Sport at Nanteos

Sport events of various types were regularly played at Nanteos throughout the centuries. Hunting being the main, though the following is regarding sports events held on the front lawn at Nanteos.

The earliest known recorded event at Nanteos was Archery.

Archery was seen a favourable past time in the Georgian era and an event held at Nanteos was recorded in the Hereford Journal in 1832. The archery event held by the Powell family where Harriet Powell wife of Richard Owen Powell (brother of William Edward Powell 1788 – 1854) came first in the ladies' section and her husband came second in the men's section.

Hereford Journal 26 September 1832

On Wednesday the 12th, a very numerous meetings of the ‘Rheidol Archers’ took place at Nanteos, Cardiganshire, the seat of Colonel Powell, M.P.

Four elegant prizes being kindly presented by him to the society, to be shot for on the occasion, were awarded as follows:-

1st Ladies Prize                                              to Mrs R. O. Powell

2nd Ditto ditto                                                    Miss Jane Marriot

1st Gentleman’s Prize                                        Mr. Marriot

2nd Ditto ditto                                                   Mr R. O. Powell

When the shooting had terminated, the company retired to the mansion, where they partook of a splendid cold collation, and the evening terminated most agreeably with a ball and supper, every one appearing much pleased with the hospitality, they had received.


Often garden parties were cojoined with the sports event that were regularly held at Nanteos. Teams brought their family and friends to support and enjoy their day out at Nanteos.

Here is one example of such an event reported in the local newspaper -

Cambrian News and Merionethshire Times September 22 1876

Garden Party at Nanteos.

On Friday, September 15th, Colonel Powell Nanteos gave a garden party. When upwards of 200 accepted, invitations had assembled to enjoy the delightful scenery and partake of his generous hospitality. Archery, Croquet and Lawn Tennis and other amusements were engaged the weather was all that could be wished for. At two o’clock the company sat down to luncheon, presided by the gallant Colonel, who was supported by Major Phelp and Sir Pryse Pryse. Colonel Powell’s health was proposed by Sir Pryse Pryse, and musical honours and enthusiastic cheering. Among this present were:- The Rev. J. Lewis and Mrs Lewis, Llanilar, Miss Parry, Mr Davies, Mr Davies, Mr C. F. Pryse, Mr J. M. Davies and the Misses Davies Antaron, Mr and Mrs A. J. Hughes, Dr., Mrs., and the Misses Roberts, Captain and Mrs Lewis, Mr Jones and bride, Glandenni, Mr Hughes, Glanrheidol, Mr Davies, Penpompren, Mr J. B. Morgan, Captain C. B. and Miss Lewis, Mr Jones and the Misses Jones Mr Pleasant, Messrs Richards Penglaise, Mr and Master Davies, Ffosrhygaled, Mr and Mrs Jones, Pantglas, Mr Longcroft, Llanina, Mr and Mrs Trenton, Derry Ormond, Dr and Mrs Rice Williams, Miss Gilbertson and Mr Gilbertson, Mr and Mrs Jordan, Aberayron, Mr Oakes, Mr and the Misses Edwards, Rev. W. Williams, R.C., Dr and Mrs Gilbertson and family, Mr Pryce Jones, London, Mr T. O. Morgan, Dr Harries, Mr Dearden, Captain and Mrs Leadbetter, Cwmswig, Mr, Mrs, and the Misses Waddington, Hafod, Colonel and Mrs Herbert and Lady Edwards and party , Sir Pryse Pryse and Lady Pryse, Colonel Pryse and Miss Loveden, Mrs Lewis, Llanon, Captain and Misses Hughes, Allt-Llwyd, Capt. and Mrs Williams and party, Wallog, Mr Lewis Pugh Pugh and Mrs Pugh, Abermaide, Major and Mrs Phillips, Mabws, Mr and Mrs Cosens, Cwmcyfelin, Miss Phillips, Mabws, Mr and Mrs Cosens, Cwmcyfelin, Miss Morgan, Aberystwyth, Captain T. H. Yates, Miss Davies, Penpompren, Mrs Crealock, Mr Isaac Williams, Mr Parry Llidiarde, Captain Will, Mr E. M. Leir, Mrs J. J. Bonsall Fronfraith, Mr and Mrs Morgan Nantceirio Hall, Mr and the Misses Bonsall, Glanrheidol, Mr and Mrs Richardes, Brynneithin, Major Wills, Miss Robison, Rev. Canon and Mrs Phillips, Aberystwyth, Rev. D. Williams, Meddfi, Rev. J. Pugh and Mrs Pugh, Llanbadarn, Mrs and Miss Roberts, Penywern, Mrs and Miss Holcombe, Mr Marshall Griffiths, and party, Llwyndwrys, Mr and Mrs Parry, Rhydyfarian, Mr J. W. Thomas, Mr and Mrs Fryer, Mrs Fosset and party, Major and Mrs H. Evans and party, Highmead, Miss Davies Tan-y-Bwlch, Mr J. Lloyd, Harry Lloyd, Henblas, Llanbadarn, Mr and Mrs Atwood. Dr and Mrs Morris Jones, Mr and Mrs Webster and party.

