Henry Morgan Pirate and Governor of Jamaica

Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan


One of the most asked questions at Tredegar House prior to the  National Trust was –What about Henry Morgan ?

For those wanting to know more about Henry Morgan the Pirate –  latterly the Governor of Jamaica.

A relative of the Morgan Family of Tredegar House – his portrait can be seen in the Brown Room there,(c) National Trust, Tredegar House; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Welsh genealogists of repute concur however in stating that he was the eldest son of Robert Morgan of Llanrhymney, a small estate in Glamorganshire, near Tredegar Castle, where he was born in 1635.  The year of his birth is ascertained with tolerable certainty as an affidavit made by him in Jamaica on the 21st November, 1671, definitely states his age as thirty-six.

The family of Tredegar was recognized as the head of the clan, of which the Morgans of Llanrhymney were a cadet branch.

Llanrhumney Hall

The book suggests that he was born in Llanrumney – this is apparently the place, Llanrumney Hall until recently a pub

The book can be read at the Gutenberg Press Canada Site by following this link:



NB :- When on the site scroll down to read book




More Books about Henry Morgan

Sir Henry Morgan, the Buccaneer, Volume 1

Sir Henry Morgan the Buccaneer

The voyages and adventures of Capt. Barth. Sharp and others, in the South Sea


John Evans Chauffeur to Lord Tredegar.

The following article was sent by Martyn Evans from Christchurch Dorset, formerly of Newport.

Martyn is a member of Friends of Tredegar house. Martyn’s great great grandfather John Evans worked at Tredegar estate until his death in 1861 as a stud groom. John was the first family member to work at Tredegar House. His great grandfather George worked as a stud groom, followed by his son, John Evans. His grandfather and grandmother Beatrice Mina Louise Coombs met John whilst working at Tredegar House. They married in 1922 in Dorset. His Pop was chauffeur to Lord Tredegar, Beatrice’s  cousin was Maud Williams housekeeper. Martyn’s grandparents lived at Tredegar Park Cottages opposite Cleppa Park also the two generations before them in the same house. Lord Tredegar gave them the house to live in until they died or moved out. His Nan stayed in the house until the early 1970’s, then moved to Dorset with her sister.   .

pop evans sat in car outside Tredegar House with 2 others


John Evans – Chauffeur to Lord Tredegar.

John Evans, born in 1892 was the third generation of the Evan’s family to work at Tredegar House, following on from his father & grandfather before him.In 1911 census he is shown as being a groom/domestic.

He was a keen sportsman & played rugby for Newport 1912/1913. In WW1 he joined the Royal Gloucester Hussars Yeomanry, he was captured by the Turks in 1916

When he returned to Tredegar House at the end of WW1, he resumed his job a groom & used to ride out with Viscount Tredegar. In 1923, he was made chauffeur & was responsible for looking after the vehicles at Tredegar House .

He was presented with this prestigious Chauffeur’s certificate by the Rolls Royce company as recognition of the fact that he could drive and maintain a Rolls Royce car.

Evidently Lord Tredegar was pleased with John, as the certificate was only awarded after information was received from the owner of the Rolls & periodical inspections by Rolls Royce. John drove the Rolls Royce cars at Tredegar House, for the period September 1923 to October 1935.

Rolls Royce certificate awarded to John Evans


Pop and Bike


Pop and the Rolls Royce





John Evans with cricket scoreboard (click to view larger photo

John Evans with cricket scoreboard (click to view larger photo)







The Terrible Turk


Stripped and Beaten in the Street

“To be a prisoner in the hands of the Turks for two years and seven months is, as one may well imagine, not a pleasant experience, and Corpl. Jack Evans, of the Royal Gloucester Hussars (Yeomanry), who has been subjected to that trying ordeal, is very thankful to be back in Blighty again. Corpl. Evans, who in civil life was a chauffeur to Lord Tredegar, is well-known locally as a speedy Rugby wing three-quarter and path runner. His home is at Tredegar Cottages, near Newport, and he is a son of Mr. Evans, for many years stud groom to the late Viscount Tredegar and the present Lord Tredegar. Corpl. Evans took part in the Dardanelles campaign, being at Suvla Bay four days after the first landing there. The Yeomanry, it will be remembered, were dismounted here, and to all intents and purposes filled the role of infantry. Evans was here two months, and was slightly wounded in the arm. He afterwards went to Egypt, and was at Katra, in the neighbourhood of the Suez Canal when captured by the Turks on April 23, 1916. He was one of a squadron of about 87 men, who were cut off from the main force by an overwhelming body of Turks numbering some 3,000, with reinforcements many miles away, and no hope of reaching them, and about half the squadron were wiped out before they finally surrendered.”

