Constructed in the 1920s on the sandy Dwyryd estuary of north Wales, beneath Snowdonia’s majestic peaks, Portmeirion’s buildings run the stylistic gamut: Jacobean and Gothic, Norwegian and Regency. They are pink and red, green and ochre. Each roofline differs from the next Eclectic, eccentric Portmeirion is one of the most recognisable attractions in Wales.
The lifelong project of an architect with a passion for beauty, it would have been easy for the village to be frozen in time, a relic its 1930s heyday. Instead, it has continued to change and evolve. If there’s anything constant about Portmeirion – other than its beauty – it is its capacity for reinvention.
I first came to the village as a schoolboy in 1968. At the time, all I knew was it was featured in the bizarre British secret agent television series The Prisoner. I fell in love with Portmeirion that day. Britain was still going through a self-imposed period of post-war ugliness; it seemed to me terribly important that there was a grownup in the country who believed in beauty.
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