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Worthenbury Broughton Hall west elevation

Worthenbury Broughton Hall west elevation

Emral Hall , Worthenbury, was the seat of the de Pyvelesdon family ( Puleston ), an important Anglo-Welsh family in the borderlands who originally came over from France with William the conqueror who would ultimately become king of England, the family resided there in uninterrupted succession between the reign of Edward I and the 1930s when the estate was sold off and the house demolished. The family derived their name from the manor of Pilston or Puleston new Newport, Shropshire, Sir Roger de Puleston, a trusted officer of the king and associated with ‘Embers-hall’ in 1283, probably being the first of his line to establish a seat here in the wake of the conquest of Wales. He was appointed first sheriff of Anglesey and as such was responsible for levying the unpopular tax on movables which precipitated the revolt led by Madog ap Llywelyn in the autumn of 1294, during the course of which he lost his life in a Welsh raid on the borough of Caernarfon.


The early hall was most probably associated with a moated site of which the Emral Brook is thought to have formed the eastern side. Like a number of other prominent local families of English origin the Pulestons were later to become fully absorbed within Anglo-Welsh cultural and political life, becoming patrons of many Welsh poets, including Guto’r Glyn, Gutun Owain and Lewys Glyn Cothi, for successive generations between the mid 14th century and the end of the 16th. Robert Puleston was one of a number of prominent landowners in Maelor Saesneg who had sided with Owain Glyn Dwr at an early stage of the Welsh rebellion in the early years of the 15th century. A chapel dedicated to St Thomas the Martyr existed here in the 1440s which was demolished in the 1770s.


During the Civil War the king’s forces were billeted at Emral in 1642, possibly within a later medieval hall which had replaced an earlier hall at the site. Sir John Puleston (c. 1583-1659) judge, lived at Emral Hall in 1650s, installed Philip Henry as minister of Worthenbury of which he had bought the advowson, and tutor to his children. Henry lived at Emral until Puleston built him a house at Worthenbury, said of his patron that in renewing leases on the estate he substituted for the customary obligation of keeping a hound or a hawk for the landlord to that of keeping a Bible in the house. A new larger house was built in about the 1660s, which together with additions in the 1720s and 1890s probably extended over parts of the earlier moat. The house was demolished in 1936 and considered to be a serious architectural loss. Much material was used to fill in the remains of the moat though parts of the house were re-erected at Portmeirion by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis.


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