There was a house in Oswestry, believed to be in the Llwyn Road area, with blueprints and everything – but the exact location of this house is something of a mystery, with some sceptics believing it was not even built at all. This house was called ‘Llwyn House’.

It was 1860; the American Civil War was about to start and Oswestry was about to celebrate 25 years of borough status. But that’s enough of the introductions, let’s get down to the story…

On March 23, 1860, James Blake, an architect, presented an illustration of a house that was described as “in course of erection” to The Building News.

The description of this house was put in the Llwyn Road area, but it is believed progress on building never made it past the presentation, as Mr Blake died two months later.

The name of ‘Llwyn House’ is found in the 1871 and 1881 censuses, located between a ‘Llwyn Villas’ and a ‘Llwyn Cottage’, so it is possible the house was built, or that an existing house going by the name of ‘Llwyn House’ had already been built.

The house was owned by a retired farmer, his family and two servants, and recordings of occupancy exist until 1937, which is the predicted date of demolition.

No records indicate which part of Llwyn Road these three houses existed in, although, going by the illustration, it would be in the upper part as the housing in the bottom part of Llwyn Road, along with Gate Street and Duke Street, were built for employees of Cambrian Railways, with the Oswestry Railway Station being opened two months after the presentation – about the same time as Mr Blake’s death.

The website Archiseek has a transcript of the presentation, which goes as follows: “We engrave this week a view of the terrace front of Llwyn-house, a mansion in course of erection at Oswestry, from the designs of James Blake, Esq, RIBA.

“It comprises a substantial block of building, about 60ft square. The principal apartments are grouped very conveniently round a large central hall, which is approached by a corridor from the open porch shown on the left in our engraving.

“The two wings of the terrace front are connected by an open loggia in front of the library windows. The chimneys linked together by balustrades and open arches, form a striking feature in the composition, and give considerable picturesqueness and variety to the design.

“A finer site than that on which the building stands could hardly have been selected, or one which commands more delightful prospects.

“It is on rising ground, about half a mile from Oswestry, and is sheltered from the north and west winds by an abrupt belt of high ground (such belts are peculiar to the neighbourhood) already covered with beautiful woods. The other aspects are entirely open.

“The south-east or front towards the pleasure-grounds commands the rich and immense vale of Shropshire and the adjacent counties, in many portions risible to a distance of at least 50 miles.

“The south-west or entrance front overlooks the town of Oswestry, and the beautifully-variegated distance beyond it is terminated by the bold and picturesque chain of mountains which divides England and Wales.

“The limit of this view upon what may be termed comparatively level ground is not perhaps exceeded in extent or beauty by any other in England, and the many landmarks associated with the exciting history of the locality visible from the spot, gives it an invaluable and enduring interest.

“The structure is faced with Cean stone, and the finer work with Corsham-down Bath stone.

“It will be replete with every modern convenience, and is to be finished in a plain, bold, but commensurately decorative character with the exterior.

“The name is Welsh and as its pronunciation may puzzle English readers, we may mention its nearest English spelling would be Looin, which is sufficiently euphonious.”

n This house is in no way related to Llwyn Mansion in Llanfyllin.

If anyone does have any more information on the possibility of the existence of ‘Llwyn House’, please feel free to share with us.