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A Grade II* Listed Building in Brithdir and Llanfachreth (Brithdir a Llanfachreth), Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.7703 / 52°46'12"N

Longitude: -3.8645 / 3°51'52"W

OS Eastings: 274307

OS Northings: 320814

OS Grid: SH743208

Mapcode National: GBR 61.YHQS

Mapcode Global: WH56H.LMZM

Plus Code: 9C4RQ4CP+45

Entry Name: Nannau

Listing Date: 14 June 1952

Last Amended: 26 May 1995

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4710

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Situated in its own park on a striking, elevated site 3km SW of Llanfachreth village; accessed via a drive leading W from the Llanfachreth-Dolgellau road.

County: Gwynedd

Community: Brithdir and Llanfachreth (Brithdir a Llanfachreth)

Community: Brithdir and Llanfachreth

Locality: Nannau

Traditional County: Merionethshire

Find accommodation in


The ancestral seat of the Nannau family and from the late C18 the Vaughans. Cadwgan, son of Bleddyn ap Gynfyn, Princeof Powys built the first recorded house on or near the site in the late C11. His descendants, the Nanneys, were on site until 1701 (unbroken male line). An early house was destroyed by Owain Glyndwr c. 1402 during the revolt. In the early C17 Huw Nannau Hen built a new house in lavish style, much praised by his contemporaries. There is no record of this in the 1660s hearth tax returns so it is possible that the house was a casualty of the Civil War. Col. Huw Nannau rebuilt the house c. 1693 and a subsidiary domestic range behind the present house probably relates to this; it now lies in ruins. Nannau eventually passed to a relative, Robert Hywel Vaughan, created a baronet in 1791 and High Sheriff of Merioneth at the same time. He built the present restrained Georgian house c.1795, incorporating part of the late C17 building in the SW corner. To the three-storey primary block the second baronet added storied pavilion wings c.1805, to the designs of Joseph Bromfield. These elegant additions were swept away this century, that to the NE as late as c. 1970.


3-storey 5-bay house in restrained Georgian style; square plan. Of large dressed blocks of local slate-stone with sandstone dressings; shallow, hipped slate roof with plain chimneys. Recessed, wide entrance bay to main (SE) front. Elegant entrance porch with Ionic columns and simple moulded entablature. Within, a large C19 part-glazed door with 12-pane upper glazing and panelled lower section; flanking 8-pane internal windows. Above the porch a tripartite sandstone window in a shallow, segmental arched recess; 12-pane central light with narrow 4-pane vertical flanking lights. Similar, squatter window to third floor, though with 3 equal lights, all with plain C19 sash glazing. Tall 12-pane recessed sash windows to ground floors of main and side elevations and contemporary 6-pane sashes to the upper elevations. The middle floor has plain Victorian sashes to the front and left-hand sides, though the original 12-pane glazing survives to the R; all windows have projecting stone lintels. External stepped cellar access to the first side bays from the front. Good decorative and heraldic lead hoppers survive, 2 ofwhich are original (one dated 1795) and 2 of which bear the date 1872. Plain parapet with moulded cornice; balustrading above entrance bay. Rough-dressed rubble rear with much disturbed masonry. 12 and 16-pane windows and a modern fire escape to first floor. Out of character flat-roofed modern extensions to groundfloor rear.

Adjoining the R side of the house, a triple-arched section of walling, a surviving fragment of the pavilion wings.


The entrance hall has an open segmental arch with around arch within leading to the stairwell; Ionic columns and engaged columns, and a dentilated entablature. Dentilated plaster cornice to hall and a wooden fireplace with moulded egg-and-dart entablature; engaged Doric columns and scallop-headed niches. Well stair on 3 floors with swept mahogany rail and decorative iron balusters. Moulded doorcases off hall with 6-panel mahogany doors. Drawing room to R with decorative plaster cornice; moulded architraves with gadrooned and carved overdoors. These flank a restrained marble fireplace with panelled pilasters and foliate carving to central plaque. Shallow segmental-arched niche to rear wall containing twin doors. Reeded window architraves with panelled shutters. The L ground-floor room has an Adam styleplaster ceiling and cornice and panelled splays as before. Wide segmental-arched opening to rear room with plaster cornice.
Modernised upper floors have been partitioned off and false ceilings inserted.

Reasons for Listing

Included at Grade II* as a highly important late C18 regionalhouse.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Adjoining Arched Gateway to Howel-Sele Lodge
    Located about 1km SE of Nannau in the former estate deerpark; accessed via a track leading S from the Llanfachreth-Dolgellau lane.
  • II Howel-Sele Lodge
    Located about 1km SE of Nannau in the former estate deerpark; accessed via a track leading S from the Llanfachreth-Dolgellau lane.
  • II Arch to the SW of the Howel-Sele Lodge
    Located 200m SW of Howel-Sele lodge at the foot of deer park hill at Nannau; immediately N of the keeper's lodge and walled kitchen garden.
  • II Arch at Maes-y-Bryner Isaf
    Located 1km SW of Nannau hall at the boundary of the Llanelltyd community with the Brithdir and Llanfachreth community. The archis on the Llanelltyd side of an unnamed stream and spans a metalled road
  • II Coed-y-Moch Lodge
    Located at the SW boundary of the community at a cross-roads between the Llanfachreth-Dolgellau lane and a further lane running E to join the A 494.
  • II Decorative Gate including Railings and Gatepiers opposite Coed-y-Moch Lodge
    Located opposite the Coed-y-Moch lodge on the Llanfachreth -Dolgellau lane.
  • II Curved forecourt Walls to Coed-y-Moch
    Located at the SW boundary of the community at a cross-roads between the Llanfachreth-Dolgellau lane and a further lane running E to join the A 494.
  • II Garth-Bleiddyn
    Situated 2.5 Km NE of Dolgellau at the eastern extremity of Llanelltyd community. Immediately to the S of a metalled lane leading from Llanelltyd bridge ultimately to Llanfachreth; accessed via a shor

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