While we were staying in Cardiff we visited Tredegar House in Newport.
This National Trust property is a 17th-century Charles II-era country house mansion in Coedkernew, at the western edge of the city of Newport. For over five hundred years it was home to the Morgan family.
The house has quite a history attached to it. “Dark arts, riotous parties, war heroism, crocodiles and crucifixes……Tredegar House has never been an ordinary household” it says in their marketing.
According to wikipedia, Tredegar’s name came from Tredegar Fawr, the name of the mansion or seat of the old Morgans, who were descended from Cadifor the Great the son of Collwyn; and the owners of the land upon which Tredegar stands.
Sir Henry Morgan
The Morgan descendants include Sir Henry Morgan, the Caribbean privateer and pirate. He is probably the “best-known pirate” because of Exquemelin’s book telling of his dark deeds during his attack on Panama. because of the attack Charles II ordered Morgan’s arrest, and in April 1672 the privateer admiral returned to London. Although there was no court case – Morgan was never charged with an offence – he gave informal evidence to the Lords of Trade and Plantations and proved he had no knowledge of the Treaty of Madrid prior to his attack on Panama. When Exquemelin’s book was translated and published in England, Morgan sued for libel and won. He was knighted in November 1674, and left for Jamaica two months later. Morgan died a wealthy man on 25 August 1688.
Godfrey Morgan, 1st Viscount Tredegar
Another of the Morgan descendants is the peer Godfrey Morgan, 1st Viscount Tredegar. A British Army officer, he survived the Charge of the Light Brigade. Godfrey’s horse, ‘Sir Briggs’, also survived, and lived at Tredegar House until his death at the age of 28. He was buried in the Cedar Garden.
Evan Frederic Morgan, 2nd Viscount Tredegar was a Welsh poet and author.
There are exquisite oak panel carvings in the Brown Room.
The “gallery assistants” are placed strategically around the house and all have detailed knowledge of the house and the family that lived there. They are also quite insistent on passing on this knowledge.
So don’t think you will be wandering around staring at furniture and painting. You will be drawn into conversation in every room.
And that’s not a bad thing.
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