Welcome to this Tredegar House blog. Although I work at Tredegar House – this blog is completely unofficial. All the views expressed here are my own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the National Trust who manage the property. Although I like to think we share many views and values.
The National Trust’s involvement is really what has made me start this blog as there will be some big changes on the way before long. The next few months should prove to be very interesting for the staff and visitors at the House, the local community and Newport as a whole.
If you haven’t heard about Tredegar House before, that could soon change. It is a multi-period historic house on the western periphery of Newport in South Wales. There is one wing of a Tudor period house still standing. This was the home of Sion ap Morgan, also known as John Morgan. In 1485 he accompanied Henry Tudor to Bosworth Field and after defeating Richard III, the Morgans of Tredegar started to become part of the Establishment. In the Seventeenth Century, the House was changed quite substantially. Parts of the old House were demolished to make way for a brand new Tredegar House. The two new wings on the North east and Northwest sides of the House represent one of the grandest and most elaborate mansions of the Restoration Period.
In the Nineteenth Century, the family were finally elevated to the peerage, although there were only ever six Lords Tredegar. In 1962, the last Lord Tredegar died childless. The Estate had withered away due to family recklessness, mismanagement and death duties. The House had been sold in 1951 to the Sisters of St Joseph. They used it as a secondary school; a private convent school to begin with, but latterly part of the Comprehensive system. St Joseph’s High School outgrew Tredegar House and they moved to a purpose built establishment on the site of the kitchen gardens. In 1974 the Sisters sold the House to Newport Council.
Some Newport councillors failed to see the significance of Tredegar House, but luckily their calls to bulldoze the place or turn it into a conference / leisure centre were ignored and work began on restoring this great house.
The people of Newport have invested heavily in this building and the ninety acres of parkland that came with it. There were mistakes made and some stories of renovation would make a conservator’s toes curl. On the whole, however, the work done at the House over the past four decades has been very positive. I am sure the National Trust will continue the good work.