December 2013)
On Saturday 7th December 2013 at 7.30pm the Swansea Bach Choir will hold a concert at Stradey Castle. Fabulous festive choral music: traditional, well-loved, less-known and written for the occasion. www.swanseabachchoir.org.uk
Y Plas on S4C (September 2013)
Stradey was featured in the first episode of Y Plas on S4C, a documentary that tells the story of Wales' mansions - their history, their importance and their owners.
Article in Swansea Life Magazine, reproduced in the Llanelli Star (August 2013)
HIDDEN behind trees and barely visible from the main road, Stradey Castle is easy to miss. But once inside its walls, visitors will be awed by rococo gilding dripping from the ceilings, distinguished ancestors peering down from the walls and giant mirrors reflecting antique-filled interiors.
S4C at Stradey (July 2013)
S4C were filming at Stradey in early July for the forthcoming series 'Y Plas' to be shown on the Welsh language channel in September. They wanted to see a Mansion for real in the present day before showing the series which recreates life in a Welsh Country House a hundred years ago. They interviewed Patrick in the old farm yard (see photo). Our son Robert (who has just secured a 2:1 in his joint Welsh and French Honours degree at Cardiff University) showed them around the house.
Kay and Miriam, who work in the house and estate office respectively, were also interviewed about life here now compared to what it would have been back in 1910.
Audio interviews (June 2013)
Listen to Patrick and Claire Mansel Lewis talk to Sophie Campbell, a journalist with a column in the Daily Telegraph travel pages, about their family home and its unique challenges. Claire discusses the joys and frustrations of life in a house so capacious that 'nobody ever needed to throw anything away, so they just stored it all'.
Patrick: Stradey Castle, a sleeping giant
Claire: a glimpse into the 19th Century
Spring at Stradey (May 2013)
The Stradey woods are carpeted with bluebells and the woodland garden is in full bloom. See the Garden tours page for visitor details.
WM Magazine Spring 2013
Real life: happy ever after. Claire Mansel Lewis talks to WM magazine about life at Stradey Castle.
To view an online version of the Spring edition of WM magazine please click here, the article can be found on pages 112 and 113.
'Brides’ Magazine (April 2013)
Benjamin Roberts, the Swansea based designers of Bridalwear, used this photograph (below right) for their Double Page Spread advertisement in the Spring Edition of 'Brides’ Magazine.
Clearing woodland and re-planting (March 2013)
The first phase of clearing R.Ponticum and Cherry Laurel in the woodlands at Stradey is almost complete. Plants arrived this morning for the bed beside the grass tennis court, and hedging plants for the bank which separates the tennis court from the field beyond. So the first phase of our replanting programme for the formal garden at Stradey is underway!
Heritage Tours and Garden Tours to start in April
Heritage Tours will re-start in April 2013 when you can visit Stradey Castle and learn all about its fascinating history. It is also possible to explore the large collection of trees and shrubs in the Woodland Garden, many of which favour the acid soil and mild climate to be found at Stradey. Also, look out for special Garden Tours in April and May when the garden is at its best.
WM Magazine Winter 2012/13
Stradey Castle provided the perfect location and setting for the WM magazine winter edition photoshoot after dark - sleek party looks for the most fabulous of invitations. To view an online version of WM magazine please click here, the pictures can be found on pages 35 - 40.
Special Christmas Tour
On Sunday 16th and 23rd December there were special Christmas tours of Stradey Castle, which featured the large Christmas Tree in the Hall covered with decorations collected by three generations of the Mansel Lewis family. The tour included tea and Christmas cake, there was also an opportunity to sing Christmas Carols in the Hall after tea.
