History of Seiont Manor Hotel

When Dr John Hughes, a naval surgeon, bought the farm in 1808, the main residence was the little house below the present house to the north-west.

It is built on a pediment of boulders, dates from about 1700 and is now called Ty Popty (Bake House). The oldest feature left by previous generations is the remnants of the Neolithic burial grounds in the field beside the circular wall that was part of the landscaping of around 1860.

There is a tradition that the old Celtic churches were built so the altar faced the setting sun on the day of its patron saint. Dr John Hughes must have had this in mind when he built the house to face the sunset on midsummer’s day. By about 1810, drills had been invented to dress the stones but even so, elaborate block and tackle systems had to be used to raise the large stones. 

There is also an interesting old house at Glan Seiont. Among the many interesting people who lived at Llwyn y Brain (the Grove of the Crows) mention must be made of Berta Ruck the novelist, who has scratched her name and date on a windowpane in the large front room. Her father Colonel Arthur Ruck had served with the 8th Kings Regiment in the Afghan campaign of 1875-80 and on retirement was appointed Chief Constable of Caernarfonshire.

Sir Goronwy and Lady Owen bought the house in the late 1920s. Sir Goronwy, who was awarded the Distiguished Service Order in the war, was Liberal MP for the Caernarfon Boroughs. In 1935, Leslie Hore-Belisha (of Belisha Beacon fame), the Minister of Transport, came to stay when opening the new road at Penmaenmawr. So as to create work for the nearby granite quarry at Trefor, Lady Owen had a 3ft square patch of cobble stones built in front of the house and arranged for the chauffeur to brake the car over them to demonstrate their road holding properties. She was successful in obtaining a large order for the quarry.

Lady Goronwy Owen took a great interest in the garden and was the first Lady High Sheriff of Caernarfonshire. In their last few years they were able to buy the farm and once again the estate became a single unit of about 70 acres. 

In 1986 Mr & Mrs John Evans bought the estate and built the Seiont Manor Hotel. Mrs Evans travelled extensively in the East and bought beautiful furnishings for the hotel rooms. In 1997 Virgin Hotels bought Seiont Manor and its 150 acres of beautiful farmland. The majority of the farmland is still used as a working farm by Mr Jones of Llanrug, whose family has farmed this land for generations. In August 1999, Hand Picked Hotels bought some of Virgin’s hotels in the UK, including Seiont Manor.

Grateful thanks to Mr Humphreys-Jones for his assistance in putting together this history of Seiont Manor Hotel.