Day trip to Tredegar House (NT) and Cosmeston on 16th July 2015

Tredegar House and Gardens
Tredegar House and Gardens

Our July trip to Tredegar House and Cosmeston medieval village

This turned out to be a day that exceeded our expectations- due in the most part to our guides!
Tim had organised the day well and had arranged for us to have our own personal tours of both properties

We started off exploring parts of Tredegar House that are normally out of bounds. It began in the oldest part of the house dating from late medieval times which had since had many roles, being initially the great hall and latterly the servants hall in the early 20th century. We were treated to many tales of the Morgan family who had lived there for 500 years, before death duties in the 1930s and 40s had resulted in its sale to a Catholic girls’ boarding school. Up many tilting servants’ stairs we reached the servants’ dormitories which had later housed the girl boarders. The Marie Celeste room – the room which had last been used by the council for planning and had been suddenly abandoned, had beforehand, been one of the choice bedrooms of the house in the 20s and 30s when the house was the scene of many wild and extravagant parties. We were also allowed to see the Master’s bedroom on the first floor- allegedly the scene of two attempted murders by a disenchanted wife!

By now it was almost time for lunch which had been arranged in our personal dining room. Some managed a quick scoot around the lower floors while others dashed around the herbaceous borders.

Our next port of call was in Cosmeston, heading west. The site had been discovered over thirty years ago during excavation for a car park. It was thought to have been abandoned in the late 14th or early 15th century because of the plague.
The buildings had been authentically reconstructed on the site of the originals- it is known that other foundations are nearby including the Manor House, but there are insufficient funds to allow further building.
We were taken in two groups inside each building and life at that time was brought alive by the artifacts and stories. Derivations of sayings we use to day such as honeymoon, three square meals a day, by hook or by crook, pot luck etc now all make perfect sense!
There was time for refreshment in the cafe near the lakes before heading home.

The committee would be grateful for any suggestions for day trips next year and for the autumn break.

Report by Annie Weaver with photos by Andrew Weaver

At Cosmeston, Angharad our guide leads us to her alehouse.
At Cosmeston, Angharad our guide leads us to her alehouse.
Angharad takes us to Jake's house, where he lies abed with signs of the plague.
Angharad takes us to Jake’s house, where he lies abed with signs of the plague.