Portmeirion is the creation of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the Welsh architect, who after being enchanted by the Italian fishing village of Portofino, set out to find a naturally beautiful site in Britain where he could create a village equally enchanting. The result is Portmeirion, a masterpiece or a folly of warm pastel coloured buildings and exotic plants, set against the brooding grandeur of Snowdonia.
It is set on the terraces of a thickly wooded peninsula in the sandy estuary between Porthmadog and Harlech. Between 1926 and 1976, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis designed and built these cottages, shops and monuments, as well as rescuing other buildings planned for demolition and restoring them, stone by stone at the Village – his ‘Home for Fallen Buildings’.
Clough’s ethic to, “Cherish the Past, Adorn the Present, Construct for the Future”, has been endorsed. All the buildings are now listed in this Conservation Area.
In 1966 and 1967, the cult television series, ‘The Prisoner’ starring Patrick McGoohan, was filmed here and seen by millions of viewers trying to understand the mystery of why Number Six was held there and would he escape? The defiant statement, “I am not a number; I am a free man”, was broadcast all over the world. Now guests willingly stay at The Hotel overlooking the uncrowded beaches or occupy the self-catering cottages in the Village.
Whatever opinions the visitors to Portmeirion Village and the miles of tranquil woodland walks have, it is undoubtedly an extraordinary magical place.