The Italianate Village of Portmeirion

Bridge House [1959], the second gateway into this stunning Italianate village in North Wales.

Portmeirion was brought into being by Clough Williams-Ellis [1883-1978], who had it built on his own private peninsula on the coast of Snowdonia National Park.  Clough was deeply committed to the conservation of rural Wales, and spent much of his time campaigning for the protection of the environment.  His motto was: “Cherish the past, adorn the present, construct for the future.”

250,000 visitors come to Portmeirion every year and the admission fee [currently £12.00 adult] contributes to the upkeep of the village and gardens.  Please take a stroll with me around this fabulous wonderland.   

The Roundhouse [1959] was used as Number Six’s residence in the 1960’s series of “The Prisoner”.  It now houses Number Six, the Prisoner Shop.

The Loggia which houses a Buddha [1963].

The gilt statue of Buddha, salvaged from the relics of a film shoot of “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”, starring Miss Ingrid Bergman, in 1958.

The Bell Tower, also called the Campanile [1928] embodies stone from the twelfth century castle of Gruffydd ap Cynan, King of North Wales.

The Fountain Pool in the Piazza [1965, listed Grade 11 in 1971], built to replace an unsightly tennis court that had been there since the 1930’s.

The Bristol Collonade, designed by James Bridges c.1760, rebuilt here 1959.  Originally built by the Quaker copper smelter William Reeve in Bristol.

Angel holding scroll, in the style of French or Netherlands fifteenth-century sculpture.

View of the village from high up in the woodlands.

Statue of St Peter near the entrance to the village.

The Gothic Pavilion [1965] A gift from Nercwys Hall, Flintshire, N Wales.

A Wishing Well, adorned with a group of copper dolphins. A gift from the staff of Portmeirion, to Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, on his eightieth birthday.

The gardens and extensive woodlands are quite magnificent.

The Prisoner” was filmed here at Portmeirion in the 1960′s.  Patrick McGoohan  starred as Number Six, in the seventeen episode series, which began with him resigning from his top secret government job, being gassed and falling unconscious. He wakes in a sinister village from which there is no escape. The captives are brainwashed but Number 6 is the only one who refuses to be broken: “I am not a number; I am a free man”.

The series was probably one of the most influential pieces of televison of the 1960s and even The Beatles were fans. Its cult status was confirmed with the establishment in the 1970s of the official Prisoner Appreciation Society, Six of One.

Clough Williams-Ellis wrote:

“Patrick McGoohan’s ingenious and indeed mysterious television series, “The Prisoner”, stands alone for its revealing presentation of the place.  When seen in colour at the local cinema, a performance he kindly arranged, Portmeirion, itself, seemed to me, at least, to steal the show from its human cast.”


See also: The Enchanted Wild Wood at Portmeirion:

The Enchanted Wild Wood at Portmeirion

Categories: Drama, Life, North Wales, Photography, Portmeirion, Snowdonia National ParkTags: , , , ,


  1. Thank you for the tour. Such a grandiose “follie”. I have been meaning to visit, but so many places, so little time…
    Have a nice week-end.

  2. That beautiful place comes alive so nicely through your pictures/post. Your indications about films shot there is particularly informative. Jo

  3. I visited there in the 1970’s, and yes, it was the TV show that made me want to check it out. Looks the same here in your photos.

  4. I went there as a child but it’s time I must visit again your photos are wonderful, whats the best time of year do you think?

    • Thank you, Charlotte. I think it would be magical in the winter with a covering of snow and the lovely fairy lights. It would be much quieter then too. To stay at the hotel there would be an added bonus ❤

  5. Prachtig verhaal mooi aangevuld door sfeervolle foto’s

  6. The colors make it all the more appealing! What a beautiful place!

    Cheers, Charu

  7. wow …I would never expect such a village in Wales . Thank you, Izzy for taking me along in this wondrous village, It is amazing sometimes how the past leaves marks on the present. ❤

    • Bless you, Francina. It is my pleasure. It is one of my most favourite places and there’s a lot more to it than the few images I posted, including a lovely hotel right on the estuary. I first visited when I was 15 years old and said then “I’m going to stay in that hotel one day.” All these years on and I still haven’t fulfilled this dream. One day, maybe…❤❤

  8. So beautiful! Enjoyed reading the stories. Thank you for the tour. 🙂

  9. I’ve been to Portmeirion many times in the past. It’s wonderful to see it again and so well kept. Thank you for that and – Be seeing you – 🙂

  10. Thank you for the visit, we went back in 2014 and we loved every second we were there, luckily it was in May, so not so many bodies about. Lovely photos and like you I would to return in the snow 🙂

    • Thank you, Lyn. So glad you got to visit there. Yes, in the snow would be brilliant. Up to now I haven’t managed it yet as I would have to drive through the mountains and the roads are horrendous there!! But never say never, One day..

  11. So envious that you live so close- I wish that I lved close enought to vist. it looks magical thank you for sharing

    • Thank you, Sonia. It is a lovely place to visit. If ever you’re over here, we’ll go together. ❤

      • That would be wonderful but I think my travelling days are over, I am reluctant to leave my cats! xx

      • I know exactly what you mean, Sonia. I haven’t been overseas for a few years now and even my trips in Wales are reduced to mostly day trips or 2/3 days at most. My daughter or brother look after the cats then, but I still worry about them!!

  12. Beautiful place! Hard to believe it is in Wales.

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