Edward & Barbara Morrison

Nannau was in a terrible condition when it was bought by Mr. & Mrs. Morrison in the 1960s. He spent a dozen years renovating it, although the pavilion wings had to be demolished.

Edward Alexander Morrison III

Edward Alexander Morrison III, D.F.C. (1907-1995) was an American citizen and retired barrister. He joined the R.A.F. at the start of WWII, initially flying on bombers as a gunner, rising to the rank of Wing Commander by the end of the war. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for “gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy” on September 1st, 1941. This was for his part in the daylight bombing the German battleships Gneisenau, Scharnhorst and cruiser Prinz Eugen. The squadron experienced “extremely heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire and fighter opposition”. He was part of the Ninety-Ninth Squadron. He died in 1995 aged 89.

Mr E.A. Morrison was the owner of Nannau in June 1978 as he mentioned by Peter Underwood in his book “Haunted Wales” (and repeated in “Where the Ghosts Walk: The Gazetteer of Haunted Britain”). There is also a photo of Nannau in the book which shows the Pavilion Wings had already been removed.

Barbara Stanger MacKenzie-Smith Morrison

Barbara Stanger MacKenzie-Smith Morrison
Barbara Stanger MacKenzie-Smith Morrison

Edward was married to Barbara Stanger MacKenzie-Smith Morrison (1902-1996). She was a painter who specialised in landscapes, still life and country homes (from where many of her painting were commissioned). She was previously married to British writer and poet, John Rodker. She died in 1996 aged 94.

The Birdcage by B. MacKenzie-Smith © York Museums Trust
The Birdcage by B. MacKenzie-Smith © York Museums Trust

An Example of Her Work

Painting by Barbara Morrison - Painted in Paris When She Was 21 - Photo Courtesy of Pat Evans.
Painting by Barbara Morrison – Painted in Paris When She Was 21 – Photo Courtesy of Pat Evans.

This painting of an unknown sitter was painted by Mrs Morrison when she was twenty-one years old and a student at a Paris art school. Photo courtesy of Pat Evans who received the painting in 1976 as a gift from Mrs Morrison, having worked as a housekeeper at the Nannau Estate from 1975-1976.

The couple were married for fifty-three years and they both lived around the Dolgellau area, including Maes-y-Bryner, for thirty years. They are buried in Llanelltyd churchyard, a couple of miles south of Nannau. 

The Morrison's Grave at Llanelltyd
The Morrison’s Grave at Llanelltyd