Plas Llanddyfnan house and estate are situated in the village of Talwrn in the parish of Llanddyfnan, Anglesey. It was built during the 16th century by John Griffith. This webmaster can find little about the early history of the house despite a check with the National Library of Wales. I am aware from speaking to the owner that their family ties go back and are connected to the Wynne’s of Bodewryd and the Owen’s of Penrhos by marriage.
The only information that I can therefore provide is extracted from the 1881 census for the house. From this, I can say that the then occupiers were George Pritchard Rayner (born 1843) and his wife S. M. Pritchard Rayner (born 1837) – the same family as were/are at Tre-Ysgawen Hall. Living in the house with them are just 2 servants – an under housemaid, aged 17, named Clara Berry, born in Marten Rugby, Warwickshire, and a 30-year-old laundry maid, named Margaret Williams, born in Llangefni, on Anglesey.
George’s occupation was given as ‘Gentleman’, occupying 168 acres, and employing 4 labourers and 2 boys. His place of birth was Llangwyllog, Anglesey, whilst his wife was born in London. Evidently then a man of some means, so I investigated using the experience I had gained researching family history for myself and for others.
I uncovered his marriage to Sarah Mary Brady-Rayner in the summer of 1871. They were married in East Preston. Further checks showed in fact that he had changed his name when he married from simply George Pritchard to George Pritchard-Rayner. The reason for this is that he had married the daughter of John Brady, the MP for Ely in Cambridgeshire. George – I discovered – was the son of the owner of Trescawen estate.
His pedigree included the following: George’s great grandfather was Richard Thomas of Trevor, Llansadwrn, who died in 1722. His grandfather – William Pritchard – described as being of Trescawen in the parish of Llangwyllog and of Llaneilian, Anglesey. William – who died in 1800 – was in 1786 the sheriff of Anglesey, and later had a son Henry Pritchard (1799-1881) who became a Justice of the Peace. Henry married a lady named Martha Moulsdale in 1837. Martha was the daughter of John Moulsdale of the Gwyndy coaching house. These then were the parents of George Pritchard-Rayner.
Because George’s three older brothers had all pre-deceased their father without issue, George inherited the Trescawen estate. George was in 1879 appointed the sheriff of Anglesey. So the snapshot that we found in 1881 was in fact whilst he held that position. When George died in 1893, he was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, John Henry Pritchard-Rayner. This may be the same man that would later be injured in the Boer War.