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Last year Dave and I decided to join the National Trust using the money that his mom had given him for his birthday and have been visiting local attractions such as Bodnant Gardens and Penrhyn Castle. Of course it also gives me the chance to write reviews about them all too!
During the Mayday weekend this year we decided to visit the Conwy Suspension Bridge and the lock keepers cottage. Llandudno was very busy as it was the weekend for the Victorian Extravaganza and we thought it would be nice to get away and do something quieter for a while. We had been meaning to visit the bridge for some time so that was where we headed.
Whilst we were there the National Trust volunteer working in the cottage suggested that we might also like to visit Aberconwy House which is just down the road in the centre of Conwy.
To find Aberconwy House you just need to head for Conwy in North Wales by taking the signposted turning off the A55. You will cross the bridge over the River Conwy in the shadow of Conwy Castle and you're in Conwy. If you are using a Sat Nav the postcode to enter is LL32 8AY and the house is in Castle Street which is the one running parallel to the quayside.
There is no parking at Aberconwy House but there is a car park next to the castle and a couple more car parks together with very limited street parking in Conwy. Since Conwy is a fairly small place it isn't a long walk from wherever you park to get to Aberconwy House and it is easy enough to find.
The house is also easily accessible by public transport as there are regular buses passing through Conwy.
The house is open from the end of March until the end of September between 11am and 5pm each day and the standard admission process are £3 for an adult and £1.50 for a child with discounts for families and groups.
Aberconwy House is a big half timbered house on the corner of Castle Street and High Street. It is reached via a flight of 10 stone steps outside the building or via a staircase in the National Trust shop below the house so there is no access for disabled visitors.
This building is believed to be the oldest house in Wales dating from the 14th century.
It is a medieval merchant's house which survived many battles - mainly with the English - over six centuries.
There are five main rooms which have all been restored and furnished to reflect daily life from various periods during the history of the house.
As we entered the house we were greeted by a very knowledgeable National Trust volunteer who suggested that we begin our tour upstairs where there was an audio visual presentation in one of the rooms.
We did as he suggested and found a room with benches which would seat about 25 to 30 people with standing room for a few more. There was a television in the corner with a video constantly playing on a loop.
We waited for the beginning of the video to come round and settled down to watch it. I usually get a bit bored watching these sort of things but this was interesting and held my attention as it explained who had owned the house and how it had been affected by the various battles over the years. We were also told about the involvement of the National Trust in the purchase and restoration of the house. It lasted about 10 - 15 minutes in all.
We then left that room to explore the rest of the house and look for the things that had been pointed out to us in the video.
Next to the room housing the audio visual presentation was a bedroom. We couldn't actually go into this room but the contents were clearly visible through two open doorways. There was an old metal bed, oak washstand and various other bits and pieces.
Next to that was a large reception room containing some glorious old furniture including a large table and some oak cupboards. One of the fascinating things for me in this room was the fact that a small part of the plaster had been removed to reveal the old construction of the wall beneath. There was also another National Trust volunteer in this room ready to answer any questions.
We left this room via the modern stairs in the corner which lead us back down into the room where we originally entered the building.
This main reception room again contained some lovely old furniture including a table set for afternoon tea. There were also stairs from this room leading down into the National Trust shop beneath.
The other room on this floor was the kitchen which I found the most interesting of the rooms. There was the old fireplace, an amazing old settle which had come from a local hostelry, an oak dresser and various other cupboards and small tables.
When we were there the National Trust volunteer was in this room answering questions and explaining various aspects of the room and the house. He really knew his subject and his information was really interesting.
The whole visit including a walk round the gift shop below took us about an hour and it was fascinating.
All in all I found it a really enjoyable visit and it was nice to get away from the crowds in Llandudno for a while. Obviously this is not a place to spend a whole day, but rather somewhere to visit on the way to somewhere else or as part of a day's visit to Conwy. As I said earlier we combined our visit to Aberconwy House with a visit to the Conwy Suspension Bridge and I have already written a review about that.
Believed to be the oldest town house in Wales dating from the 14th-century.