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History of Plas Caerdeon

The Manor House was built in 1850 and takes advantage of its stunning location, with panoramic views of the surrounding terrain. Donated to Hope by the Sisters of Notre Dame, Plas Caerdeon has undergone several re-investment programmes, which have seen the renovation of the impressive stone Manor House and cottages situated in the landscaped grounds.

Included among its many famous visitors is renowned scientist Charles Darwin, who stayed at Plas Caerdeon in 1869, and may even have worked on a revision of his famous publication 'The Origin of Species' during his time in the house.

Investment which coincided with the bicentennial of Darwin's birth saw development of the former stable block, providing further accommodation, including facilities for users with disabilities and en-suite rooms in the main house.

A Letter from Darwin

To J. D. Hooker, 22 June [1869]Caerdeon, Barmouth, N. Wales

June 22nd.

My dear Hooker

... We have been here for 10 days: how I wish it was possible for you to pay us a visit here: we have a beautiful House, with a terraced garden, & a really magnificent view of Cader, right opposite. Old Cader is a grand fellow & shows himself off superbly with every changing light. We remain here till end of July, when the H. Wedgwoods have the house.---- I have been as yet in a very poor way: it seems as soon as the stimulus of mental work stops, my whole strength gives way: as yet I have hardly crawled half a mile from the House, & then been fearfully fatigued.---- It is enough to make one wish oneself quiet in a comfortable tomb. ... Give our very kind remembrances to Mrs. Hooker, & I am very glad to hear that she enjoyed your tour, which seems to have been in every way a most successful affair....

Yours most affect.

C. Darwin

(This excerpt relating to Caerdeon is published in Francis Darwin, ed. The life and letters of Charles Darwin, vol. III, p. 108. with thanks to the Darwin Correspondence Project University Library, West Road Cambridge.)