Cowbridge Hotels

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  • Myfanwe profile photo Myfanwe
  • Reviews: 1057

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Plas Llanmihangel: Historic Heaven

Plas Llanmihangel has got to be the most excuisite and interesting places I have ever stayed in. This lovingly restored building was recorded as being a 'Grange' in 1166 and was in the ownership of John Norreys, a Norman Knight. The structures of the Medieval house still remain but there were many 16th Century additions which were added by the Thomas family who were a wealthy South Wales Family who also had links with another great family - the Herberts (Earls of Pembroke).

The current occupants, Sue and David Beer allow guests from far and wide to share their wonderful home - for a small fee of course!!
Sue and David were fantastic hosts and were eager to tell us a bit about the house and invited us to explore the unoccupied rooms. It really is like a fairytale castle, each room we went into was oozing with character and history, it was like going into a National Trust property. We were allocated a wing of the house and were offered a choice of two rooms, we chose the cosy double room with a lovely stone fireplace and beautiful arched window. Even though the property is old with stone walls and floors, it is centrally heated and was surprisingly warm even though we visited in deepest darkest February! The bathroom was just down the corridor from our room but this was not a problem because it was our own private wing! The Breakfast was delicious, we had Cereal, orange juice, tea/coffee, toast and full English breakfast. The view from our breakfast table was stunning, it was overlooking the 13th Century Church which is surrounded by glorious countryside.

We will defiinitely be visiting here again!!

Some of the great features of the house are the baronial hall with fine Tudor moulded plasterwork on the ceiling and 17th Century oak panelling. Some wonderful Tudor coat of arms carved above the huge fireplace and the beautiful Elizabeth I coat of arms above the door leading to the parlour.

Another thing to look out for are the grooves worn into the doorway to the Kitchen where knives have been sharpened over the centuries.

As you walk around the house you will see artefacts of years gone by, farmyard tools, weapons and stone ginger jars. On the way to our room was a glass case containing small items such as medeival spoons which were found in or around the house.

The acres of Gardens surrounding the house are Grade I listed, even though I didn't explore them on this visit, I can't wait to return and have a good look at them.

  • Opinion of Price: N/A
  • Related to: Romantic Travel and Honeymoons, Castles and Palaces, Architecture
  • Written February 13, 2010
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  • Balam profile photo Balam
  • Reviews: 1731

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Plas Llanmihangel: An Amazing Place!

Described by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen as Hogwortsian Architecture at its spunkiest Plas Llanmihangel certainly is a fantastic place, An Elizabethan manor house set in beautiful country side it makes a really fantastic place to stay.
Its history goes back a long way, in the 12th c Plas Llanmihangel was owned by a Norman Knight and was probably just a one story building described as a grange. Not much else is known about the houses early history until Elizabethan times when from 1500 – 1685 it was the home of the Thomas Family who were one of Wales’s Oldest aristocratic families, by this time the house would have grown considerably. They also owned a House in Cowbridge which was their town house, that house was turned into a coaching Inn and is now The Bear Hotel.
Although the Oldest part of the house is now the cellar the Oldest part of the Living areas is it’s great Hall, a really lovely large room with a fantastic stone fire place decorated with the coats of arms of the Thomas family along with those of other Important Families. Above the door is a large coat of arms of The Tudors as the room was once used as a court room during the Tudor period. The cellars used as Dungeons.
The last Thomas to live at Plas Llanmihangel was Sir Robert Thomas who was also known as Sir Robert the Ass (which might give you an idea of why he was the last one). Sir Robert was useless at business and historical records show that he failed in one business venture after another and in the end had to sell off land and eventually the house to pay his debts. The house was purchased by Sir Humphrey Edwin, Lord Mayor of London in 1697. There is a large monument to him (and put there by him) in the nearby Church. Sir Humphrey was extremely rich so rich in fact that in a list of the recent survey of the Richest people since 1066 put together by the Sunday times placed him at number 236.
After Sir Humphrey the house was occupied by various renting tenants until 1860 when it was the home of the Jenkins Family who owned a Brewery in Cowbridge. The house has been in continual occupation since the 12th centaury

It is now owned by Sue and David Bear. They bought it in 1988 for just £130,000 and they have spent the last 20 years restoring this lovely Fortified Manor House. In order to help the house pay for its own restoration (or at least contribute towards it) they opened half the house as a B&B with both of them working hard to help people enjoy this lovely place.
Some of the interior doors are still secured from the inside by large pull bars which are built into the wall, a very old way of securing your door. Other great features are the deep grooves on the stone doorway to the Kitchen caused by years of knife sharpening and the kitchens original Bread Oven.

It really is a fantastic place and is certainly worth a visit and I can guarantee that you will want to go back again.

B&B is £35 per Person

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Architecture, Historical Travel, Castles and Palaces
  • Written February 7, 2010
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