Their Death Ride.

“They were marched across the desert a distance of about 200 miles, to Beersheba, and what they suffered en route is too terrible to relate. A German, said to have been a captain of the Goeben, was in command. The prisoners were stripped of all rations, and in some cases the boots were taken off their feet, and for five days whilst on the tramp they did not have any food to eat. All they subsisted on was water which they obtained from wells, found in intervals of about 30 miles apart. But whilst the ravages of hunger were in themselves awful to experience the lot of the unwounded captives was not nearly so bad as the plight of those who happened to be disabled when captured. Men badly wounded in vital parts were put astride upon camels, and not one of them survived the journey. For sheer cruelty it would want beating. At Beersheba the remnants of the party entrained for Jerusalem, where they stayed one night and then went on to Damascus. Here they remained a week, and afterwards continued their journey to Aleppo, where they remained but one night before being sent to Afion Kara Hissar where they were put to work road-making, starting work at 4.30 in the morning, and knocking off at eight o’clock in the evening.”

Stripped and Beaten.

“A Turkish naval officer was in charge of the camp, and the prisoners were at times brutally beaten with a “cowhide” whip when found guilty of imaginary offences. Evans himself was on one occasion kicked, punched in the jaw, and then knocked senseless for daring to exchange a few words with another prisoner, and later the same day was stripped in the street, outside the baths, and was struck across his naked back with a “cowhide” whip.”

“The prisoners were also called out early in the morning to steal stones that had been blasted from a rock by the Armenians, and this stone was used in roadmaking. Corpl. Evans was afterwards put upon a much lighter and easier task” water fatigue” which meant overlooking a water party.”

“Later he was removed to the neighbourhood of Constantinople, and was here for three months.

The prisoners were subjected to much better treatment at this quarter, and they used to cheer the British aeroplanes as they came over and bombarded the place. Occasionally, however, the raiders dropped their missiles too near to where the prisoners were housed for the latters’ peace of mind. The armistice was signed on Thursday, but it was not until the Sunday that the glad news leaked through to the captives, and they gave way to rejoicing.”

No Medical Attention.

“During the whole time Corpl. Evans was in Turkish hands he never saw a doctor, but they had medicine sent to them through the Dutch Legation in Constantinople. Men died through want of medical care. He was at Constantinople when the British Fleet arrived, and they had a good time compared with their previous experiences at the close of their stay in that part of the world.”

“Corpl. Evans took part in sports and enjoyed a fine measure of success, capturing six firsts, one second, and one third prize. Strange to say, however, it was in putting the weight, throwing the cricket ball, long and high jumping and wrestling etc., and not as a runner that he was most successful. He seemed to have lost a lot of his former dash as regards speed.”

“The statement, previously made, that the Turks took very few prisoners in the Dardanelles campaign, is lent colour to by Corporal Evans, who says he saw very few men who had fallen into the hands of the Turks during the fighting on the Peninsula, and there can be no doubt that many were killed by the enemy after they had been taken prisoners. Corporal Evans refers with deep regret to the fact that Corporal W. Morgan of Michaelstone, who was captured by the Turks in October 1917, died from dysentery just before the armistice was signed.

pop evans at tredegar in yeomanry uniform0001 (2)

pop evans at Tredegar in Yeomanry uniform



pop at bullford camp salisbury

pop at bullford camp salisbury

postcard to home click here to see larger photo

postcard home









Most Newport Dragons supporters will be familiar with the ultimate sacrifice made by players and others associated with the club in the two World Wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45. The memory of such sacrifice is honoured each year by the laying of commemorative wreaths at the club’s memorial gates.

What will be less well known are the sacrifices made during those two conflicts by those who survived. John (Jack) Evans was a chauffeur to Lord Tredegar, keen on all sports, he played for the Newport first XV just three times between 1911-12 and 1913-14. According to newspaper reports he “was considered one of the fastest threequarters in Wales”. Enlisting in the Royal Gloucester Hussars he was captured by the Turks in 1916.

Whilst a prisoner he wrote home, on one occasion asking “Is Map. Williams still at home? If so, remember me kindly to him, and thank him for the & pound  he and W. Kelly sent. I have not had it yet, but I will get it allright” (Mapson Williams was a fine Newport forward playing around 150 games for Newport between 1911-12 and 1923-24).

pop evans 1912 team photo

pop evans 1912 team photo

Letter from Captain Morgan

Click on letter to see larger image.

