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The Vaughan Family, Hengwrt, Merioneth and thence by descent in the Vaughan Family. In 1907 the table was photographed in situ in Hengwrt by Fletcher Moss (See Illustration opposite.) Subsequently the table was moved to Nannau Hall, another nearby residence of the noteable Vaughan Family.
Hengwrt was originally the seat of the Owen family whose grandson was Robert Vaughan (1592 - 1666) the Welsh Antiquary. His renowned collection of manuscripts are now in The National Museum of Wales. The old house was rebuilt in 1750 - 54. and then altered in the 1830's (see illustration below).Fire destroyed the house in 1962.
The tree known as Brenhin-bren y Ganllwyd (or 'The King of the Vale of Ganllwyd') is firmly part of Welsh Folk Lore and must have been an impressive sight. "The girth of the tree... was 24 feet 8inches. The length of it from the root to the top after it was uprooted was 60 yards. The bark of it... weighed 6 tons.." wrote C.R. Williams in 1897 (see letter below). "This wonderful tree was too large to be cut down... so they had to uproot it. This was in the year 1746....Several articles of furniture... have been made from it, a table amongst these at Hengwrt". The letter itself belongs to a dresser bearing a plaque "Ohen dderw henod Brenhin bren-y-Ganllwyd 1746" which was sold at auction in Dolgelley on 24 August 1897 and indeed may have precipitated the writing of this letter only the following month.
We are grateful to the National Monuments Record of Wales in Aberystwyth who provide information about the built heritage of Wales, for supplying the images of Hengwrt.
Property of a member of The Vaughan Family