... in 1915 it was bought by the Aluminium Corporation on the west side of the valley for Henry Joseph Jack, their managing Director, who changed the name to Maenan Manor. Jack lived on a grand scale entertained lavishly, inviting village children to the manor for a Christmas party in the best squirearchial tradition. Corporation workmen were appropriated to work on the house (entered in the account as 'the Maenan Alterations') although the men were instructed to hide if a board member turned up unexpectedly. The driveway to ‘Plas Jack’ (as the locals called it) was built down to the station and a small quarry was opened to provide stone for the construction.
On the 2nd November 1925 the Eigiau Dam above Dolgarrog built by Jack and his men (none of them structural engineers) to provide water for the factory and the homes of the workers, burst due to defective foundations and the water hurled down the mountain on to the village below. 32 people lost their lives as well as their houses and this put paid to the extravagance of Plas Jack, just as work was started on another driveway down to the abbey. The house was offered for sale in 1930 but stood empty until it became a school of evacuee children during the war. Many of the children were extremely happy in such an idealistic spot and at least three books have been written about their time at the Manor.
There is a Tunnel Complex beneath Plas Maenan Country House which are believed to be Medieval which are host the the largest population of Lesser Horseshoe Bats in the United Kingdom. Also built in part of the tunnel complex is a blast proof strong room with a door that has the dimensions you would expect to find in a walk-in vault. During the Second World War this room was used to store National Treasures from the British National Museum.
According to John Lawson-Reay, a local historian and author from Llanrwst 'the tunnels and cellar were patrolled 24 hours a day 7 days a week by soldiers whom were told under no circumstances were they to be seen by anyone during this time. When questioned the soldier replied “in those days you didn’t ask”'. John Lawson-Reay's book 'The Men who Drowned Dolgarrog' features Plas Maenan in a whole chapter.
The house became a hotel in the 1950’s and was a popular restaurant and location for functions and weddings. Various owners came and went until in 2005 James and Caroline Burt carried out a major restoration and developed the property as a leading wedding venue in the Conwy Valley.
Retired entrepreneur Jane Harris purchased Plas Maenan Country House in December 2018 and went on to refurbish the property and invest in improvements to existing features including a brand new roof, welsh slate drive and restoration of the parquet flooring. Plas Maenan is now open and guests have commented on how much fresher and brighter everything looks.
Plas Maenan Country House has been featured on 'The Great Hotel Escape' with Steph and Dom and ITV's morning show 'Lorraine'. The makeover project is still ongoing to bring the beautiful Edwardian property into the 21st century whilst keeping its magic from the era. By the end of November 2019 the hotel will boast a fine dining restaurant 'Hiraeth' by Jason Hughes and 'Tir a Môr' which specialises in Seafood, Oysters and Champagne.