Letter from Captain Frederick Morgan sent to John Evans

(Great Great Grandfather of Martyn Evans)


John Evans my grandfather with 2 others on Cardiff Rd with the horse & cart.pop is on the extreme left.the gentleman on the right we think is Mr Lambourne,who i think was a coachman at Tredegar House,he lived next to nan & pop

John Evans my grandfather with 2 others on Cardiff Rd
with the horse & cart.pop is on the extreme left.the gentleman on the right we think
is Mr Lambourne,who I think was a coachman at Tredegar House,he lived next to nan & pop

With thanks for all research material to Martyn Evans

 Link to the 2nd Article


Christmas at Tredegar House 2013




Christmas at Tredegar House

Join us this Christmas as we deck out Tredegar House

With lavish Victorian decorations for a special celebration

of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’.


Take a wintry walk through our gardens to the house where there will be music and merriment throughout, with traditional activities for the whole family. Visit Santa who will have a gift for all the children (additional cost of £2.50).

Explore the bedrooms and meet our ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future…but beware!

Scrooge might be just around the corner.

There will also be food and craft stalls in our courtyard so pop down to pick up a festive treat.

Event details

  • Booking Not Needed Tickets for admission and Santa visit can be purchased at Visitor Reception, opposite the car park.
  • Normal Admission Charges Apply
  • Suitable for Groups
  • Wrap up warm – scarves and mittens will be essential to enjoy the festivities across the whole site.
  • Assistance Dogs only are welcome
  • Don’t forget to visit our shop to pick up some last minute festive gifts and decorations. Before you leave nip into the Brewhouse tearooms to sample the delicious seasonal treats on offer.
  • Lift to ground floor of house only.

Price: Adult £7.50, Child £4, Family £21, Per Item £2.50 (Santa Visit)

 Dates: 30 November 2013 11:00am and 1 December 2013 11:00am

Dates: 7 December 2013 11:00am and 8 December 2013 11:00am

Dates: 14 December 2013 11:00am and 15 December 2013 11:00am

Dates: 21 December 2013 11:00am and 22 December 2013 11:00am

More Information: Tredegar House Office, 01633 815880, tredegar@nationaltrust.org.uk

St. Josephs Convent High School Tredegar House Newport South Wales

School Reunion

St. Josephs Convent High School

Tredegar House


South Wales

  • This reunion is open to girls from the 1951-1966 eras.

  • Venue – Llantarnam Abbey  Newport

  •          Friday 16th November 2 – 5 pm.

St Josephs Convent High School Tredegar House Newport

For further information please email: patricia.landers@sky.com



Newport and Caerphilly bridge the gap

Newport and Caerphilly bridge the gap

From News Wales

Section Environment | Published on 12 Oct 2011

Newport and Caerphilly’s mayors yesterday met in the middle of a historic bridge which links their areas.

Iron Bridge, near Draethen, was built over the River Rhymney in 1829 but was closed to the public in 2008 because of its deteriorating condition.

It has now re-opened following a programme of restoration carried out by Newport City Council and Caerphilly County Borough Council with grant funding from Cadw, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Countryside Council for Wales.

Newport’s Mayor Councillor Margaret Cornelious, who walked from the city’s side of the bridge, said: “For almost two centuries, people used this bridge to cross the river until it sadly had to close because of damage to the structure.

“I am extremely pleased that it has been restored to its former glory and I hope it will be enjoyed by walkers for many generations to come.”

Councillor Ron Davies, Caerphilly’s cabinet member for regeneration and planning joined the Mayor, Councillor Vera Jenkins, at the ceremony.

He said, “I am delighted to see this magnificent structure restored to its former glory once more. The bridge’s restoration has generated a lot of local interest and means a great deal to communities on both sides of the river”.

The 16-metre span cast iron bridge was built on the estate of Lord Tredegar who commissioned it to provide access for horse-drawn vehicles and pedestrians from Ruperra Castle to and from the church at Lower Machen and the surrounding area.

It forms part of a circular walk which takes in other places of interest including Ruperra Castle, St Michael and All Angels, Plas Machen and Craig Ruperra summer house.

Your Personal Stories of Tredegar House


Have you any interesting stories of Tredegar House.

