Effigy of Meurig ap Ynyr Fychan

Owners of Nannau - The Vaughan Family

The Vaughan name derives from the welsh word “Fychan” meaning “Younger” or “Junior”.

In 1889 John Vaughan and his wife Ellinor Owen of Garthangharad, employed no less than twenty-nine indoor and outdoor staff.

The Vaughan family made great changes and spent huge amounts of money on Nannau and the estate in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. This period was known as “The Golden Age of Nannau”.

The changes included the landscaping of the deer park, expansion of the estate and construction of the arches, lodges, gates, eye-catchers and a great number of trees. Some of this work was undertaken to alleviate the unemployment following the Napoleonic wars. This included the construction of miles of paths, drives and roads. This earned Sir Robert Vaughan the nickname of “The Colossus of Roads”. He was also responsible for building fifty-five miles of stone walling around the expanse of sheep enclosures in the area. When Sir Robert Vaughan was seeking re-election to parliament in 1820, the estate covered some 12,000 acres.

Many local buildings were built by Sir Robert. He laid out the market square in Dolgellau and rebuilt The Golden Lion there in 1839 (which had many illustrious visitors, including the Grand Duke Constantine of Russia, the King of Sardinia and Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte to name but a few).

He was also instrumental in building the Dolgellau Courthouse in 1825 and erecting the county jail (which was disused in 1811 due to lack of prisoners).

This is by no means 100% accurate and is a work in progress.

Janet Nanney (1692-1728)

Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt Uchaf (1695-1749). High Sheriff of Merioneth

Huw Vaughan

Hugh Vaughan of Hengwrt (d.1783).

High Sheriff of Merioneth.

Huw Vaughan (d. 1783) was bad at estate management. He left Nannau to his Brother, Howell.

Half-length portrait, pastel on card, circa 1775.
Courtesy of welshantiques.com

Sir Robert Howell Vaughan (Bart) (1723-1792)

Sir Robert Howell Vaughan (1723-1792). Surgeon. Created a baronet in 1791.

Painting by William Parry (1742-1791). He was aged around 60 at the time. Courtesy of the National Museum of Wales

Anne Williams (c.1731-1791)

Married Anne Vaughan (née Williams) in 1765.

My Image

Image courtesy of the National Museum of Wales

He was elected MP for Merioneth in 1792 and held his seat continuously through fourteen Parliaments until 1836. He was appointed High Sheriff of Merionethshire 1837/1838.

A well-built and at times uncouth countryman over six feet tall” (from historyofparliamentonline.org).

He married Anna Maria, the daughter of Sir Roger Mostyn, 5th Baronet, of Mostyn, Flintshire and Gloddaeth, Caernarvonshire.

Family Grave of the Vaughan Family from Nannau in Llanfachreth Churchyard

Family Vault of the Vaughan Family from Nannau in Llanfachreth Churchyard

The Vaughan Family Vault in Llanfachreth Churchyard.
Sir Robert (d.1843) Sir Robert (d.1849), Dame Anna Maria.

Sir Robert Williames Vaughan

Image courtesy of welshantiques.com

Grave of the Vaughan Family from Nannau in Llanfachreth Churchyard

The Vaughan Family Vault in Llanfachreth Churchyard.

Steel Engraving of Llanfachreth Church c.1830

Llanfachreth c.1830.

Sir Robert Williames Vaughan, 3rd Baronet (1803-1859).

Sir Robert is holding a letter dated March 16th 1825 addressed to him at Balliol, Oxford. The college is shown to one side of the background with a classic column to the other. A companion painting in the National Library of Wales shows his father holding a letter bearing a Member of Parliament free stamp.

Half-length portrait, oil on canvas, by Samuel Drummond ARA 1825. Courtesy of welshantiques.com

John Vaughan (1829-1900)

Image Courtesy of Chilcotts

A direct descendant of Cadwgan, John Vaughan of Chilton Grove, Shropshire did much to improve Nannau. He built new farmhouses and cottages as well as repairing the old ones. He also laid out some of Nannau’s gardens.

