John Nash - Llanerchaeron's celebrated architect
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Famous for his work at Regent’s Park and Regent’s Street, the Marble Arch and at Buckingham Palace, John Nash (1752 - 1835) is one of Britain's most famous architects.
His early life is a slightly different story. When commissioned to design a new house at Llanerchaeron he was a little-known architect from London.
Born to Welsh parents in London, Nash trained as an architect under Sir Robert Taylor. After his apprenticeship, in 1775 he is known to have married and started his own business. He was seen as an ambitious character and although his venture initially proved successful he was declared bankrupt in 1783. His marriage was also a colourful affair, which saw him finally granted a divorce in 1787. Following his bankruptcy and his ongoing divorce he left London and moved to Carmarthen.
As a building contractor Nash worked on several public buildings and St David’s Cathedral, establishing a name for himself amongst the local gentry. Slowly he gained a reputation as an architect and he began to build up his list of clients. After over 10 years he’d built his reputation with the local gentry, designing several villas locally, including Llanerchaeron.
Nash took great care when designing the villa at Llanerchaeron to make the most of the picturesque landscape. On your visit, look out for the window that perfectly frames Llanerchaeron church. The villa also reflects the importance of eternal symmetry to Nash, with each door and window working according to that ethos.
From the outside, the villa looks a simple design. But inside, Nash added several complex shapes and details. The villa at Llanerchaeron is planned around the staircase, as in many of Nash’s villas. Other features at Llanerchaeron include the curved walls and original and unique plasterwork in the main rooms.
Look out for...
Why not keep an eye out for these design elements when you visit:
- Symmetrical doors
- Llanerchaeron church through a window
- Curved walls
- Detailed plasterwork