Appended are the scores of the archery and cricket.

Archery         Gold  Red   Blue Black White         Total

Mrs Richards    3      8      15    18    9              48

Mrs Hughes      1      5      3      3      6              18

Miss Davies      0      2      2      2      4              10

Ceredigion C. C. MARRIED V. SINGLE – Played at Nanteos on Friday, September 15th

Score :-


M Davies, c and b T Roberts ...12 c Hamer b J Hughes ...9

Wynne, b T Roberts ….2 b T Roberts …0

Pugh, c J Hughes, b T Roberts …3 c Hamer, b T Roberts ...2

A J Hughes, c Hamer, b J Hughes …1 b T Roberts …16

Sir Pryse Pryse, c Hamer b J Hughes …1 c Hamer, b J Hughes …3

H Edwards, b T Roberts …0 run out …1

Vaughan, b J Hughes …1 st Hamer, b J Hughes ...3

Holcombe, b T Roberts …0 not out …3

Powell, c and b J Hughes …0 b T Roberts ...3

E Edwards not out ...1 b J Hughes …4

Lloyd, b T Roberts …0 run out …15

Thomas, b J Hughes ...1 c and b Hamer ...15

        Extras …3                Extra …10

                     25                            71



T Roberts, b A Hughes ...0 b Davies …1

Jones, run out …0 b Davies …1

Bonsall, b A Hughes …0 c A Hughes, b Davies ...0

Rowland, c Davies, b A Hughes …17 b Davies 0

J Hughes, c E Edwards, b Davies …16 c and b A Hughes …1

Gilbertson b Davies ...0 c Powell, b A Hughes ...3

J. Hamer, b Davies …0 3 b Davies 7

E Roberts, c Sir Pryse, b A Hughes ...0 b Davies ...4

Richards, c Lloyd, b A Hughes ...0 not out 5

G Davies, run out …1 b Hughes

W Edward not out ...1 st Hughes b Davies ...0

Dr Harries, b Davies …1 b Davies …4

        Extras …2                Extra …6

                41                    36

At the close of the day the company departed expressing their gratitude to the worthy Colonel for his hospitality.

The members of the cricket club were enthusiastic in their expressions of thanks for the manner in which there had been entertained.


Throughout the centuries Cricket seems to have been very popular at Nanteos. The cricket pitch located in the park and the haha giving a perfect raised area for the spectators. 

Aberystwith Observer 27th August 1970

On Thursday, an interesting Cricket match took place between the past and present pupils of Penyparke School on the Nanteos grounds. Upwards of 60 pupils were liberally regaled by Col. Powell. In the first innings, the past pupils scored 31, and the present scored 41 in the first innings, the past were 20, and the present 54. In the return match, the present scored 41 in the first innings, and 52 in the second, The past and 47 respectively.  

