November 16, 2022

The History of The Hall

Bryn Tanat Hall – A Godolphin house

Originally called Gravel Hill, Bryn Tanat Hall was the seat for the Bryn Tanat estate which was part of the Godolphin lands on the border of Powys and Shropshire.

Mary Godolphin who had married William Owen of Brogyntyn had two sons Francis and Robert and when Francis died untimely Robert expressed his delight by dancing on his grave and proclaiming himself heir of the Godolphins.

This so enraged his uncle Francis Godolphin that he disinherited him and left the Aber Tanat estate to Lord Francis Osborne, second son of the Duke of Leeds.

It was one of his descendants who rented The Hall in 1848 to Mary Perry who subsequently bought the property in 1862.

Bryn Tanat was a centre of music activity last century through the interest and efforts of Henry Leslie who married Mrs Perry’s daughter. He made it his life’s work to encourage and improve English choral music, founded a choir which was named after him and which was considered the finest in the world and won first prize in an international choral competition at the Paris Exhibition and in 1880 founded the Oswestry School of Music.

The tradition of music at Bryn Tanat has lived on. William Leslie established a music festival at the house in the 1920’s and 30’s and engaged professional orchestras with famous conductors one of whom was Sir Walford Davies. He himself was a talented musician and he financed a great deal of the musical activity himself.

There are traditions that Browning and Sheridan both had some kind of association with The Hall. If it is true, or course, it would be interesting to know about it …

The Hall was occupied by the Women’s Land Army and American Servicemen during the Second World War. After the war the Highfields ran Bryn Tanat as a Vegetarian Guest House, then the Hollands until in 1967 Susan’s parents, Mr and Mrs Hall, acquired it for a hotel. Susan was just 10 years old and the bond she formed with Bryn Tanat was instant.

Peter and Susan returned to Bryn Tanat in 1989 with their family. It was not long before an extensive programme of refurbishment to both the house and gardens began culminating in a spectacular concert given by the Hallé Orchestra in the grounds in 1997.

Today Bryn Tanat continues to welcome visitors who, as many before them, are charmed by this much loved house.