Architecture & History
Architecture    

Llancayo House is a Grade II Listed Georgian Mansion building. Nicholaus Pevsner, the renowned architect, described the house as follows: "Quite a sizeable three-storeyed double pile block, the South Front of five regular bays with angle quoins. The three bay East (entrance) front, clearly built at the same time, is by contrast an eccentric composition. Glazed windows in the centre bay only, and a small timber porch on Doric columns carrying an elegant iron balcony".

Photo of the main entrance or eastfacing side of the house, framed by branches from the garden's cherry tree. The house is lit by a midday sun which highlights the doric columns and 'elegant iron balcony'.

History

 

The Lower Llancayo Estate (i.e. the Llancayo House Estate) originally belonged to Edward ap Jenkin, who lived there is 1535. He was also a tenant of the land belonging to the Chantery of the Trinity in Usk church. The great grandson of Edward ap Jenkin, William Powell, squandered the estate and in 1697 the Llancayo Estate became the property of Sir Hopton Williams. At the beginning of the 19th Century, Edward Berry bought the estate and built the present mansion onto the old house.

Edward Berry was a prestigious velvet merchant, who worked in Spital Square, London (Kents Directory 1794). We are told that Edward Berry made his first fortune in the mid-1700's in Yorkshire (where he was born), but lost it gambling. He made his second fortune in the textile industry. He married a Huguenot lady in London and they had two daughters Louisa and Jane. Tragically, while they visited their family in France at the time of the French revolution, Mrs Berry was captured and guillotined. Mr Berry and his daughters managed to escape. We are keen to learn more about this story and would be pleased to receive more details to substantiate it.

Edward Berry then retired and moved to Wales. The house he built formed part of an estate of 312 acres, which included a windmill. In 1825, a fire destroyed the windmill's sails and the working component and the windmill fell into ruin. However, the windmill (a noted local landmark) has recenlty been restored by the owner and the sails are due to be re-installed as part of the restoration. The windmill can clearly be seen from the North side of Llancayo House.

Edward Berry died in 1818 and his tomb can be found in the churchyard at St Mary's Church, Usk. After his death, the house was inherited by Jane Berry and her husband, Revered John Jones of Langstone Court, Herefordshire. Edward Berry's last will and testament can be seen here.

During Word War II the house was used as a convalescent hospital for the wounded, and some patients engraved thier names in the lead-covered access to the roof. Their names are still there today.

In 1957 the house was purchased by George and Ann Jarvie, and is currently owned by their three children, Christian, Emma and Sarah.

Photo of the south elevation of the house, showing the 'five regular bays' of windows and angle quoins, with lawns and path in the foreground.

 

 


 

 
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