If you are a member of one of the parties coming on the Group Tours of Tredegar House on March the Seventeenth (the very last tours under Newport City Council) you will enter through the Victorian Porch and into the Side Hall. To your left you will notice a smaller room decorated in the Regency style. This is the Ladies Morning Room.
The Morning Room looks as if Miss Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters should be seated in there. The wallpaper is copied from a design at Clandon Park which dates to 1810 and the Brussels carpet was recreated fitted for the Morning Room based on a carpet made in Paris in 1829. Much of the furniture is Rosewood and of the same period. However, this was not always a room for the ladies of the House. A Seventeenth Century inventory describes this as “The Drinking Roome” and gives its contents as 10 leather back chairs and an oval table – and that is all.
The Spring Clean continues at Tredegar as around us officials from the National Trust are busy making arrangements for the takeover on March the Nineteenth, and for the first visitors at Easter. When you visit Tredegar House as a National Trust property you will not enter this way (see my previous post on the New Hall), but it will continue to be part of the visitor experience.
When Tredegar House was a school (1951 – 1974) the Side Hall was the visitors’ entrance and the Morning Room was a waiting room. Prior to that it had been an office for the secretaries of the last Lords Tredegar who lived here. These days, apart from being on show to visitors, it is used by the Registrar prior to wedding ceremonies held in the New Hall. It does have something of an air of intimacy and privacy.