Portmeirion was created by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis from 1925 to 1976. He wanted to show how a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it. He hoped the village would make people to think about buildings in the landscape.
The village was built as a place people could enjoy for its own sake. It was supposed to be a place where events, concerts and exhibitions could take place.
History of the village
Clough Williams-Ellis had conceived of a tightly grouped coastal village on some romantic clifftop site, perhaps on an island or a remote estuary. This idea stayed with him for about 20 years until in 1925 he found the Aber Iâ estate on the Dwyryd estuary near his home. It was more or less exactly what he had been hoping for, and it was for sale – he bought if for what is said to be around £3,500.
The first thing he did was change the name to Portmeirion. He did not feel Aber Iâ was approprite as it could mean ‘frozen river mouth’ which was not ideal for a holiday resort.
The name Portmeirion comes from ‘Port’ to put it on the coast and ‘Meirion’ the correct spelling of Merioneth, the county in which is was located.
Portmeirion was built in two stages, from 1925 to 1939 and then once post war building restrictions had been lifted, from 1954-76.