In my first book 'The Genesis of Freemasonry' I discussed the importance of the Watkin Williams Wynn family to Freemasonry in North Wales; a number of prominent members serving as Provincial Grand Masters there during the nineteenth and twentieth century.
Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 3rd Baronet was a Jacobite and resided at his estate at Wynnstay in Denbighshire in North Wales. His son, the 4th Baronet became a Freemason, founding his own lodge which met on the estate. The main house at Wynnstay - Gothic in style - is being refurbished and the remaining out buildings are now apartments. The chapel still exists and reveals evidence of Masonic influences.
A branch of the same family - the Williams family - resided at Bodelwyddan Castle, which is situated near St. Asaph in North Wales. This branch of the family also built the nearby 'Marble Church', and both the castle and the church are a celebration of Victorian Gothic architecture. The same branch of the family also constructed a magnificent Gothic Chateau overlooking the Menai Straits on Anglesey, a Chateau that I stumbled upon during a recent visit to the island. The Williams family drew on the Chateau Chamord in the Loire region of France for its inspiration, the family having travelled there. Though this branch of the family have no apparent links to Masonry, the architectural splendour of the Chateau Rhianfa conveys a celebration of architecture and a rich heritage of building design in Wales, and of course, the importance of their extended family within Freemasonry in Wales is also important.