GENERAL DESCRIPTION AND BRIEF HISTORY

Plas Llanmihangel has been described by The Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments as "one of the finest and most complete gentry houses in Glamorgan". The fortified manor stands on rising ground, facing downhill towards the south. It is built of Blue Lias limestone and has mullioned windows. The original estate would have comprised of about 400 acres. The farm was separated from the house in the 1970s and the remaining twelve acres of land immediately surrounding the house include a rare example of an untouched William and Mary garden which has excited the interest of garden historians. The formal garden once had well over a hundred ornamentally clipped yew trees in a geometric plan typical of the fashion of the late 17th century.

front view of house
   

church

Llanmihangel is recorded as being a 'grange' in 1166 and in the ownership of John Norreys, a Norman knight. The church is first mentioned in 1254 and it is certain that the house existed before then - the church being erected to serve the owners of the manor house and estate workers. The structure of the medieval house still stands but is now partly enclosed by early 16th century additions, when the house was refurbished and 'modernised' by its new owners. Those new owners were a wealthy South Wales family by the surname of Thomas, who had links with one of the great Welsh families - the Herberts (Earls of Pembroke). After the 16th century additions, little was done to alter the exterior of the house and it was only in the 1780s that some work was executed to aggrandise the most important bedroom, and in the 1880s to bring the house up to the standards of the late 19th century.
   
What fascinates the untrained eye about Plas Llanmihangel is its apparent eccentricity. It looks as if a wing and a few additions have been put here, another storey there, and towering over the whole assembly is a partly crenellated central tower.
side view of house
   
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