The present work is of great interest both for its historical association and its relation to drawings of the same subject by John and Cornelius Varley (the one by John being in the British Museum). As noted in the inscription on the reverse of the drawing, the building is believed by some to be that in which ‘Owen Glendowr held his meetings’. Owain Glyndŵr (circa 1359-circa 1415) led a long, violent, if ultimately unsuccessful campaign to ensure Wales’s independence from England. There is a strong tradition and some evidence that Glyndŵr used the building, also known as Plas Cwrt yn Dre, to assemble his allies. However, others claim that it dates to no earlier than the late fifteenth century.
By the mid eighteenth century, the Old Parliament House was attracting the attention of artists and antiquaries, despite, or perhaps because of, the fact, that it was deteriorating. During the nineteenth century, a campaign was launched to restore the property and convert it into a museum. However, an appeal to raise the funds to purchase it from the then owner was suppressed in favour of another to found a private school for girls. As a result, the timber-framed building was bought in 1886 by the mail order entrepreneur, Pryce Pryce-Jones, who had it dismantled and rebuilt – in an altered form – on his estate at Dolerw Park, Newtown, 30 miles southeast of Dolgellau. Since then, it has been used for a variety of purposes, including, until 2010, as a Quaker meeting house. Though a listed building since 1988, its survival and status continue to be disputed.