The Nannau Estate in Wales

“Enraged at this treachery, he seized on Sele, burnt his house, and hurried him away from the place; nor could anyone learn how he was disposed of, till forty years after, when a skeleton of a large man, such as Howel, was discovered in the hollow of a great oak...”

...Thomas Pennant
(Historian) 1726-1798.

Nannau is located three miles north of the town of Dolgellau in Wales and has been home to two of the most powerful and influential families in the county for hundreds of years, the Nanneys and the Vaughans. This site is intended to promote the area and to act as a source of information for people interested in the history, as well as more recent news. If you have any photographs or information about Nannau, or other lodges/buildings on the estate etc., I would love to hear from you. Contact Page.

View a FLICKR ALBUM of photos of Nannau during its 1999 renovation. Photos courtesy of Baron Westwood.

Nannau on February 17th, 2018

Nannau on October 6th, 2017

I have sought permission for all of the information I can on this site, but if there is anything here which you own the copyright to and do no want it listed, please email me and I will be happy to remove it.

I have no connections with the family, but have lived in Dolgellau since 1988 and have run a town website at since 2000. This website launched on April 26th, 2014. I also have a Nannau Facebook Page if you want to post any comments.

An introduction to this website.

Thanks to Dennis Yancey (and his Nanney Family Archives), David Brown, Philip Nanney Williams (who wrote the excellent Nannau book in 2016), Christopher Quaile, Miles Wynn Cato (, Welsh Antiques (, The National Library of Wales, The National Museum of Wales and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales for their help supplying many of the photographs and information on this website.

Excerpt from the Book “Panorama Of The Beauties, Curiosities and Antiquities of North Wales”, by J. Hemingway. Published in 1889.


About two miles from Dolgellau, is an ancient seat, formerly belonging to the Nannau’s, but now the property and residence of Sir Robert Williames Vaughan, late M.P. for the county, who has erected upon it a handsome mansion, and maintains, unimpaired, the hospitality of the olden times. The way to it from Dolgellau, is a continued ascent, and Mr. Pennant observes, is the highest situation of any gentleman’s house in Britain. It stands 702 feet above the level of the sea, and from the furthest of the numerous lodges, has the longest approach (five miles) of any other house. The estate is covered with fine woods, which clothe all the sides of the dingles for many miles. The park of Nannau is remarkable for its very small but excellent venison.

The Coming of Age Celebrations of Robert W. Vaughan in 1824. Read More On The Old Newspaper Page.

At day-break, 21 rounds of guns were fired off from Cader Idris, which were returned from guns placed on eminence, near Nannau. At the same early hour, the bells of Dolgelly commenced ringing in harmonious peal, and continued during the whole of the day. The bugles and trumpets of the Merionethshire militia struck up the revalley, and continued playing martial and other airs…

At one o’clock a grand procession was formed which proceeded from Dolgelle to Nannau, consisting of a great number of respectable gentleman on horseback, followed by an innumerable multitude on foot; next followed and elegant mail coach, drawn by four beautiful brown horses, richly decorated with laurel and ribbons, mounting a coachman and two guards, elegantly dressed in red and gold, and carrying fourteen banners and afterwards followed a great number of gentleman in carriages.

At Nannau a capacious tent was erected, capable of dining 200 individuals, and in which not less than 150 gentlemen partook of a dinner of the most excellent description, and of abundance of wines.

The information on this site has been taken from various books and publications, including:

The Story of Two Parishes: Dolgelley & Llanelltyd by T.P. Ellis (Published in 1928). (View Online).

The History of the Nannau Family by B.R. Parry (View Online on the Nanney Family Archives).

The Journal of the Merioneth Historical and Record Society: Hugh Nanney Hên (c.1546-1623) Squire of Nannau (Published in 1967). (View Online on the Nanney Family Archives).

The Old Order Based On The Diary of Elizabeth Baker (Dolgellau 1778-1786) by Ben Bowen Thomas (1941).

Historic Houses of Wales - Nannau - North Wales (Booklet/Visitor Guide) (c.1960). ( on the Nanney Family Archives).

Major-General John Vaughan: Cavalry and Sporting Memories. (224 pages, published in 1954 by Bala Press). Details Here.

Nanney Research by Georgia Ruth - Posted on November 15th, 2014 - The first Nanney reunion was in 1908 at the North Carolina home place on Nanneytown Road in Rutherford County. There was much conjecture about the Nanneys who came to Virginia from Nannau, their ancestral home in Wales. Speculation continued to grow. Annual reunions started at Round Hill Baptist Church in Union Mills, NC, in 1983, and there was increased attention to genealogy by several Nanneys from New York to Texas…


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