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Visiting the John Nash villa at Llanerchaeron

A white Georgian villa with a sweeping drive and green lawn to the front
The villa designed by John Nash in the 1790s | © National Trust / Arnhel de Serra

Set in the heart of the beautiful Aeron Valley, the John Nash villa makes the most of the views across the picturesque landscape. Step inside and you'll discover how its exterior simplicity hides a multitude of complex shapes and details as well as a rare example of a complete service courtyard hidden at the back of the house.

Things to see inside the villa at Llanerchaeron

The family mansion at Llanerchaeron was completed in 1795 to a design by John Nash, an ambitious but not yet fully established Architect. Llanerchaeron mansion is a Palladian style Georgian Villa - the style in which Nash was taught during seven years as a pupil with the Palladian specialist architect Robert Taylor who had designed the Carmarthen Guildhall in this style during this same period.

Picturesque simplicity

At first sight, the house is simplicity itself, a plain two-storey box of stucco and slate. However, John Nash placed it with great care to make the most of the views across the picturesque landscape. He arranged the principal rooms around a central, top lit staircase hall.

A front room with a piano, fireplace, gramophone and long pink curtains against stripey wallpaper
Inside the villa at Llanerchaeron | © National Trust / Heather Birnie

High quality interiors

The interiors show his mastery of complex shapes and subtle classical detail. Look out especially for the plasterwork friezes: no two are the same, and all are of the highest quality.

The servants’ area

The servants’ area to the rear of the house clearly shows the distinction between the everyday life of the family and their hard-working staff. The kitchen has an Edwardian range that is often lit for baking, so remember to look out for homemade welsh cakes.

A square shaped courtyard surrounded by white walls with multiple doorways
The servants courtyard, Llanerchaeron | © National Trust / Aled Llywelyn

The service courtyard at Llanerchaeron

This is one of the most fascinating and important areas of Llanerchaeron and it is almost unique having survived in its original form. Planned for maximum efficiency, it tells the unseen tale of the amount of work involved in running a country house.

In the service courtyard you'll find the dairy, dairy scullery, cheese press room and store, bakehouse, smoke-house, salting room, brew-house and the dry laundry room.

Keep an eye out for our resident cats who can often be spotted outside in the servants courtyard.

Accessible film about Llanerchaeron Villa

The Billiard Room at the back of the house is where you can view a 7 minute film about the interior design and history of the Georgian Villa designed by John Nash. The film was created so that everyone can explore and enjoy the house and interiors, particularly if you are unable to access the upper floors of the house due to the stairs.

An old tapestry of red rose with browns and greens in the background
Pamela Ward Textiles Exhbition Llanerchaeron | © National Trust / Heather Birnie

The Pamela Ward collection

Two former bedrooms in the villa at Llanerchaeron house this unique assortment of antiques and curiosities, known as the Pamela Ward Collection. Eclectic and diverse, it’s a vast miscellany of intriguing and often unusual items that were owned by a woman who was just as interesting as her collection.

Pwyth a Gweu // Stitch and Weave

The latest exhibition Pwyth a Gweu // Stitch and Weave displays a mix of tapestries, woven textiles and embroidery which date from the 17th – 19th centuries.

Most of these items have not previously been on display to the public. Each item has been handpicked to reflect Pamela’s broad interests and include a variety of styles, historical periods and techniques. 

One of the oldest pieces is an intriguing fragment of the tapestry 'Diogenes discarding his cup', which is from a series called 'The Life of Diogenes', will be on show. It is thought to have come from the Mortlake workshop in London in the late 17th century. Numerous sets and partial sets of the ‘Diogenes’ tapestries survive in National Trust collections, including at Chirk Castle and Dyrham Park. 

A child and adult, pushing a pram, walk past the entrance of the villa at Llanerchaeron, Wales

Discover more at Llanerchaeron

Find out when Llanerchaeron is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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