Sunday, 7 August 2011

Portmeirion (Setting of The Prisoner series)

Yours truly posing at Portmeirion.

The village of Portmeirion has long been a source of inspiration for writers and television producers. The most famous and well known being in 1966-1967 when Patrick McGoohan returned to Portmeirion after Danger Man to film for The Prisoner.This was a surreal spy drama in which Portmeirion itself played a starring role as "The Village". On request from Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion was not identified on screen as the filming location until the credits of the final episode of the series.
The show became a cult classic, and fans continue to visit Portmeirion, which hosts annual Prisoner fan conventions. Many of the locations used in The Prisoner are virtually unchanged from the series, 40 years after production ended.
Iron Maiden recorded a song called "The Prisoner" on its seminal album, "The Number of the Beast." In a documentary programme about that album "Classic Albums" lead singer Bruce Dickinson wanders through the avenues of Portmeirion and describes how the song was written. Then how the band's manager obtained permission from Patrick McGoohan to use dialogue from the show in the song's introduction.

Spectacular beach views from the coastal trail.

Wedding taking place at Portmeirion while we were there.

The Central Plaza

Portmeirion is an amazing tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village and is now owned by a charitable trust.
It was always rumoured it was based on the town of Portofino, Italy, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion's designer, denied this, saying only that he wanted to pay tribute to the atmosphere of the Mediterranean.
The grounds contain an important collection of rhododendrons and other exotic plants in a wild-garden setting and a couple of trails to follow. I managed to complete both the Woodland and the coastal trail.

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