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Dolforgan Hall

Kerry Parish, as it is now, was dominated by two large estates; Dolforgan to the west side of the village and Brynllywarch to the east, the main seats sitting respectively northwest & southeast.

For generations both estates remained in the hands of the same two local families. But, in similarity to many other Montgomeryshire estates, a lack of both heirs and money would eventually see them sold to successful industrialists and financiers from northern England.

DOLFORGAN was for two centuries owned by a branch of the Herbert family. Originally of stone, the house was extended c1790 in brick with Adamasque elevations. The Willans family of Altrincham bought the estate in 1894. During the first years of the 20C the family’s only child, John Bancroft Willans, was responsible for recording the vernacular and ecclesiastical architecture of Montgomeryshire in a huge collection of photographs now in the National Library of Wales. Many of these images can also be viewed on-line on www.peoplescollection.wales.

 

 

Dolforgan Hall Image by J B Willans reproduced under Creative Archive Licence © Newtown High School

 

The Grade 2* listed house also boasted fine formal gardens, a walled kitchen garden and extensive service buildings.

Extending west almost to Dolfor, the estate comprised a number of farms whose dwellings and outbuildings were extensively renovated by Willans.

The estate was dispersed on Willans’ death in 1957.

There is no distinctive unifying architectural style to Dolforgan estate farm buildings but the estate livery of black and white painted brickwork, attempting to imitate local half timbering, distinguished some from their neighbours during Willan’s time.

A pair of 'Gothic' lodges was built c1818 by the Herbert family for their new access driveway to Dolforgan Hall. A listed early iron bridge spans the river.

 

 

Dolforgan Lodge East Image by J B Willans reproduced under Creative Archive Licence © Newtown High School

 

The sawmill complex was built c1900 by Willans.

 

 

Dolforgan Sawmill Image by J B Willans reproduced under Creative Archive Licence © Newtown High School

For more images by J B Willans see https://www.peoplescollection.wales/discover/query/willans