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DERRY-ORMOND TOWER; ST DAVID'S PILLAR; TWR Y DDERI, BETWS BLEDRWS

Site Details



NPRN 23024

Map Reference SN55SE

Grid Reference SN5898351681

Unitary (Local) Authority Ceredigion

Old County Cardiganshire

Community Llangybi (Ceredigion)

Type of Site FOLLY

Broad Class GARDENS PARKS AND URBAN SPACES

Period Post Medieval

Site Description According to local tradition Derry-Ormond Tower was erected by John Jones, squire of Derry-Ormond, in order to provide local employment. The tower, erected around 1821-1824, was built to the designs of Charles James of Llanddewi Brefi, possibly at the suggestion of architect, C.R.Cockerell who was resposible for landscaping the nearby parkland of the Derry-Ormond Estate. It was apparently built by David J. Morgan, Llanddewi Brefi (died 1872) and his father (as recorded on their gravestones in the churchyard of St Bledrws' Church, Betws Bledrws (NPRN 418245). The older gravestone refers to the tower as St David's Pillar, although David J. Morgan is refered to as 'contractor and builder of the Derry Ormond Tower'. The tower is depicted as Derry-Ormond Tower on historic (1888 and 1905) Ordnance Survey mapping. Around 1845 the land on which the tower stands was common land, but this later seems to have become part of the Derry-Ormond estate. The tower falls within the registered park boundary (REF NO PGW (Dy) 48(CER)) surrounding the former Derry-Ormond Mansion (NPRN 96038) and is Grade II* listed, as one of the most prominent romantic monuments in the region.

The tower has a lofty square base, surmounted by a tall round column and moulded cap, with a square viewing platform. It is entered via a pointed doorway and ascended by means of a stone spiral staircase, lighted by slits. There are said to be 365 stairs to the viewing platform. The tower was damaged by vandals during the 1970s. Consolidation work included capping the tower with concrete and the infilling of the doorway with concrete blocks.

Sources include:
Cadw, Listed Buildings Database
Wilks A. (1975).'Derry Ormond Tower: A Welsh Landscape Artefact', Anglo-Welsh Rev. 24 (54), 89-113.

RCAHMW, 16 October 2013

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