He was made High-Sheriff in 1880 and stood for Parliament, although he was unsuccessful in this.

He and his wife had an indoor and outdoor staff of twenty-seven at the time of his youngest daughter’s marriage in 1889.

Ellinor Anne Owen (1832-1917)

Image Courtesy of Chilcotts

Grave of John Vaughan of Nannau (d.1900) in Llanfachreth Churchyard

Vaughan Family Plot in Llanfachreth Churchyard

The Vaughan Family Plot in Llanfachreth Churchyard

Nannau was secured as an officer’s neurological hospital in World War One. Read the Letters Home of Lt. E. Trevor Evans, R.F.C., R.A.F.

  • Trevor Evans at Nannau 2
  • Trevor Evans at Nannau 1

Images courtesy of staffshomeguard.co.uk

Major-General John Vaughan (1871-1956)

Major-General John Vaughan, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., D.L., J.P., was born in Mangalore, India, on July 31st, 1871. He was the second son of John and Elinor Anne Vaughan. He was educated at Eton College before attending the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He married Louisa Evelyn in 1913.

The Nannau Estate was bequeathed to him by his mother in 1917. He mentions in his war memoirs, “Cavalry and Sporting Memories”, published in 1954, that the estate was “not at all profitable because the farms are too small and numerous and the land is too poor”.

He was a cavalry officer in the 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars and the 10th (The Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars of the British Army. He fought in several conflicts on the African continent. During the First World War he commanded the 3rd Cavalry Brigade and then the 3rd Cavalry Division. For which he was awarded a Order of the Bath, and a Bar for the Distinguished Service Order, the first of which he had received in South Africa.

He retired from the army in 1920. In 1932 he became the Welsh President of the British Legion, a Justice of the Peace and remained the Deputy Lieutenant of Merionethshire until 1954. He briefly returned to the army during the Second World War as a Zone Commander in the Home Guard.

He died after falling off his horse (on the estate) on January 21st, 1956. He was 84.

He wrote a book in 1954 entitled “Cavalry and Sporting Memories”. Details Here (224 pages, published by Bala Press).

Read More About Him on Wikipedia.

Much of this text has been reproduced from Wikipedia under the creative commons license.

  • Major-General John Vaughan

    Image courtesy of Chilcotts

  • Major-General John Vaughan (Grave)

    His grave in Llanfachreth churchyard

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

Brigadier Charles Hilary Vaughan Pritchard, DSO (1905-1976)

Charles Hilary Pritchard was born on October 29th, 1905. He was the son of Lt.-Col. Charles Hamerton Pritchard. The Vaughan was added in order to inherit as he was not a direct descendent. He married Mary Patricia Monck (born 1911) in 1935.

When he died in 1956, the house left the direct line of Cadwgan (an 850 year line).

He was commanding officer of the 2nd Parachute Brigade.

Distinguished Service Order (Greece 1944-45)
Commander of the Royal Order of King George I with swords (Greece)

Service (Courtesy of generals.dk and the full dates are available there)

1943 - Commanding Officer 6th Battalion The Parachute Regiment

1943 - Commanding Officer 2nd Parachute Brigade, Italy

1943-1944 - Commanding Officer 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group, Italy

1944 - Commanding Officer 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group, Italy - North-West Europe

1944 - Commanding Officer 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group, Italy - Greece

1944-1945 - Commanding Officer 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group, Greece - Italy

1945 - Commanding Officer 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group, Italy

1945-1946 - Commanding Officer 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group

1946-1948 - Commanding Officer Airborne Establishments

1949 - Commanding Officer 10th Cadet Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers

1949 - Retired

  • Brigadier Charles Hilary Pritchard Vaughan Grave

    His grave in Llanfachreth churchyard

  • Brigadier Charles Hilary Pritchard Vaughan Plot

    The Vaughan family plot in Llanfachreth churchyard