Even when wandering around the ground of architect Clough Williams-Ellis's eccentric Portmeirion coming across the Dogs' Cemetary is a little odd.
The Dogs' Cemetery was established by one of Portmeirion's eccentric tenants, Mrs Adelaide Haig, who lived in a mansion known as Aber Iâ (which became The Hotel Portmeirion later on) from 1870 until her death in 1917. She preferred the company of dogs to human beings and kept her mongrel pack in the elegant Mirror Room where she would read sermons to them from behind a screen. She was very pious and hoped her dogs would take and equal interest in her divine studies.
She did not like her gardeners to cut down any plants or weeds and soon the whole place became a wilderness. As they had no gardening to do, she would send her gardeners to patrol her perimeter wall and to bring back to her any stray dogs they might find. When she died the hearse that came for her could not reach the house until woodsmen had hacked a way along the jungle-choked drive. Following her death a stag mysteriously appeared on the peninsula and in threading its way hither and thither through the undergrowth it rediscovered and trod out the long-lost system of paths that had once been so generously contrived. It is said that the extent of the zigzagging paths laid end to end is over twenty miles.
My dear dear dog gone before
To that unknown and silent shore
Shall we not meet as heretofore
Some summer morning.
From the headstone of one of Mrs Adelaide Haig's pet dogs.
Portmeirion - http://www.portmeirion-village.com/