  • Did a family member work at the House?
  • Were you a pupil there – A Visitor?
  • Attending an event – or other stories
  • The FOTH has a small database of servants and estate workers can you help to add to it with photographs and any memories that have been passed down in your family?

    Please do not send any original photos or documents we can arrange to have them copied.

If you have,  please forward, for consideration, to:



_____________________________________________                          _____________________

Albert Edward Powell   Tredegar House Groom

Visitors Betty and Peter Powell from Swansea enjoyed their visit to Tredegar House in July 2012


Albert Edward Power Groom at Tredegar House
(here you see him in front of the Edney Gates with Tredegar House in the background)

Peter Powell writes this is my grandfather Albert Edward Powell, born 1886 in Fishpond, Chermouth Dorset. He was a groom at Tredegar House, he met his future wife Cecilia Elizabeth Wheeler, born in Magor, Newport in 1885, when she was a maid at Tredegar House and they married in 1908.

In the 1911 Census Albert is registered as a groom but by then he was living in Blewitt Street, Baneswell, Newport and may have been working as a drayman for Phillips Brewery.


Archivist for FOTH; Monty Dart was thrilled to receive this photograph


John Edwin Hobbs  (Sawyer)

John Edwin Hobbs was buried at Woolos Cemetery, Newport, which has the inscription:

 In loving memory of John Hobbs. Died at Granville St Sept 15 1877 aged 34 years.
Be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.

John Hobbs Grave


When I was researching my family history I came across a very interesting gravestone. It is the gravestone of the brother of one of my ancestors.The gravestone has a two-man saw carefully carved on  it. The carving of a tool on the stone is so unusual I felt there had to be a story behind it and sure enough, I did a newspaper search and found the reports of his death. The carving of the saw implies that he was a sawyer which he was, as were his father and two of his brothers. The newspaper articles tell us where he worked and the tragic circumstances of his death.

Here is some family background: John Edwin’s father John Hobbs was born in Bridgwater, Somerset and his mother Ann was born in Bristol, but both of them for some reason moved to Newport where they married in 1840 and they were living at Mellons in 1841. However they soon moved back to England and John Edwin was born at Margotsfield, near Bristol in 1843. The family moved to Weston Super Mare by 1861, but John’s mother died in 1862. Some time after their mother’s death, John Edwin and his brother Charles Albert (a dock labourer) moved to Newport. John Edwin married Elizabeth Perry in 1867 and they lived at 10 Granville Street in 1871.

The following reports from the Western Mail (Cardiff) inform us that John Edwin worked for Lord Tredegar at Tredegar house, and he contracted rabies (hydrophobia) from a dog bite. For some reason the early report calls him Emanuel, but this, and other mistakes were corrected in the later article:

Monday Sept 17, 1877, Page 3 :

Death from Hydrophobia at Newport.

‘On Saturday a shocking case of hydrophobia terminated fatally. The victim was Emanuel Hobbs, of Granville-Street, who had worked at Tredegar House. About two months ago Hobbs was bitten by one of Lord Tredegar’s dogs on the arm, and the dog was killed. No ill-effects were noticed until a few days ago, then the worst symptoms developed themselves. Several medical men were called in, but they were unable to save the afflicted man, and he died, as we have stated, on Saturday. Deceased leaves a widow, but no children.’

Thursday Sept 20 1877, page 3:

The Late Case of Hydrophobia at Newport.

‘We have been informed that the dog which bit John Hobbs (not Emanuel) on Lord Tredegar’s estate was not the property of his Lordship, but a stray animal which one of the men had caught in consequence of a reward of £1 offered in the Evening Telegram for a missing dog. It appears that the dog was tied up in a stable at the park, and whilst it was there was a good deal teased. On or about the 12th of July John Hobbs went into the stable with his shirt sleeves doubled up, and was about patting the dog on the back, when it flew at him and bit him on the arm. He had his arm dressed at Newport the same day, and from that time he was always apprehensive of something serious. The dangerous symptoms began to show themselves on Wednesday in last week, and the result was death, as we had previously reported. The dog was a brown retriever, and was destroyed. Besides Hobbs, it bit another man on the leg.’

His death certificate confirms that he died at 17 Granville Street, of hydrophobia (rabies) of 5 days. He had been attended by Doctor Richard Henry Dowse, of the Newport Infirmary. His brother Charles Albert Hobbs (of 2 Upper Jeddo Street) was the informant on the death certificate, and was present at John Edwin’s death.