Swansea Bach Choir Concert (December 2012)
On Saturday 8th December 2012 at 7.30 pm the Swansea Bach Choir, conducted by Greg Hallam, held a Concert of Christmas music at Stradey. The programme included cappella works by Byrd, Parsons, Distler, and Morten Lauridsen, alongside more traditional Christmas Carols. www.swanseabachchoir.org.uk
Stradey Castle on 'Country Focus' BBC Radio Wales (July 2012)
Listen again to Rachel Garside's interview with Claire and Patrick Mansel Lewis, the owners of Stradey Castle, which took place on Sunday morning, 8th July on 'Country Focus' a BBC Radio Wales programme. The interview begins 12 minutes in to the programme, which can be found at the following link: www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/b01kkpvd
Stradey Castle as a location for film and photoshoots (July 2012)
Stradey is also popular with photographers and has been used successfully in a series of recent photo shoots. Some well-known local photographers including Angharad Gwenter, Rob Jones from Pure Creations and Martin Ellard of Grafic House have worked here and we anticipate meeting more photographers as our reputation spreads across South Wales.
For more information about using Stradey as a location please click here.
Stradey Castle is on Facebook (June 2012)
Facebook is a great way of spreading the word and sharing thoughts, passions and interests. Be the first to see latest photographs, videos, hear latest news and information by joining us online at www.facebook.com/stradeycastle
Facebook is free so check it out, leave a comment and be sure to us!
ERCO lighting commissioned (April 2012)
Today (April 30th) we commissioned the ERCO lighting in the Hall, and began the process of commissioning it in the Billiard Room.
The ERCO lighting will help bring the hall, with its many portraits, to life. It will illuminate the wonderful staircase and is designed to be hidden from view – so all you see is the illumination and not the source of it. The lighting in the billiard room will enable it to be used for a variety of settings from an impressive boardroom to a private dining room.
Stradey Castle Opens Its Doors for Heritage Tours (March 2012)
Stradey Castle, a mid-Victorian house on the edge of Llanelli, is to open to the public for heritage tours from Sunday 1 April.
The estate which has been in the Mansel Lewis family for over 200 years is one of the finest Mid-Victorian houses in South Wales.
A landmark that is well known to local people, the existing house was built in the mid 19th Century, to replace the original 17th Century building which was demolished in about 1850.
Tours will be held each Tuesday and on the first Sunday of every month – starting at 2.30pm and lasting about one hour.
Tours will be conducted by the present owner – Patrick Mansel Lewis – and must be pre-booked on line or by phoning 01554 774626 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The tour costs £8.50 for adults, with under 16s and concessions at £6.50. Admission includes light refreshments.
In addition to a number of fine formal rooms, the estate includes a terrace garden adjacent to the house and a woodland garden. Over the last year or so extensive renovations have been carried out at Stradey Castle with the aim of making the historic house available for conferences and weddings from 2014.
The house is already available for hire for wedding photographs and as a photographic and film location.
In recent years the house has been the setting for a range of film and TV productions including the interior shots of Heidi starring Diana Rigg and Geraldine Chaplin and more recently for BBC Wales’ Doctor Who.
For more information and the Heritage Tour booking form please click here.
Restoration update (November 2011)
Work continues on the restoration of Stradey Castle with one of the major jobs – fixing the roof – now completed. Attention is now focussing on a number of internal repairs and improvements – the most ambitious of which is a new state-of-the-art lighting system. This will bring controllable illumination to the hall and the billiard room and is a cause of great excitement.
Of course when the house was built it was designed to be illuminated by natural light and candles – it was never designed with electric lighting in mind. So we have had to be very thoughtful in deciding exactly what sort of system is right. The ERCO lighting we have come up with will help bring the hall, with its many portraits, to life. It will illuminate the wonderful staircase and is designed to be hidden from view – so all you see is the illumination and not the source of it. The lighting in the billiard room will enable it to be used for a variety of settings from an impressive boardroom to a private dining room.
We are also pressing ahead with the less interesting, but nevertheless vitally important, aspects of restoration, such as risk assessments and making sure everything meets stringent health & safety and fire regulations.
Finally, we have just organised a visit for a number of local business people and representatives from local authorities and associations. They were able to see first hand the work that has already been completed at Stradey Castle and what remains to be done. We were delighted with their response and support for the work in hand and look forward to working with them in the future.
Patrick and Claire Mansel Lewis
Telephone: 01554 774626
Mobile: 0777 3474048