NANT Y BELAN TOWER
WYNNSTAY PARK RUABON.
Most will know the Williams Wynn family were once one of the largest land owners of North Wales and Shropshire, the main Estate that is situated in Ruabon was lived in by the family for about 200 yrs., The main Estate was destroyed by fire in 1858, but was re-built by donations from the tenants who occupied the Land that the Wynnstay estate owned, the building is the one you see today that was built for the family.
Back in 1798 the Third Sir Watkin Williams Wynn took his Yeomanry Corps of “Ancient Britons” over to Ireland and rendered assistance in quelling the unhappy rebellion of 98. A large feast in honour of victory was held in Ireland and Sir Watkin was only saved from a treacherous death by poison, from the quick act of a servant maid who whispered to him that his wine had been drugged. The regiment was disbanded in 1800, due to this Sir Watkin commissioned the Nant Y Belan Tower to be built, this was a classical mausoleum in commemoration of the suppression of the Irish Rebellion. The names of those who fell during the rebellion are recorded in the cenotaph of the tower.
The plinth of the mausoleum was furnished as a cottage and in the cottage the Irish serving maid named “LUCY” who saved Sir Watkin’s life lived very well to a ripe old age, as the place was then known as LUCY’s Cottage.
There was also a Royal Welsh Fusiliers memorial placed into Nant Y Belan Tower, in remembrance of those who fell on the 20th Sept 1854 when Arthur Watkin Williams Wynn was a captain in the RWF of Wrexham.
The view of Nant Y Belan Tower today is a very sad looking place due to its position on a bank above the river dee, part of the tower has collapsed and fallen down the bank, with just a partial view left of how this building used to look, also you can see how the plinth below the actual tower was once a living accommodation as a cottage as mentioned earlier, Nant Y Belan Tower even though it is now over 200yrs old is a sad loss of the Wynnstay Park in Ruabon.
Text and pictures by John Davies.