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Mermaid

MERMAIDSH101062
Sleeps 4
Room Layout

Two Twin Rooms                                   Lounge

Two Bathrooms (one ground floor)        Kitchen - Diner

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 Interior and Exterior Image Gallery
Location

Mermaid is situated right at the heart of the Village, and surrounded by the Central Piazza. It has views from the frontof the Dolphin Block and the Estuary. The statue of Hercules is in close proximity. Parking is in Salutation Square.

History

The Mermaid (c. 1850, "Clough-ed up" 1926, listed Grade II 1971) is one of four buildings in the village to pre-date Clough's involvement (the others being the Salutation, the Hotel and White Horses). It was used as a gardener's bothey between 1842 and 1858 and was described in 1861 by Richard Richards (Pen and Ink Sketches): "I opened a door which led into the garden, [with]a house in the centre of it...Neither man nor woman was there, only a number of foreign water-fowl on a tiny pond, and two monkeys, which by their cries evidently regarded me as an unwelcome intruder." When Clough found the place in 1925 it had become an overgrown wilderness which he set about clearing. He "...dolled up the gardeners bothey, which was pretty dilapidated, in a sort of late eighteenth-century Gothic mood." Mermaid is a self-catering cottage sleeping four.

Fronting the Mermaid is a wishing well adorned with a group of copper dolphins. A slate plaque carries the following dedication: "The Dolphin Group was presented by the staff of Portmeirion to C W-E CBE in affectionate regard on the occasion of his 80th birthday."

Clough added the south facing tent shaped regency canopy supported on trellaced iron columns as well as the canopy and statue to the north gable. The term to "Clough-up" was first coined to describe his treatment of this traditional building, exemplified by these additions and the use of contrasting colours. The scalloped barge-boards are original however and were also used on the hotel building according to early photographs. The white figure is Charity, a wooden statue of the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century, possibly by Gabriel Grupello (1644-1730) a court artist who worked chiefly in Brussels and Dusseldorf.

Immediately behind the Gothic Pavilion is a 17th century statue of a lion, a 90th birthday present to Clough by his friends in 1973. The lion was unveiled by Lord Harlech who in his speech welcomed the whole Portmeirion set-up as a 'Good Thing'. The pedestal bears an inscription, carved by Jonah Jones: "Presented to Portmeirion and its Founder, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, by his friends and colleagues on his 90th birthday, May 28th 1973."


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