John Edwin did not have children, and his wife remarried the following year. His middle name Edwin is not used in his death certificate, which appears to be the source of the information on the headstone. I do not know who commissioned his headstone; it would have been expensive – could his family have afforded it? When was it erected? Could it have been paid for by Lord Tredegar? Perhaps a record search will eventually find answers to these questions. I am thankful that the terrible disease of rabies was eventually eradicated in the UK.

Heather Stevens



31 July 2012



Here is an account sent in by Mr.  Cyril Highman (a founder member of Friends of Tredegar House)

Regarding the barrage Ballon installation at Tredegar House


In the early hours of 13th September 1940, pilot Oberleutnant Harry Wappler and his crew of three were returning south in their Heinkel  aircraft to their home base near Paris after a successful bombing mission to Ellesmere Port and  had reached a point somewhere in the night skies above Tredegar Park when disaster struck.   Not through contact with an RAF nightfighter or shell fragments from anti-aircraft gunfire but through a new and unexpected danger.  This time their entanglement with Newport’s recently installed balloon barrage.  Severe damage to the right-hand wing sent the Heinkel into an uncontrollable spin drive forcing the airmen into immediate ejection parachute drill.   But only the pilot succeeded in escaping and managed to parachute down safely near the British Legion headquarters in Queen’s Street off Cardiff Road.  The remaining crew of three injured airmen, however, found themselves trapped and unable to escape as the Heinkel continued its fatal downward path towards the urban streets of Newport.

It crashed onto 32 Stow Park Avenue, a house occupied by businessman Harold Phillips, his wife Marjorie and their two children, Malcolm, age 17, and his sister Myrtle, age 14.  Both the children who were installed on the ground floor died in the ensuing fire but the parents managed to escape from their first floor bedroom using a rope of knotted sheets.   Both the youngsters were buried in the Jewish  section of St Woolos Cemetery.  The three airmen also died in the crash.

There were many bombing raids on Newport in late 1940 but this particular incident was noteworthy in that it was the first recorded occasion in Britain when an enemy plane was brought down by the balloon barrage system of defence, and in this case by a unit of the Balloon Barrage Squadron which had just installed the equipment in the home park alongside the Oak Avenue in the grounds of Tredegar House.

My personal interest in all this survives because Malcolm and I became friends during our primary school days at Clytha School in the 1930s and my being able to enjoy in those halcyon years the privilege of visiting No. 32 and sharing our mutual pleasure in working with his magnificent train set!   We could never have believed then what a cruel fate lay in store for him, his sister and his family just a few years later.

Cyril Highman


Further information of this story & other interesting accounts during World War Two they can be found at the following website – go to Newport During Wartime



This was the breaking news in the South Wales Argus Sept 4th 1980.

In fact it was an RAF Vulcan bomber that caused the damage during the military spectacular on 2nd August that year. ‘In the flypast at rehearsal the bomber flew much higher than on the day’ said County Councillor Ron Jones, then Chair of the Leisure Services Committee.

As it made a low pass over the roof of Tredegar House, the vibration set up by the noise cracked a number of ceilings. Apparently a photographer on the roof seriously thought that the House would collapse because of the noise and vibration.

The damage was on the ceilings of the north-west corner of the House, which was an area undergoing restoration. Councillor Jones further stated ‘The ceiling in the Pink Room has a large crack in it, there are minor cracks in the ceiling of the Brown Room and in the Gilt Room the ceiling has flaked. We cannot put a price on the damage because we do know, but if any of those ceilings collapsed the cost of replacing any one of them could be astronomical.

Measurement rods were put into the Gilt Room ceiling and the Council was looking at their insurance policies!

A claim for damages was put in to the Military Defence – emergency repairs were estimated at £5,000 though this would not be the end of the matter, especially as the Gilt Room had just undergone a £12,000 refurbishment.



Memories of Tredegar House  by Shaun McGuire

Brought up at Park Drive, Maesglas in a catholic family but not really a practising catholic family I attended St David’s school from about 1952 to 1958. Most of my friends in the area were/are Catholics with one whose life ambition was always to become a White Father missionary priest following in his uncle’s footsteps and this he did and still is today. Because of this religious connection some of my older friends were invited to help set up the annual St. Joseph’s girl’s school fête run by the nuns at Tredegar House where one of my sisters attended and took place around the second Saturday of July and so at the age of seven I was also invited by them to go and help.

