Nannau Header

Timeline of Plas Nannau / Nannau ‘Hall’

  1. circa 1788

    Work starts on building the new house by Sir Robert Howell Vaughan and his son.

  2. 1792

    Sir Robert Howell Vaughan dies and his son takes over the building of the house.

  3. 1796

    The house is completed.

  4. 1797

    There was a house-warming celebration on January 1st 1797 with a set of glasses engraved for the event.

  5. 1803

    Sir Robert Williams Vaughan (3rd Baronet) is born.

  6. 1805/1806

    The Pavilion Wings were built behind the house (these can be seen on the two early postcards and the header photograph).

    They were added, from designs by the architect Joseph Bromfield (1744-1824) who also designed the new house at Caerynwch in 1780 and is reputedly the architect of the main Nannau house, although this cannot be confirmed.

  7. 1813

    The Nannau gardens in July, “abounded with vegetables of all sorts and all fruits then in season, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants and cherries”.

    …Richard Fenton 1813

  8. 1824

    Work is completed on the kitchen (built behind the west/left pavilion wing). It was built to celebrate the coming of age of Robert Williames Vaughan, 3rd Bart in 1824, with celebrations in the local area.

  9. 1831

    The estate is covered with fine timber which clothes all the sides of the dingles for many miles: the park is remarkable for its small by excellent venison.

    …Richard Lloyd 1831

  10. 1837

    The surrounding grounds are beautifully wooded. The oak, the beech, the walnut, the acacia, the fir, the lime, the ash, with almost every variety of tree and shrub, are grouped in good taste, and the gardens are spacious and beautiful.

    …Thomas Turner 1837

  11. 1843

    Sir Robert Williams Vaughan (2nd Baronet) dies and the estate passes to his wife Anna Maria.

  12. 1859

    Sir Robert Williams Vaughan (3rd Baronet) dies aged 55 without an Heir.

    He lived most of his life away from Nannau, due to a possible formidable mother (who only passed away they year before he died).

    He lived mainly at Rûg and died in London.

    Thomas Pryce Lloyd inherits Nannau for Life.

  13. 1900

    John Vaughan dies and the estate passes to his wife Ellinor.

  14. 1914

    Nannau was used as an officer’s neurological hospital. These hospitals were used for short-term treatment lasting months, rather than extended treatment lasting for years. Nannau was chosen due to it’s quiet location and private grounds. The nearby house at Maes-y-Bryner was used as a guest house for the relatives of the sick patients.

    Read the Letters Home of Lt. E. Trevor Evans, R.F.C., R.A.F.

  15. 1934

    Sir Clough Williams-Ellis (creator of Portmeirion, some twenty-five miles away) designed some alterations to Nannau in 1934, but I am unsure what these were or if they were implemented.

  16. 1940


    Bedgebury Park School for Girls, in Kent, was evacuated to Nannau during World War Two (on May 24th, 1940).

    Information courtesy of Alan S. Nipper: “This private school for girls moved to Wales in 1940, returning to Goudhurst, Kent in 1945. The school was founded in 1920 and closed circa 2002. I believe the younger pupils were housed in Llanelltyd . They and the seniors were also given facilities at Dr Williams School.”


  17. 1949

    The Princess Elizabeth And The Duke Of Edinburgh (Earl Of Merioneth) had lunch at Nannau during their tour of Merioneth on April 28th & 29th, 1949.

    The photo shows local residents outside Nannau (photo courtesy of Christoper Quaile).

    Read More…

  18. 1952

    The house was listed Grade II* in 1952. It is important to point out that it is Grade II STAR and not just Grade II. This is a breakdown the percentage of graded buildings (although based on buildings in England, I think it is roughly the same in Wales):

    Grade II - 92%
    Grade II* - 5.5%
    Grade I - 2.5%
    Exterior of Nannau

    Exterior back view of central section of Nannau showing the pavilion wing and other buildings. Photo taken in the 1950s. © Crown copyright RCAHMW.

  19. 1954

    Major-General John Vaughan describes Nannau in his war memoirs, “Cavalry and Sporting Memories”, published in 1954:

    “Nannau is about the best built Georgian house I have ever seen. With huge blocks of stone and round, pointed and projecting mortar. Incidentally, I cannot find out the composition of the cement but I have been told that it was burnt lime, fine river sand and bullocks’ blood or white of eggs. It is previous to Portland cement. All the stone was, of course, hand dressed and the interior woodwork and ceilings are a monument to the old Welsh craftsmen, who have now entirely ceased to exist”.

    He describes the estate as “one of the most beautiful in the United Kingdom”…

  20. 1958

    A schedule of of the house contents was produced. See Here.

  21. 1960s

    Nannau circa 1960

  22. 1960s/1970s

    The pavilion wings were demolished in the late 1960s-1970, although the cellars seem to have survived, as do the arches of the east (right) wing and some of the outline of the buildings behind.

  23. 1970s

    The house was sold to Edward Alexander Morrison III, D.F.C. and his wife Barbara Stanger MacKenzie-Smith Morrison.

    More Details on the Post Vaughans Page.

  24. 1971

    The coach house is split from the main house (that was owned by the Morrisons) and sold.

  25. 1974

    The Nannau Estate is split from the house and sold (the estate is still in the same hands)

  26. 1978

    Nannau is mentioned in Peter Underwood’s book “Haunted Wales” (and repeated in “Where the Ghosts Walk: The Gazetteer of Haunted Britain”). There is also a photo of Nannau in the book which shows the Pavilion Wings had already been removed.

    Mr. E.A. Morrison was the owner at the time as he is mentioned in the book.

  27. 1979

    Nannau was converted into a hotel when it was sold in 1979 (to a Mr. Bowen?). The interior was drastically altered to make more bedrooms.

  28. 1984

    The house now has three self-catering suites (two on the first floor of the house and one on the first floor of the Coach House). See Brochures & Advertising.

    Photo courtesy of David Brown.

  29. 1991

    It became the family home of Dafydd Maslen-Jones and his wife Julie. Dafydd was a direct descendant of Owain Glyndwr. They were planning to turn it into a Bed and Breakfast in March 1995, but it was sold later the same year.

  30. 1995

    The house was sold.

  31. 1998

    The house is back on the market. See Particulars.

    1998 Sales Brochure Cover

  32. 1999

    The Daily Telegraph on 7th August, 1999. See Brochures & Advertising.

    The house was bought by Hugh Eaves for £350,000.

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

  33. 2001

    The house was bought by Jason Cawood for £240,000 on February 12th.

    The Coach House was sold on 12th June, 2001 for £162,500.

  34. 2002

    The owner was given Listed Building Consent for substitution of previously removed classical entrance hall screen, pilasters, in-situ plaster cornicing, lathe and plaster, internal wall linings and ceilings, ceiling roses, internal doors, door linings, architraves, skirtings.

  35. 2002

    Work stopped on the house

  36. 2005

    Nannau from the north-west in 2005

    Nannau from the north-west. Taken on May 17th, 2005. © Crown copyright RCAHMW.

    The Coach House was sold on 17th February, 2005 for £450,000.

  37. 2015

    Nannau in August 2015