BERTRAM CLOUGH WILLIAMS - ELLIS  1883 - 1978

 

Born at Gayton in Northamptonshire on 28th May, 1883, Clough Williams-Ellis is often referred to as being a self taught, natural architect and landscape designer, he certainly had an amazing gift and affinity to his work. After attending Trinity College, Cambridge he undertook only a few months in formal architectural training before opening his own architectural practice in London when he was 22 years old.

 

He was a life long advocator and protector for the environment which led to a knighthood in 1971 for  his services ‘to architecture and the environment’.  Perhaps many when they hear the name Clough Williams-Ellis will immediately think of Portmeirion, the village he built between 1925-1975 on his own private land in Snowdonia, Wales. Portmeirion rose into the spotlight of the world when the filming of the ‘cult’ drama series ‘The Prisoner’ starring Patrick MaGoohan was filmed there in 1967. Today it is a site for tourism and a lasting tribute to his vision and work. Clough Williams-Ellis left his distinctive designs throughout the United Kingdom and further afield.  We are fortunate enough to have several of his designs here in North Antrim and close to the Giants Causeway.

 

The Memorial School in Bushmills (The Old Grammar School, now the Residential Centre)  and the  Giant's Causeway School. The Giants Causeway School was designed before the First War and the Memorial School in Bushmills was designed after the War.  Clough Williams-Ellis  served from 1915-18 in France and Flanders in the Welsh Guards and Royal Tank Corp and was awarded the Military Cross. On his return, along with other works, he produced designs for war memorials and at the same time the Bushmills Memorial School.  At Cushendun we find several more of his designs in the centre of the village (1923), Maud Cottages and Glenmona House.

 

Numerous well known architect of the era and modern visited Portmeirion, the fabulous photograph above was taken in 1956 when Frank Lloyd Wright made his one and only visit to his ancestral home in Wales. To read more about Clough Williams-Ellis and see other photographs of his work follow the link to Tish Farrell - Writer on the Edge (below)

 

Image: Clough Williams Ellis / Frank Lloyd Wright  Portmeirion 1956 -  Courtesy of  Tish Farrell /Writer on the Edge