On my first day there I remember being at the rear door of Tredegar House where the kitchens were  as the jobs were being delegated they came to me , I was given a stool and a knife and asked to weed between the cobblestones in the yard. This I did and spent many hours at the job and I continued to go there helping until the day of the fête where I also got in free.

Probably many will remember these fête’s where by the 1960’s about 10,000 people used to attend and which was very well advertised around Newport’s town centre (when we had one) and the corporation buses used to run back and forth to the house bringing the visitors and it was a time when the people of Newport could enjoy Tredegar House and the estate and the entertainment of the fête. Boat rides were also available on a previous lifeboat with a small outboard motor on and go-cart rides.

Leading up to the fête, we used to go there some weeks before to prepare the boat for the rides such as giving it a lick of paint and spending many hours in the boat and another one that we called the Gondola as it was a punt type boat with a large spike sticking out from the front and dragging the lake with grappling hooks to remove large quantities of weed that would clog the propeller of the outboard motor. Other jobs included the erection of the stalls and children’s rides the day before the fête and staying overnight in the marquee to prevent any vandalism.

Eventually this led to about eight or nine of us boys being allowed to go down Tredegar House in the summer at any time but being kept well away from any of the girls especially the borders.

This carried on for quite a number of years, in fact until I was twenty but during that time we also used to set up the Corpus Christie procession that was held there for a number of years and most weekends we were at the house doing some sort of jobs for the Nuns such as painting, gardening or creosoting the large gates at the side of the house. For our labour we were allowed free roam of the estate and used the tennis courts that were at the rear of the stables, the use of the two boats although I do remember there being two Canadian canoes, one being irreparable or go to a mass of some type of cane that was like a large bush which you could walk over or bounce on like a trampoline. This was near to other tennis courts with a thatched summer house and was built over by the later new St. Josephs high school. Often we visited the memorial to Lord Tredegar’s horse Sir Briggs and some family dogs. Also part of this memorial was a small canon on a carriage that was used during the Crimea war and has now gone missing.

The Nuns looked after us well and brought out large urns of tea at various times during the day and copious amounts homemade marmalade sandwiches which I detested but was usually so ravenous that I eat them.

Recently one of my older friends who went there related a story to me that I had never heard about before. He and two others one being the now Professor Sir Hadrian Webb were asked by the Nuns to clear an area of overgrown brambles and bushes in the menagerie of the estate near the second lake which we called the Red Lake because of its colour. Cutting into this area, they found a WW2 American Jeep complete with a star on its bonnet and having four flat tyres. After completely clearing this vehicle, they obtained some tools, took the four wheels off and carried them up to Fosters garage at the bottom of Gaer Road at Maesglas and inflated them and they stayed inflated. Taking them back to the Jeep they refitted them and a day or so later they had managed to obtain a battery and some petrol. To their amazement the Jeep started when they pressed the button and for some days they used it to drive around the estate, not bad for some 16 year olds. They last they saw of the vehicle was it being used on Cullimore’s farm.

Another event that happened one day when I went down to the house by myself midweek, I was asked to help an itinerant that the Nuns used to take in occasionally named Tom. In one of the buildings off the rear courtyard surrounding the sunken garden there was a very old washing machine. This appliance sat in the middle of a large room, was made of wood probably by a cooper as it consisted of two wooden barrels, one revolving inside the other and driven by a belt that reached to a pulley in the ceiling near the outer wall and was rod driven by an electric motor two rooms away which itself drove the rods by a belt to the ceiling. It took a couple of days to remove the driving rods and motor and also the washing machine which we broke up and were rewarded with a couple of hundred buttons. At the end of this building at the court yard end there is a small clearing and this was used by the Nuns to grow tobacco for the priests, at least that was what I was told. The plants were huge far taller than myself at the time and certainly were well concealed by the surrounding walls.

At another time we were asked to clear a large amount of dirt, straw, possibly dung from a corner in the barn in the court yard. This had been there for numerous years and after getting half way through it I saw a packet of 10 Black Cat cigarettes which I had never heard of before and imagine my surprise when I opened them and it was full although not smokable. Probably not as big a surprise that the bloke who lost them got many years earlier when he found they were missing!

These are just of some of many happy memories as a small child growing up when you have a country house estate to yourself where you could go riding (on a push bike), fishing for eels, there was no fish in the lake in those days, playing tennis and being told when you were using the boats to stay up at the island end as the Nuns were going swimming.

