Plas Dolerw, Newtown

PWMP logobutton_lang_welshPlas Dolerw, Newtown

This mansion, originally known as Dolerw, was once owned by flannel maker Pryce Jones (1834-1920), the first person in the world to make his wares available to customers through mail order. There is more about his business on our page about the Royal Welsh Warehouse.

The house was built in 1826 for magistrate William Lutener, who died in 1868. Pryce Jones bought it in 1879 and made some alterations, adding his initials and the date 1882 to some carvings.

Dolerw was an officers’ mess in the Second World War. From 1949 it was used as a Roman Catholic school until a new school was built. The nuns who taught there remained at Dolerw until the late 1990s.

The house and its wooded grounds were acquired in 2000 by the Montgomeryshire Community Regeneration Association and opened as a centre for charities, community groups and conferences. The mansion retains many original fittings, including wood panelling with carved birds and flowers.

Sir Pryce’s son Albert studied at Cambridge University and was a noted footballer, playing for Wales in 1895. Having emigrated to Canada to run a branch of the Royal Welsh Warehouse, he responded to the First World War’s outbreak by raising the Lethbridge (Calgary) Highlanders, which he later commanded at the Western Front. He was mentioned in dispatches in March 1918.

Albert’s son Reginald (Rex) emigrated to Canada for the same reason. He joined the Canadian Infantry and was mentioned in dispatches. He was killed by a shell in the Somme region of France in November 1916, aged 20.

Sir Pryce also lost a son-in-law in the war. Lieutenant Colonel Frank Macaulay Gillespie of the South Wales Borderers was killed Gallipoli, Turkey, in 1915. His wife Agnes was Sir Pryce’s youngest daughter. At Dolerw, she organised mitten collections for SWB soldiers.

Alfred Morris, Sir Pryce’s gardener, joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and began his military training in 1916 but died three weeks later of pneumonia, aged 28. He was the only means of support for his widowed mother after the death of his father Richard, coachman to Sir Pryce.

With thanks to Sally Rackham and David Hall

Postcode: SY16 2EH    View Location Map

Website of Plas Dolerw

 

To continue the Newtown in WW1 tour, walk towards the north east through the parkland to the exit opposite Fron Lane. Turn right and follow Milford Road to the church by the roundabout
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