Continuing the occasional weekend series of small snapshot's of Anglesey history, this week lets take a look at Baron Hill in Beaumaris, the ex-palatial home of the Bulkeley family. The Bulkeleys were originally from Cheshire until William Bulkeley (d. 1490) was appointed Deputy Constable of Beaumaris castle. He managed to marry one of the daughters of Gwilym ap Gruffydd ap Gwilym, a local big cheese, and began the accumulation of land and public offices which eventually lead to the Bulkeley family becoming one of the biggest landowners in Anglesey.
Their family home at Baron Hill, just outside Beaumaris, was originally built during the reign of James I in 1618, and was remodelled in the neo-palladian style in 1776. In the below photo you can see King Edward VII taking afternoon tea on the Baron Hill terrace in 1907:
It is remarkable that just 13 years after this photo was taken the Bulkeley's found that they could no longer afford the house's upkeep and were forced to move to more modest accommodation. Baron Hill was then used as storage until the second world war when it was converted into a billet for Polish soldiers. Apparently the old house was so cold at night that in despair the Poles burned down a portion of the original house in the hope that they would therefore be transferred to warmer accommodation -- unfortunately for them their plan failed and they were instead rehoused in even colder wooden huts in the grounds instead. The house has remained unused since the war and this is how it looks now:
Edward VII presumably had tea on just the other side of that protruding section. How the mighty on Anglesey are fallen.