During this time I had taken a small number of photographs which have gone missing over the years. They included photographs of the swans which were silhouetted by the two lions that were at onetime part of the lake wall and are now missing. One photo did turn up in the last few years and although bad quality shows some of the lads working on the Gondola in the court yard. This was outside the end building of the barns which we knew as the Yard Boathouse and housed the oar rack and other rowing items such as the rowlocks and in the room above accessed by a ladder, the Canadian canoes

Shaun McGuire

Working on the Gondola in the court yard.
This was outside the end building of the barns which we knew as the Yard Boathouse and housed the oar rack and other rowing items such as the rowlocks and in the room above accessed by a ladder, the Canadian canoes



Sir Charles Morgan of Tredegar House

The Connection With

Samuel Homfray Tredegar Iron Works

By Cyril Highman



In the industrial revolution that swept Britain and parts of Western Europe in the 18th and 19th Centuries, its innovators and entrepreneurs could generate great wealth for themselves, their families and the companies they established.   They often came from modest backgrounds or business roots but what many yearned for was to climb a further wrung on the ladder of recognition by elevating their social status in what was still a very class-ridden society.

Samuel Homfray, born 1762, was a member of a Midlands family of industrialists who saw the huge opportunities available by exploiting the rich iron belt in South Wales running from Hirwaun to Blaenavon. They concentrated first on Merthyr Tydfil where they established works at Penydarren. Samuel then set his sights on the area some miles to the east where the belt crossed the upper reaches of the Sirhowy Valley. But first he had to contact the landowner, Sir Charles Morgan of Tredegar House, some 20 odd miles down the valley near Newport. Just rough farm tracks existed through the then verdant valley, but Homfray mounted his horse and found his way to Sir Charles’ palatial home where he was permitted to lay out his plans.

Sir Charles, already well known for his business acumen by his involvement in developing the port of Newport, immediately appreciated the new opportunities which could be opened up were he to take advantage of  Samuel’s proposals. With minimum delay and on most attractive terms, Samuel secured the lease from Sir Charles of some 3,000 acres of land on which to build his iron works.

Work started on the site around 1815 and in recognition of his generous landlord he decided to call it the Tredegar Iron Works. The workers cottages adjoining the site formed the nucleus of a growing town which acquired the name of Tredegar.

Samuel’s friendly association with Sir Charles and the family members at Tredegar House brought with it additional fruit. He became acquainted with Lady Mary Jane Morgan, the widowed sister of Sir Charles which blossomed into marriage. As a successful ironmaster he already had plans to purchase a farm site not far from his works on which to build in 1818 a mansion set in a 24 acre park to provide a fitting home of which he and his wife could be proud. It was called Bedwellty House, and it still stands today as a prominent and now publicly open feature of this former steel and mining town.

On his death in 1822, Samuel’s remains were interred in St Basil’s churchyard in Bassaleg, identified today by a very modest stone covered vault close to the path leading from the lychgate to the entrance porch.

Its’ exact site was revealed to me recently by our Archivist Monty Dart.

Samuel had realised his ambition to become a successful industrialist crowned by entry into the ranks of the gentry. It can be said that ‘he made it’.


Cyril Highman


Old Time Music Hall


In The New Hall at Tredegar House
Wednesday 22nd September 2010


A packed New Hall, many in the audience in the dress of the period, were enthralled and entertained

by Troupers Music Hall For two hours, filled with song and comedy and audience participation.

Hosted by Derek Richards together with The Troupers:

Mrs. Anne Price-Jones

Mrs Sue Morgan

Mrs Sharon Davies

Mr. Don Smith

Mrs. Eira Richards

Ms. Jeannette Massotthi (Musical director)

At the interval refreshments were served.  A good time was had by all.












Tredegar House and the Ryder Cup

Tredegar House Park turned into a Park and ride for the duration of  The Ryder Cup.

However this had to be done to alleviate traffic chaos en route to the Celtic Manor for this Prestigious event

Ryder Cup Stewards

Left to Right Annie Parker , Les Case,Ruth Knight,MontyDart.

Saturday and Sunday

The  Ground floor of the House was open free of charge for the spectators

returning to their cars.

Four of the Friends of Tredegar House acted as stewards along with

Anne Tame and Emily Price of Tredegar House

It was a wet and muddy weekend at Celtic Manor all returning spectators were in a varying degree

of muddiness, but were approached  and invited to view the house, many where concerned they were too muddy

but those who took up the invitation where greatly surprised and enthralled  and said they would visit again.

