To be held on Wednesday, 15 September 2021 at 11.00am via Zoom (if necessary).
The story of Portmeirion, the fantasy village in N Wales, by a lecturer whose uncle was Resident Director.
Portmeirion is an extraordinary surprise; a colourful and delightful Italian fantasy village on the coast of north Wales. The creation of one man, the remarkable architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis from the 1920s, Portmeirion is his personal statement of defiance against modernism and what he saw as the increasing ugliness and despoilment of Britain. Sir Clough opened the hotel there in 1926, and by the 1950s it had become the playground of artists, aristocrats, intellectuals, the fashionable and the merely rich. Regular visitors included H G Wells, Bertrand Russell and Noel Coward, (who wrote Blithe Spirt at Portmeirion). Sir Clough’s daughter Susan created Portmeirion Pottery, which during the 1960s and 70s was synonymous with cutting-edge ceramic style. This lecture looks at the place, its architecture and associations as well as Portmeirion Pottery.
Matthew draws upon some very personal memories (his uncle was Resident Director of Portmeirion for nearly 30 years) to make this a fascinating subject.
Portmeirion image courtesy Wikimedia.
Holds degrees from the Universities of Nottingham and Manchester and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. A recognised expert on the work of the Victorian designer William Burges, Matthew was Curator of Cardiff Castle for nearly 30 years. His most recent publication is a major book Cardiff Castle and the Marquesses of Bute, published in 2019. A long-standing member of The Arts Society, Matthew has been a programme secretary and a chairman before becoming an accredited lecturer in 2001.