Tredegar House is found a hop, skip and a jump across the Severn Bridge in Wales, just outside Newport. It’s a stunning, redbrick 17th century mansion house with extensive parklands and an intriguing history. You’ll find the house currently swathed in plastic, as extensive restoration of the roof and exterior is taking place. If you’re visiting on a weekday, check the opportunities for climbing up to the roof.
The House currently looks like this:
Conservation in action at Tredegar:
I visit a lot of country houses and National Trust properties but I have to say the colourful history of the Morgan family who owned Tredegar House for 500 years really captured my imagination – from their close relationship with Henry VII to the English Civil War to their involvement in the Charge of the Light Brigade. One of them even became a pirate in the Caribbean. In later years the Morgans were a family of bon viveurs, stories abound of their legendary parties where a pet baboon was allowed to run amok for the amusement of the host and where the men retired to a room covered in shimmering gold.
One of the last Morgans to inhabit the house was actually gay but married both a Russian princess and an actress. The actress died of a slimming pill overdose and then Morgan’s sister was found dead in the Thames in mysterious circumstances. It feels like Agatha Christie could have featured this family in one of her novels. The champagne parties, the suspicious deaths, the opulent living. After the death of the last remaining Morgan the house became a school but remarkably both the Morgans’ lavish decor in the public areas and the original servants’ and domestic quarters seem to have remained intact.
A fascinating tale the Morgan household may be for adults, but the NT have ensured that children enjoy visiting the house through costumes to try on and a shadow puppet theatre to costumed volunteers who bring the house to life. I must mention that the volunteers who staff Tredegar House are a charming, helpful bunch who go out of their way to help you have a wonderful visit.
The stable block at Tredegar is surely too grand for horses!
Although you need to pay to visit the house, or be a NT member, the park belonging to the house is free to enter and makes a lovely day out in itself . Extensive grounds and a lake over which a myriad of dragonflies hover and wildfowl swim make a wonderful walk or picnic. There is also a children’s play area, not that commonly found at NT properties. There’s also a caravan club site.
We had lunch in the shady courtyard on one of the hottest days of the year and my only complaint is that the heatwave meant that they had run out of ice creams! If you have a dog with you however, they sell doggy ice cream – so the canine friends are well catered for.
For a peek into the intriguing history of a family who it seems never had a dull moment in its 500 years of residence here, for a stroll, for a dog walk, for a picnic with your own family, Tredegar House has opportunities for all of this and more.
10 THINGS TO DO AT TREDEGAR
-See the house
-Dress up as a lord or lady
-Visit the magnificent stables
-Stroll the formal gardens
-Play in the playground
-Take a wander around the lake
-Walk the dog
-Have a picnic
-Play games on the lawns
PIN FOR LATER
Where Jo Goes Wales Reviews
YHA Danywenallt-Countryside and Castles/
Where Jo Goes National Trust Reviews:
Lacock, Wiltshire-England’s Historic Harry Potter Village
Wilderhope Manor – Stay in an Elizabethan House/
Ilam Park & Dovedale Steps, Peak District
Linking up with
Tredegar seems a lovely old great house with a fascinating history. I wonder – does it still have many of the original furnishings?
Wonderful historic place! I’ve been to Wales once, too briefly. I would love to return and see Tredegar.
I visited Cardiff on a day trip from London. Wasn’t all that impressed, but afterwards curious about what lies beyond the city. Thanks for this! #farawayfiles
Oooogh, this isn’t too far from me – I hadn’t heard of it before! Will definitely be going to check it out now, thanks! #FarawayFiles
Oh this sounds like our kind of day out… I love that there are so many family fun things to do here. #FarawayFiles
Love all the intrigue! You’re right – it’s so very Agatha Christie. Looks like a beautiful place to explore, both inside and out, with plenty of things to do. Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles
Baboons?!? Can you imagine? I think that would be terrifying! Love the look of the gardens and could easily imagine a delightful day out exploring here. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin
This looks like a great day out, Jo. It’s really close to where my husband’s family live so I think we’ll go and check it out. Thanks for the inspiration on #FarawayFiles
What a fascinating story! Is the gold lined room still there? Thank you for linking up to #CulturedKids
Yes It is still there so not so many parties nowaways. The strange thing is the council took over this building for a while – I wonder what they used the ornate rooms for – somebody had a great office!
Doggy ice cream – that’s brilliant! I’d never heard of the stuff. Tredegar House sounds good all round. We might try to pop there one time, when we’re heading to west Wales to see my mum. #CulturedKids
We live about thirty minutes from here but haven’t been for years. You’ve made me want to go visit again #CulturedKids
Sometimes it’s the places nearest home that we overlook!
It looks wonderful – plenty to see and do. My kids would love it here. #CulturedKids
Just popping back from my other blog (Big Family Little Adventures). #CulturedKids
I would love to visit the Tredger House; I am a direct decendant of the Morgans as My great grandmother was Cassie Emeline Morgan Conley and I hope someday to get to England and visit the many places of my ancestors….