Aberystwith Observer 19 August 1874

NANT-EOS. CRICKET MATCH AND BALL - The annual cricket match between the town of Aberystwyth and the County of Cardigan Clubs was played at Nanteos on Wednesday, the score of the former team being 57, and that of the latter 41, the town winning, therefore, by 16 runs. The weather was most favourable, and an exceedingly pleasant day was spent by all present. Colonel Powell, with his usual kindly hospitality and munificence, made everyone cheerful and happy. in the afternoon archery and croquet were diligently played, and in the evening a. ball was given by the gallant Colonel, which was graced by upwards of 150 of his friends. The table was sumptuously spread with every delicacy of the season, and after supper dancing commenced, which was kept up with great spirit during the evening.

Cricket continued at Nanteos through to the Edwardian Era, where Edward A. L. Powell was part of the Gogerddan Cricket Team.

(Postcard with kind permission of Dave Gorman)

Above, the 1913 postcard of the Gogerddan Cricket Team with Captain George Pryse (top row-centre), with Edward Athelstan Lewis Powell (front row-first right). The other members of the team were mostly members of staff of the Gogerddan household.

Lawn Tennis

It is uncertain when the tennis court was laid at Nanteos, but evidence shows regular usage in the Edwardian era. An AYRES cast iron Tennis Post base was found in the ground, where the tennis court was located.

The tennis court laid beyond the two large Beech trees, near the estate fence, on the front lawn at Nanteos. The court was at one time surrounded with a high net, (a photograph can be seen of the tennis court in the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales). Croquet was also played, many years later the croquet set was found in a shed in the walled garden still in its original wooden box.

'The Wimbeldon' croquet set by F. H. Ayres

                The front lawn at Nanteos, the location of the tennis court. 

F. H. AYRES, LONODN Advertisement.

Winter sports, during freezing temperatures at Nanteos was ice hockey and skating, at the Upper and Lower Pools at Nanteos. 

A diary entry dated 17 January 1895 -

'Hockey was played on the Nant Eos lower pool on Friday, and on Saturday there was a good deal of skating on both pools'.

Another sport played at the front lawn was 'Pitch and Putt' played during the early twentieth century. The game started at the front of the mansion and ended down by the lake.

Joan and Steve playing Pitch and Putt. 

The Burman family from Birmingham, who came to Nanteos every August, would have great fun during their summer holiday stay. 'Pitch and Putt' played on the lawn, rowing on the lake, riding horses about the place. Steve and Joan members of the Burman family are seen in the photograph above playing 'Pitch and Putt'. 


Visiting children played a large part with the events at Nanteos, school children attending races and having tea in the mansion. The children would walk to Nanteos in crocodile fashion from various schools, Penparcau School, Capel Seion and the Welsh School in Alexandra Road.    

Schools from further afield also came to Nanteos, as this newspaper report shows. Nanteos was a very popular location, the flat lawned park must have been an attraction and of course the generous hospitality.

Aberystwith Observer 5th August 1871

CRICKET – On Thursday week there was a match at Nanteos, the seat of Colonel Powell, between the Ceredigion and Ystradmeurig Grammar Schools Clubs. A large number of ladies and gentlemen witnessed the contest, which was an exciting one, the Ceredigion eleven winning with three wickets to go down. The gallant Colonel entertained both clubs and their friends to luncheon during the day.

Many schools visited Nanteos to attend a tea parties and games, here is one example reported in the local paper. Creating memories that they would cherish for years.

Aberystwith Observer 6 October 1898

Capel Seion

The children of Capel Sion Chapel and Dyffryn Paith were very kindly invited by Mr and Mrs Powell to Nanteos on Monday to partake of tea &c. After tea different games were indulged in, and money prizes were given. Mr and Mrs Powell, Mr and Mrs Edward Powell, Mr Lewis, and Mr Lloyd were indefatigable in their efforts to make everything enjoyable for the children. One and all thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and fully appreciate the great kindness of the Nant Eos family towards their school. Before dispersing the children sang a few songs and gave hearty cheers to the members of the family. As they left the grounds they were again regaled by Mrs Powell and Mrs E Powell with buns, apples and sweets. It will be many a day before the treat will be forgotten by those present.

Nanteos played an important part of social gathering in the area for children and adults. William Thomas Rowland Powell especially was never happier when engaged in the local community, especially in the education and welfare of the rising generation, promoting health and fitness through sports. Encouraging children of school age with sports events.


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