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Adelina Patti Theatre (Craig Y Nos)


A small theatre building added by Dame Adelina Patti and her husband, the tenor Nicolini, to an existing neo-Gothic house. The most ambitious of the few private theatres in Britain, and still intact. Like Chatsworth, it also functioned as a ballroom but has a proper stage with fly tower, and also original machinery and scenery, including a spectacular act drop of Patti as Semiramide, attributed to Hawes Craven. The stage has a slight negative rake. The small, rectangular auditorium has a coved and panelled ceiling and the walls are richly articulated by giant, fluted Corinthian columns. The proscenium, flanked by columns, has a central pedimented tablet with the names of Verdi, Rossini and Mozart. There is no fixed seating. The flat floor can be tilted downwards towards the stage to form a raked auditorium and a sunken orchestra pit opened up. The main house was for many years used as a hospital, later converted to a hotel.

The theatre continues to be used at intervals for performances of opera, however the fabric has deteriorated over time and some is in a poor state of repair.

This is one of the most important private theatres in Britain and deserves exceptional effort to see it restored and brought back to fuller use.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
  • 1891 : continuing
Current state
Current use
Theatre (Private theatre, now in occasional use)
Craig-y-Nos Castle, Abercrave, Powys, SA9 1GL, Wales
Further details
Other names
  • 1891 Use: continuing
  • 1891 Design/Construction:
    Bucknall & Jennings
    - Architect
    Jackson & Sons
    - Plasterwork
  • Capacity
  • Listing
Stage type
Pros flat
Building dimensions: Auditorium 10.48m long x 7.46m wide
Stage dimensions: w: 6m (20ft) d: 6.46m (21ft) at pros wing SL: 2.80m SR: 3.19m
Proscenium width: 6m
Height to grid: 7.93m approx
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: -