Portmeirion Italianate Village

If you have never visited Portmeirion, you are missing a treat! This Welsh village is like no other village you have ever seen or imagined. Built in the Mediterranean style but with quirky architecture in abundance, it is a must on your list of places to visit whilst in the Porthmadog area.

One cannot describe the mixture and diversity of the buildings – a small blue cottage adjacent to a Buddha in an alcove, next to a tall pink house, unexpected tunnels, a concrete boat, turn a corner and there is another delight to please. 

Make sure your camera has batteries and has plenty of space for all the photos you'll take.


The village was built by Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis, Kt. CBE. MC. LLD. FRIBA. FRTPI. FILA etc. (1883-1978).

 Clough acquired the site in 1925 for around £20,000 and started building in 1925.

Portmeirion was built in two stages: from 1925 to 1939 the site was 'pegged-out' and its most distinctive buildings were erected. From 1954-76 he filled in the details.

 His last building, the tollgate was built in his 93rd year. Portmeirion gave Clough pleasure during his life and he hoped that it would give pleasure to others. His motto was "Cherish the Past, Adorn the Present, Construct for the Future." He fought for beauty, "that strange necessity".

Fellow Architects were drawn to Portmeirion, notably Frank Lloyd Wright who came in 1956 during his one and only visit to his ancestral country - Wales.

bristol colonnade

The 1960's TV Series - The Prisoner - was filmed at Portmeirion

Patrick McGoohan not only starred as Number Six, the leading role in The Prisoner, he was also the creator and driving force behind the 17 episode series. The series was financed by ITC Entertainment with David Tomblin as the Producer and George Markstein as script editor.
Many well known actors had guest roles in the series: Leo McKern, Peter Bowles, Eric Portman, Patrick Cargill, Mary Morris, Paul Eddington and Donald Sinden to name but a few.
There is no escape. The prisoners have had all desire to escape taken away, either by their purposeless existence, brainwashing or surgery. Number 6 is the only one with the will to escape, the one who refuses to be broken: "I am not a number; I am a free man".

It was probably one of the most influential pieces of televison of the 1960s not only in the UK and USA but also in France, Australia and many other countries. 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.
The Round House at Portmeirion 
The Round House at Portmeirion, used as No6's appartment in The Prisoner,
now used as The Prisoner Shop.

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