Manor History

Gwern Borter Country Manor


Gwern Borter Manor History


Gwern Borter Manor as it stands now dates back to 1850 and is an extension onto an original smaller building. One of the early owners was Thomas Evans Esq. from Haydock, who sold it by public auction at the Castle Hotel in Conwy on 18th October 1889 along with many other large country estates in this area thereby disposing of all his property in North Wales.

Gwern Borter along with much of the surrounding land was owned by George Barker around the turn of the century and this was used as a Hunting Lodge until his death in 1909. His son Thomas and his family occupied the house in 1911 and he lived there until his death in 1941.

One of the quirks of either George or his son Thomas was to top all the entrances to his property with a quartz pyramid on the gateposts which can be seen all around the locality, this stems from the Greek mythology that crystal kept away bad omens. The lane leading to the Manor was built by Thomas in 1920 who of course named it after himself, Barkers Lane.

It is said that George Barker's close relationship with Lord Leicester led to his close contact with the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward (Bertie), later Edward VII, who used Gwern Borter for his liaisons with Lilly Langtree, his most famous mistress.

Their main retreat would have been in their Bournemouth house now the Lilly Langtree Hotel, but in his travels around the country the hunting lodge in the Conwy Valley would have been a superb place to be entertained.. Conformation he had connections to the family was that he made a John Barker founder the Barker department store in Knightsbridge a Baronet.

After several changes of owners the Manor was purchased by Air Commodore Robinson in 1956. The Manor then became the Conwy Valley Mink Farm and was so successful it became one of the leading producers of mink fur in Europe.

After the Air Commodore's death in 1977 the mink farm finished and the Manor and out buildings ran into serious dilapidation for 10 years until we purchased it in 1987. At this time the out buildings were what remained of the infrastructure of all it took to produce top quality fur, the top paddock was called the mink field and had all the old mink cages still in place. They were soon removed as was all other evidence.

From 1987 it took 7 years to convert it into its present form as a holiday destination.

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