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Clough Williams Ellis

Jonah Jones
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, June 11, 1997
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The architect Clough Williams-Ellis (1883-1978) is probably best known as the creator of Portmeirion, the Italianate village known as ’the Xanadu of Wales’ and the setting of the cult television series, The Prisoner. As Portmeirion attests, Williams-Ellis was an architect with an eye for space, detail and the humorous. Although he never completed formal training he was constantly in demand for a wide variety of commissions, from the restoration of country houses to the planning of new towns in the Home Counties, Russia and China.

A leading campaigner for sympathetic urban development and for the founding of National Parks, he was also a prolific writer on these and other subjects and found time to travel, and sail, the world. Patrician, occasionally eccentric, the particular genius of Clough Williams-Ellis is apparent to all who visit his buildings.

Jonah Jones’ intriguing memoir guides the reader through the life and work of this friend, neighbour, employer and collaborator of many years. It offers an intimate insight into his childhood, war service, longlasting marriage to Amabel Strachey, and life as owner of Portmeirion, and a commentary on his career as architect, planner and public figure.

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