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Behind the Scenes: Downstairs

February 5, 2013

Behind the scenes part two: the cellars. I talked about the cellars when I wrote about our Halloween event, but I thought I would show you them not decorated with cobwebs and witches; they are still very interesting and a little spooky.

The first room you enter in the cellars is the muniment room. This was once the servant’s kitchen and the big kitchen table is still here.

Cellar table

 Now it contains a lot of letters, cards and books belonging to the current Lord and Lady Anglesey, as well as documents and objects relating to the National Trust’s time at Plas Newydd.

Cellar books

Further into the cellars you find even more old National Trust storage.

Old NT stuff

This was once food storage areas and workshops, and some of the fittings from those days are still here.

The old workshop

The old workshop

Ceiling hooks

 The 5th Marquess apparently kept over 1000 bottles of wine in the cellars- sadly the wine is all gone, but some of the wine racks remain. Some of the bottles belong to Lord and Lady Anglesey and have been down here for a long time.

Old booze 

We are currently trying to fill the wine racks with empty prop bottles to show what it would have been like in the mansion’s heyday. Anytime one of our staff or volunteers finishes a bottle of wine at home we ask them to donate it to the cellar, and we seem to be quite good at making contributions…

Prop Wine Bottles

 In an area that would once most likely have been storage for food we now keep old suitcases that belonged to the family.

Suitcases 

Marchioness suitcase

Lady Caroline was the 6th Marquess's eldest daughter

Lady Caroline was the 6th Marquess’s eldest daughter

The suitcases still have newspaper from the 1930s inside them

The suitcases still have newspaper from the 1930s inside them

There are four levels of cellars underneath Plas Newydd, and we now move into the deeper (which means darker, colder and damper) parts of the cellar. The lowest floors of the cellars date back to the 16th century and so probably belong to a house that stood where Plas Newydd stands now. The original house was knocked down and Plas Newydd (which means “new mansion” for all my non-Welsh speaking readers) was built. So the deep cellars are the oldest part of the building, and come complete with stalactites, a well and a bricked up room. So it all gets a little spooky!

Deep cellar

Stalactites

Stalactites

Deep Cellars 2 Deep Cellars 3

Deep Cellar 4

Deep Cellar 5

There’s also a passage to the underground docks, but that isn’t safe for us to explore.

 Hope you enjoyed these glimpses of backstage at Plas Newydd, and look out for behind the scenes tours this season.

 Chloe x

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Carmen Williams permalink
    May 1, 2013 6:21 pm

    you are so lucky. How do you get to see these? I would pay quite a lot for a private indepth tour of Plas Newydd!

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