Monday, 9 May 2011

On to Wales.

54.4 Miles. Now at Tredegar House Club Site in Newport

Our caravan park in the grounds of a stately home.Our caravan park in the grounds of a stately home.

We had more heavy rain overnight keeping us both awake with the noise. I was a bit concerned about the state I might find the paddock in come morning, thinking I might need a tow out. However the ground turned out to be still very firm despite all the rain so we were able to drive out unhindered.

Dis-used Transporter bridge at Newport.Dis-used Transporter bridge at Newport.

Our journey today took us into Gloucester, over the River Severn and then roughly following the river back towards the river mouth on the opposite bank until we reached Newport. At one point we found a car park where we were able to pull off the road and photograph the river. The width of it and the speed at which the water was flowing on an out going tide was totally awesome.


Arriving at Tredegar House Caravan Site which is in the grounds of the 17th Century House, we were given a very informative spread sheet about public transport, local facilities and the open hours of Tredegar House. Over lunch we opted to visit Tredegar House this afternoon and travel into Cardiff tomorrow. We were lucky to catch the 3pm guided tour through the house which lasted an hour and a half. What a pleasure it was to be shown through an historic house not only in the family rooms but also the servants rooms, some restored and some untouched as the Nun’s left it.

Tredegar House. The original main gates. The !8thC driveway led straight up over the hill.Tredegar House. The original main gates. The 18th Century driveway led straight up over the hill.

The house has been in the Morgan family, one of the greatest Welsh families for over 500 years. What is left today was built between 1664 and 1672 some of it in it’s original condition, some restored. Unfortunately the family fell on hard times and in 1951 sold the house to a religious order where the Nun’s ran it as an exclusive girls school. This lasted for about 20 years when the Nun’s sold the property as they found it too expensive to maintain. Eventually the Newport City Council took the property over along with a support group to restore it and open it to the public. There is a rumour that the council, due to the current restraints, may hand it over to the National Trust.

Tredegar House. The original main entrance.Tredegar House. The original main entrance.

Like many rich families the Morgan’s had their share of eccentric’s who increased or decreased the family fortunes as they saw fit. One member had a thing with animals and kept his own private menagerie in the stables. When he got bored with visitor’s he thought nothing of letting his pet baboon lose among the guest’s or an alligator in the bath. One wife tried to kill her husband twice before being ostracised from the family chambers and committed to a mental asylum. Another member was an officer in the Navy and it was him that brought us Captain Morgan’s Rum from the West Indies. An interesting family to say the least.

The stables of Tredegar House.The stables of Tredegar House.

Tredegar House. Some entrance foyer.Tredegar House. Some Entrance Foyer.

A total of 1845 miles, since 5 March 2011


Elsie said...

Hi Derek & Dot,

Newport is my home town and the Transporter Bridge is still in use carrying vehicles and people over the river to Corporation Park and behind. I've even walked across the top.....not that I'd do it again.

Regards Elsie

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Elsie
We were talking about you yesterday, were your ears burning? We were talking to the tour guide at Tredegar House, Chris was it? Said he had been a neighbour of yours.

Elsie said...

Hi Derek & Dot,

Yes Chris is quite a character! I forgot to say I enjoyed looking at your pictures of my home's a city know but that doesn't sound right.

Regards Elsie