- The Place and its Past -

A look at more than a century of the resort's past and its early years, using old pictures and maps, together with a thousand year historical account.


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The frontage, not yet built up.

Before the fake boat, sailing vessels put into harbour.

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Trading ketch 'Amis Reunis' became a fake 'stone' boat.

Now permanently 'moored', the stone boat's berth.

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Boat stern on right is remains of 'Amis Reunis'.

Original 'Sea Lawn' of the newly opened hotel.

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The Observatory Tower has now been   added.

Another view showing the fake boat.

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The curved side to the hotel, lost in the 1981 fire.

One more view of the hotel terrace and wide entrance.

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The hotel quay, where small boats could tie up.

High tide and swimming pool lido.


Old Names of Buildings and Structures - see main map and key on History 2 page.

A fascinating and fantastic place - PORTMEIRION. Even the name conjures up romantic visions and captures the haunting atmosphere of this fairytale location. Once there existed only a remote Victorian mansion, which sat on the edge of an overgrown wooded peninsula (formerly called ABER IA). This unlikely setting gradually metamorphosed into a much-filmed and visited international hotel resort. Its grounds, surrounding woods and main village have always evoked magic and mystery. For over 75 years, since architect Sir Clough Williams Ellis first began developing his declared dream site, PORTMEIRION has evolved naturally. Many attempts have been made to 'define' the place's 'meaning'. Guides have been written over the years, becoming outdated with each new addition within the resort, or name change. Although words can never convey or encompass the appeal and composition of PORTMEIRION, at least there is now a record of all the titles of its buildings or places, past and present, spread over the next 7 linked pages. Each listing begins with current names, but earlier ones do not always appear in historical order of usage.

Entries are set out alphabetically and so do not follow any geographical route. Some establishment names have adorned more than one building at different times (e.g. The Peacock Shop [4], The Ship Shop [3] etc.) The main hotel was mostly destroyed by fire in 1981 and, after extensive repair and renovation, reopened in 1988. In recent years, building names have been provided in Welsh. However, this list mainly gives titles in English (with a few shop exceptions, which have never used English names). A number of garages are referred to, there being once 33, prior to various accommodation conversions. Sometimes, in the following pages, items are grouped together for convenience. If it seems that something is missing, check another entry e.g. Friday Lane is placed with Ornamental Fountain and not Mermaid Cottage. An entry can be found by consulting the red numerals on the History 2 page map, or the smaller inset map, as they correspond to the 100 numbers listed throughout the text. There are also ornamental pillars and shelters at various points along the approach road to Portmeirion, from its start point after leaving the main highway, plus various signs and structures (eg. in carparks), not all listed.