All in all it was a success as the House had been introduced to many more people

from far,wide and even locals

Miniature Cabinet Returns to Tredegar House

An unusual and elegant walnut cabinet with ties to the Morgan family who lived in Tredegar House, Newport for five centuries, has been returned to its original home thanks to grants from independent charity The Art Fund, the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Friends of Tredegar House and the Beecroft Bequest.

The cabinet went on display at Tredegar House last week. It was acquired at a Bonhams auction for £69,600, of which £34,140 came from The Art Fund and £24,360 from the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund. The Friends of Tredegar House raised £6,100 with the Beecroft Bequest funding the remaining £5,000.

Andrew Macdonald, Acting Director of The Art Fund, said: “Not only is this cabinet beautifully crafted and striking in its walnut colour, it has strong ties to Tredegar House and the Morgan family and offers a glimpse at Sir William Morgan’s taste for elegant design. The Art Fund is delighted to have helped bring the piece home.”

Emily Price, Curator at Tredegar House, said: “We were extremely excited when we saw that this pretty cabinet was coming up for auction, and knew that we had to try to raise the money to bring it back to Tredegar House permanently. Such distinctive and attractive pieces of furniture from the House’s original collection do not come onto the market very often, so last month’s auction was a rare opportunity to enrich our displays. The new acquisition will help us to give visitors a taste of how opulent the House was when the Morgan family lived here.”

The cabinet appears to have been created c 1720, during the reign of George I. It is thought to have been commissioned especially for Sir William Morgan (1700 – 1731), part of the Morgan family who lived in the House for over 500 years.

Elegantly shaped and attractive in its warm, golden colour, the cabinet is particularly rare because of its diminutive size. The body is made from walnut, inlaid with boxwood and ebonised lines. Effectively a scaled down adults bureau, the piece may well have been made for Sir William Morgan’s son.

Sir William Morgan was an extravagant spender and had an avid interest in fine craft. During his short life, he acquired silver punch bowls, built cock pits and race courses.

Tredegar House is one of the finest and most intriguing late 17th century Houses in Wales and indeed Great Britain. The Morgan family, who lived on the Tredegar House site for over 500 years, sold the property in 1951. The collection was dispersed through the 1950s, largely at auction, with this piece being sold in 1957. Today the House seeks to bring these original pieces ‘home’. Since Newport City Council bought the House in 1974, many original works have been returned.

This cabinet appeared in 1957 House Sale catalogue, and there are labels on the back of the cabinet which read ‘Tredegar Park’ and ‘Lord Tredegar’. Such labels appear on other pieces originally from the collection. Evidence suggests that it has not been on public display since 1962, when it was exhibited at the CINOA (Confédération Internationale des Négociants en Oeuvres d’Art) International Art Treasures Exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1962.

Unexplored Tredegar


Tour With a Difference.

Whereas everybody is familiar with the inside of Tredegar House, on the 28th July, for a change, we were given a tour of the OUTSIDE. Beginning near the Brew House, Paul discussed the original functions of the outbuildings and how different the walk from the public car park is today. This used to be the prettiest cricket pitch in Monmouthshire, where the Tredegar Park team, made up of estate staff, played. The Greater Barn and Lesser Barn used to be one gigantic barn before a fire in the middle in the 19th century. Now the staff car park separates the two buildings.

In the Cedar Garden we considered the exterior of the house and discussed a few architectural curiosities, such as the Bath Stone swags of fruit underneath the first floor windows: these are extremely rare and similar decorations can only really be found on Amsterdam Town Hall. A discussion of Sir Briggs’ monument lay to rest an old legend that he was so named at the Charge of the Light Brigade when he received a Russian sabre cut and was knighted. Apparently, he had been ‘Sir’ before this heroic adventure. We then walked through the Orangery Garden and into the Stable Yard, once called the Coach Washing Yard, where in later years Lord Tredegar stored his impressive collection of motor vehicles. On the exterior of the stables the columns, or pilasters, are actually depictions of ‘heel posts’ that divided stalls in stables, to show that although the building is remarkably grand, it is indeed a stable block. In the 17th century such heel-posts would often be ornamented at the top with carved wood or stone acorns or pineapples.

The Riding School was often used for social occasions like the start of the Tredegar Hunt. During the school years this was the gymnasium, which must have been bitterly cold on a winter’s morning! The Riding Stables with intact stalls were used by the British Army in both the Crimean and Boer Wars.

The evening, which ended with wine and nibbles prepared by our Maureen Butterworth and her helpers, was enjoyed by all.

Copyright © 2012 Friends of Tredegar House