Saturday 28 April 2012

Wanderings through past lives: Tredegar House

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Approaching Tredegar House, having explored the wonderful and huge stable block which has survived modernization.  Fortunately you can't see the housing development which encroaches within a hundred yards of the back of the house itself . . .
The table was bedecked for a wedding feast - the food looked so realistic and appetizing, that I became very hungry just at the sight of it.  The wedding it celebrated was that of William Morgan to his second wife, Elizabeth Dayrell, a wealthy widow.  Of course, the families with wealth, land and a position in society always chose to marry within those same circles.  Sadly, in this case it was a misalliance as the beautiful widow proved to have what we would call today, mental health problems.  Not to put too fine a point on it, she was as nutty as a fruit cake.  I don't know how long the timespan was between his marriage and the dawning realization that he had married a wrong 'un, but her dowry did not balance sufficiently against her violent behaviour.  She attacked her husband with words and worse.  She once pulled back the bed curtains and told her two maid servants that her husband resembled a monkey and acted like one.  Her violence escalated and she made threats against his life, declaring she would "either kill or be killed" and he had no option but to have her declared a lunatic.  Whether or not she ended up in Bedlam Hospital itself or the nearby private hospital for the insane run by a friend of her husband's, we can only conjecture.  If the former, let us hope she didn't make old bones.

Faceless facsimiles of the bride and groom are stood either side of the fireplace, and you cannot help but gaze in amazement at the detailed carvings on the walls.  I know that Grinling Gibbons often carved in Limewood, so it's quite possible that this panelling has Limewood carvings too.

The feast from the opposite end of the table.  Each chair had a beautiful nameplate at the back of it so each guest knew where they would be seated. 

This is driving me potty!  I have pics all over the place.  Anyway, the one above is the flower fancies hung from a gilded branch from the ceiling.   I'll be back tomorrow to try and sort it all out!!!


  1. Oh we couldnt get into the house when we went a few weeks back - how beautiful. Looks wonderful

  2. Fi - you must go back as it was a fascinating house and WHAT a family!

  3. What a fabulous looking wedding feast. Such a shame about the bride's mental problems.
    I'm still ambling about on the old Blogger interface, the new one looks awful, a lot of people seem to have this tiny font now which is very hard to read.

  4. Ooh I couldn't help wishing for decay, cobwebs and Miss Haversham in her mouldering wedding gown...
    weird I know :-)

  5. Rowan - I'm going to do all my writing at the beginning or end of my photos so it's in a bigger font and I don't have photos going all over the place. This is just plain CRAZY aas they have changed it to something WORSE by far.

    Kath - ah, I can do SCARY when we get upstairs in Tredegar House!!!