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Portmeirion is one of the wonders of Wales. This colourful Italianate village, established on the Welsh coast by the extraordinary-and eccentric-self-taught architect, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, demonstrates the force of his belief that beauty is a "strange necessity".
That Strange Necessity offers a visual and poetic tribute to his creation, a place of pilgrimage for all who care about the quality of the relationship between the built and natural environment.
On a smaller scale, Portmeirion deserves to be set beside cities like Bath, Oxford--even Venice--for its successful harmonisation of form and function.Designed as a series of seven walks across and around the village and radiating out into the wild garden to the west of Portmeirion, this book portrays in paint and verse the buildings, monuments and sights that comprise its strange integrity and strong attraction for all who 'have eyes to see'.The Introduction provides a concise history of Portmeirion--from pre-historic times to the present day--and a short account of the life of its architect, together with an explanation of the design of the seven walks, the choice of sights, and the inspiration that shaped the poems and pictures. Maps make it easy for visitors to follow the walks and find their way around the village and the wilderness beyond.The first sequence of poems and paintings leads the reader (and visitor) down the main street of Portmeirion to the sea, passing the Bristol Colonnade, the Piazza and Telford's Tower before reaching Portmeirion's Hotel at the water's edge.
The second moves back up the hill through the Piazza and past the Town Hall, Hercules Statue, and the Bell Tower to the Belvedere.
The third walk follows the coastal path from the Cliff House past the Grotto and the Viewpoint to the estuary and the Stone Boat. The fourth and fifth walks follow Portmeirion's 'Coastal Walk' and "Woodland Walk" through the wild garden called Y Gwyllt, past White Horses, the Lighthouse and the Chinese Lake; and the Children's Playground, the Stone Temple and the Dogs' Cemetery.
Braver souls may explore the deeper wilderness by following Walk Six and discovering the Beach, the Ghost Garden and the Ferryman's Cottage, before returning to the village and re-ascending the hill on the seventh walk from the Triumphal Arch past Chantry Row to the picturesque Toilets near the Car Park.In words and images That Strange Necessity offers visions of Portmeirion, a place created in the twentieth century by a visionary architect, but which now seems timeless in its beauty, endlessly fascinating, and inspiring to all who visit it.
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