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Drawing & Plans

The survival of Clough's drawings is remarkable given the destruction by fire of so many of hisProposed plan 1925 other records. Fortunately his drawings were left in his London offices in 1939 when the rest of his papers came to Brondanw. The drawings, which are the property of the Second Portmeirion Foundation, have been housed since 1972 at the RIBA Library when Clough sent them for safe keeping. Most date from 1905 to 1939, a period in which his activity was formed within the Arts and crafts movement. From cottages to halls, cinemas to chapels, his touch is always original and often inspired. Following the lifting of building restrictions after the war he began the final phase of his career, which lasted well into the 1970s. "My career was ruined by two World Wars," he sometimes claimed. However Richard Haslam writes: "It is hard to think of an architect whose works are more clearly identifiable than Clough's. They have brilliance, simplicity and charm which shine through the grimmest of centuries." (RIBA Drawings Monographs No 2, 1996)

Clough did not often mention his drawings and said little of his sources of inspiration. However among his surviving papers is a note in his hand composed towards the end of his life, being a sort of school report on his life and character entitled Report on X: "His dominating interests are visual, natural scenery - preferably dramatic, and architecture in which latter, though academically ill-equipped, he none the less claims to have a natural instincts for responding to a site or a building's requirements appropriately, and to have a judgement of proportions, particularly, that is unerring."

The Trustees of the Clough Williams-Ellis Foundation hope that in due course suitable accommodation will be made to house Clough's drawings, models and other artefacts. The gardens have long been open to the public and the Trustees believe that the opening of the house will provide an opportunity to promote public awareness of his work for the environment in the hope that some may take inspiration from his example. As Chair of the CRPW in 1931 he wrote "it is not the Land of my Fathers that concerns me so much as the land of my children." His view was "Enterprise by all means - but reasonable, seemly development where it is in the public interest and nowhere else."