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Past

The Bodnant Estate has been owned by the same family for over 130 years.

In January 1875 Henry Davis Pochin (1824-1895), a successful Victorian entrepreneur, purchased the Bodnant Estate. A trained chemist as well as an industrialist, Mr. Pochin had invented a means of clarifying rosin to produce coloured soap and he had also developed processes for the production of china clay from Cornwall. He became involved in various industries, and was for a period also an MP. A man of great energy and many talents, he created the famous laburnum arch in the Garden.

Mr. Pochin's daughter, Laura, inherited the Estate in 1895. She had married Charles McLaren (1850-1934), another MP who in 1911 was created Lord Aberconway by Lloyd George for political services. He chose the title "Aberconway", which is Welsh for "at the mouth of the Conway", because of the location of the Bodnant Estate on the River Conway.

Charles' and Laura's son, Henry McLaren (1879-1953), was also an MP and a successful industrialist before he inherited the title in 1934 to become the 2nd Lord Aberconway. He devoted his energies at Bodnant mainly to the Garden, which is principally his creation - most notably the five great terraces facing Snowdonia. He developed and managed the Garden for about 50 years until his death in 1953, gifting it to the National Trust in 1949. He was also an enthusiastic and skilled shot, and he built two shooting lodges on the Estate, including an unusual one thatched in heather sited high above the Conwy Valley.

His son, Charles McLaren (1913-2003), the 3rd Lord Aberconway and another successful industrialist, similarly devoted his considerable energies at Bodnant mainly to the Garden, which he managed, extended and enhanced for another 50 years until his death in 2003.

The Estate is now owned by his younger son, Michael McLaren (b.1958), a practising QC, who with his wife Caroline is closely involved in the management of the Estate. He is also the Manager of Bodnant Garden on behalf of the National Trust.

Bodnant Family Crest
Henry Davis Pochin

Click image to enlarge.

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