Tredegar House looked very impressive and I wanted to visit it. So, on our holiday in Wales, we stopped by. Unfortunately we didn’t allow for a long time to visit the house and we didn’t get to stay as long as we wanted to. The fact that the staff and volunteers there were so nice and chatty, telling us lots of interesting stories didn’t help with the time pressure, but made the visit great. We’ve also had a short talk about the family and I found that very interesting. I would recommend allowing 2 hours just for the house, especially if you want to ask questions or listen to the volunteers talking.
It was a rainy day, so perfect for visiting a gorgeous house like this one.
The gardens look great and they must be lovely on a slightly drier day.
We got in and one of the volunteers said something very long. At first I though is his accent, but after he said a couple of words I realized he wasn’t speaking in English. I didn’t think he was talking in Welsh, so it was funny. We were told about the talk and we went to see a couple of rooms before going back for the talk.
I was impressed by this oak flooring. Before the guide mentioning it, I didn’t realize that the oak panel was as long as the room. Also, the panels are cut in different shapes, some are more straight and some are a bit curved. The craftsmanship is impressive. The wall panels were just as beautiful.
This one is a caricature of Charles I as a mouse, a hint to his shortness. It is wonderfully made and it does resemble Charles I. Charles stayed at Tredegar House for a while during the Civil War.
We were told at the talk about the history of the family. They backed Henry Tudor and, so, the paintings make sense. The guide also talked about a sad love story between a war veteran and his fiance who believed he died in the Crimean Wars, pretty much a real Poldark kind of story.
He told us about the last man to live at Tredegar House, Evan, who was a gay, converted to Catholicism (maybe just to annoy his Protestant father), and who had a passion for witchcraft. He had two marriages of convenience and, obviously, no heirs.
This is the master bedroom, as it looked like when Evan was living there.
And this is one of his favourite pets, not a hunting trophy as I was expecting it to be.
There is a special exhibition, but we didn’t have time to ask about that. I’m going to share two more highlights from the tour, this time from downstairs.
Firstly is this boiler on the left. It was used to boil water for cleaning the greasy pans. I haven’t seen one in a Victorian kitchen before, so that was interesting.
Second, the slippers, another thing I was not familiar with. These were put on so their shoes wouldn’t get wet when the servants were mopping the floors. How simple and very effective at the same time.
We had a lovely time and I would like to visit the house again and learn a bit more. In the next picture are the stables, made with brick that was more expensive, just to show how wealthy they were.
Tredegar House is on Pencarn Way, Newport, NP10 8YW, only a few miles from Cardiff. Entry fee is £10.10 for adults, free for National Trust members. The car park is paid for non-members and free for members, and a bus station is close by. They have an offer for members of Art Fund too.