In 1780, two members of the Irish gentry arrived in Llangollen. They were Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby. They had run away together from their homes in Ireland two years before.
In Llangollen they built a house and scenic gardens known as Plas Newydd where they would live for the next 50 years. Their relationship – rumours abounded that it was more than just platonic – shocked the aristocracy but intrigued the Romantic literary and artistic community who became regular visitors to Plas Newydd on their tours of Wales.