Nanteos Mansion

Nanteos (Welsh: Plas Nanteos, Nanteos Mansion) is an 18th-century former country house in Llanbadarn-y-Creuddyn, near Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales. A Grade I listed building, it is now a country house hotel.

The façade of Nanteos Mansion

The current building was constructed between 1738 and 1757 for the Powell family, with the Shrewsbury architect Edward Haycock Sr. designing the stable block in the 1830s, and William Ritson Coultart designing the east wing and rear offices in 1841. The family occupied the house for some 200 years up until the last of the Powells, Margaret Powell, who died in 1951. At its peak the Nanteos estate comprised some 31,000 acres in 1800,[1] covering most of what is today Aberystwyth, and was the major employer of the county. The name derives from the Welsh for "brook" (nant) and "nightingale" (eos).[2]

The house was once the home of the Nanteos Cup, a medieval mazer drinking bowl that has been attributed with a supernatural ability to heal those who drink from it; it was traditionally believed to be fashioned from a piece of the True Cross. A 1905 pamphlet declared it to be the Holy Grail.


Nanteos in its grounds

The earliest recorded occupant of the estate was Colonel John Jones, a Royalist during the English Civil War and High Sheriff of Cardiganshire for 1665. He had no sons and so the estate was inherited in 1666 by his daughter Anne, who had married a Dutch mining engineer, Cornelius Le Brun, who in turn became High Sheriff in 1676. Their only daughter Averina duly inherited, having married William Powell (1658–1738) of Llechwedd Dyrus, and passed it on in 1738 to their eldest son, Thomas. Thomas had married a wealthy heiress, Mary Frederick, and started to build the present house soon afterwards. He was MP in turn for Cardigan Boroughs and Cardiganshire and died in a London street.

The property then descended in the family to the Reverend William Powell in 1752, who completed the building work. His son Thomas inherited and was High Sheriff in 1785; Thomas's son William Edward was High Sheriff in 1810 and MP for Cardiganshire between 1816 and his death in 1854. It passed further down in the family to Margaret Powell, the widow of Edward Athelstan Lewis Powell, who had died in 1930. Their only son was killed in the First World War.[3] She bequeathed the property in 1951 to Mrs. Elizabeth Mirylees, a distant relative of her husband, who moved in 1956. She sold it only 11 years later to Geoff and Rose Bliss, who lived there until 1983, opening the building to the public. Since then there have been several owners but the mansion now operates as a hotel. In 2004 it was purchased by the Saxoncourt Group which completed a major refurbishment in 2012.[4]



  1. ^ "Nanteos History" (PDF).
  2. ^ Prichard, Thomas Jeffery Llewelyn (1824). The New Aberystwyth Guide. Aberystwyth: Lewis Jones. p. 103.
  3. ^ "Heir to Nanteos Killed. Shot while leading an attack". Cambrian News. 15 November 1918. p. 5. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Rewriting History at the Nanteos Mansion". Premier Construction News. 17 June 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2016.

Further readingEdit

  • Morgan, G., ed. (2001). Nanteos: A Welsh House and its family. Gomer. Re-printed 2012. A series of articles; the main source for the history of Nanteos.
  • Lloyd, T.; et al. (2006). Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. The Buildings of Wales. Yale University Press. pp. 544–549. Detailed architectural history of the building of the house.
  • "NANTEOS By Janet Joel" (PDF). Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  • Colyer, R. J. (1980). "Nanteos: A Landed Estate in Decline, 1800–1930" (PDF). Ceredigion. 9 (1): 58–77. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  • Jones, Ieuan Gwynedd (1964). "Cardiganshire Politics in the Mid-Nineteenth Century" (PDF). Ceredigion. 5 (1): 14–41. Retrieved 30 April 2018.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 52°23′18″N 4°01′45″W / 52.3882°N 4.0291°W / 52.3882; -4.0291