"From the great forts of Caernarfon, Harlech and Beaumaris in the north to the Victorian glories of Cardiff in the south, from St David's cathedral in the west to the exquisite hill church of Patrisio in the east, from Plas Newydd on the Menai Straits to the romantic citadel of Carreg Cennen in Pembrokeshire, the buildings of Wales embody the history and personality of the least known part of the British Isles." "Simon Jenkins has travelled every mile of the country, down forgotten lanes and over windy hillsides, to find the best Welsh buildings for his readers. This book gives full space to the celebrated cathedrals and castles, but also describes remote upland chapels such as Conwy's Llangelynnin or secret chapels such as Salem or dune cells such as Llandanwg, the gentry houses of Tredegar, Dinefwr and Powis and the great Victorian mansions of Cardiff Castle and Penrhyn. He irresistibly conveys his enthusiasm for these remarkable buildings, often gloriously isolated." "The book is not just about architecture. Saints such as David, Illtud and Beuno, warriors such as the Llywelyns and Glyndwr and eccentrics such as the Ladies of Llangollen throng its pages. So too do Lloyd George, Gladstone and Adelina Patti, the Italian diva who retreated to the Brecon Beacons at the end of the nineteenth century." "In a long and thoughtful introduction Jenkins addresses the question of what is distinctly Welsh about Welsh buildings, how far the country has succeeded in escaping the influence of its eastern neighbour, and the degree to which the Welsh identity is embodied in its buildings. Cumulatively the book amounts to a cultural history of Wales by one of its most devoted and knowledgeable admirers. Anyone who loves Wales, or who visits it, will want to own this glorious book."--Jacket.