History


Edge House (Bron-y-Graig) lies in the grounds of an early 19th Century quarry, one of many such small works along the north slopes of the Berwyns.   It was built originally by a wine merchant in the 1870’s, though traces of an earlier and much simpler house remain in the massive kitchen inglenook and entrance lintel over what is now the service hatch.

Most of the current house, annexe and “The Stables” opposite date from 1888 when Bron-y-Graig was the family home of Mr Robert David Roberts, a local man who became a prosperous grocer and eventually High Sheriff of Denbigh. The Robertses owned much of the land and houses surrounding Bron-y-Graig, as well as properties in Liverpool. Up until the late 1970’s the house was maintained by his last surviving grand-daughter, Miss Christiana Roberts, as a model of Victorian self-sufficiency. 

The house and gardens included:-
Its own water supply
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the stream now only runs occasionally
Kitchen, bread ovens & drying room
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now staff accommodation
Smokehouse/cured meat store
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now staff accommodation
Stables for 4 horses, store for gig & carriage and large hayloft
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currently a self-contained two-bedroom cottage
A large greenhouse with 3 producing vines & potting shed, with integrated coal-fired central heating
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currently the terrace area of the lower garden, awaiting reconstruction
Morning Room
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now the kitchen
Dining Room
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now the Drawing Room
Drawing Room
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now the Dining Room
Servants’ Quarters
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Rooms 7 & 8
Nursery
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Room 6
Scullery
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now the Office
Guest Bedrooms
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Rooms 4 & 5
Family Bedrooms
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Rooms 1, 2 & 3


In the 1920’s the house was substantially extended and effectively split in half, with Miss Christiana’s sister occupying the west half of the house which is now a separate freehold called Bron-y-Nant (“Breast of the Valley”).   The two sisters kept in touch by speaking tube, still visible today.    Following Miss Christiana’s death the house was much neglected for over 10 years and by the time the present owners purchased the property in 1988 almost complete reconstruction was necessary.  Ten years of weekend work later, the house had been completely reconstructed in its original 1880’s style and shape.   Now, as you can see, the old house, with its twisting stairs and long corridors, is richly decorated in the William Morris patterns beloved by Victorians.

Bron-y-Graig opened as a “Victorian Town House Hotel” in the summer of 1999 and its small licensed restaurant opened in the winter of the same year.


The Stables

The Stables is the former Victorian coach-house which has been converted into a fully-equipped self-catering holiday home.

The Sitting Room was originally a series of stalls and looseboxes for horses, with a draining tiled floor, slate mangers and cast iron hayracks.   The hallway was a panelled tackroom with a small fireplace.  When we moved in the saddletrees and bridlehooks still hung on the walls.

The Bedrooms were a long hayloft, originally reached only by a second-storey door, now a window, in the smaller bedroom.  Hay was lifted up by the cast-iron winch arrangement which remains today.

The Kitchen was a large square area with doors on its yard side, used for storing the family’s carriage and gig.      The Laundry was an outhouse.

Many of the fittings which you see in Bron-y-Graig today have survived from the Victorian or early 20th Century period.  The house was fortunate in that all its fireplaces, doors, tiled floors, stained glass and individual touches such as the electric bellpushes, were not removed as fashions changed.    For the current redecoration we selected authentic William Morris designs as they were being produced and becoming widespread when the house itself was constructed.

Morris designs in Bron-y-Graig are Vine (Drawing Room), Willow Bough (Dining Room), Michaelmas Daisy (corridors), Lily and Iris (bedrooms).
Morris designs in the Stables are Willow Boughs (sitting room) and Garden Tulip (bedrooms)


Gardens & Quarry

Bron-y-Graig has extensive terraced gardens with wide views of the countryside.   Feel free to sit on the Terrace or Lower Lawns or on the Billiard Room Lawn, which is reached by following the drive up past the Stables and turning left up the steps.  

Second left takes you to the Quarry with a wonderful view of the hill fort on Caer Drewyn.   The Quarry is a fine example of Victorian hydro-management – it has a stepped stone bed for the stream off the Berwyns, which falls into a gully in the Upper Garden and then underground into a stone culvert which is big enough to crawl along (we’ve done it!) travelling under the Stables and disgorging into the fields opposite Bron-y-Graig.   We have installed grids at intervals along the watercourse to trap debris which is increasingly brought down as trees are felled on the Berwyns above Bron-y-Graig.

The Gardens are splendid for children to explore, with lots of places to hide and paths to run along.  Please supervise your children at all times in the Gardens as the land is very steep.    

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