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The Prisoner’s Welsh holiday home

Features |

The cult TV series is celebrating its 50th birthday. Deborah Maby returns to its setting, the fantasy village of Portmeirion, where she grew up 

Not long ago, I spent a weekend clearing out my bedroom at my late parents’ house in North Wales. My father had died in 2000, my mother in 2013. And now my sister and I were finally selling our share of the house to my brother. The house is on the Portmeirion estuary, about ten minutes’ walk from the village itself, and about half-way between the towns of Penrhyndeudraeth and Porthmadog. My parents bought it in 1949, for £2,000, from the creator of Portmeirion, Clough Williams-Ellis himself – along with unlimited entry to the village for ourselves and all our visiting friends for as long as we lived there. So Portmeirion is embedded in my childhood, teenage and adult memories – and even those of my own children. Almost whenever I mention Portmeirion, people respond with ‘Ah yes, The Prisoner!’; but, oddly, I don’t remember it having much bearing on our...

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