Dear Mom…

Dear Mom, 

I finally made it to Wales and the Morgan family home like we talked about when I first started getting into the family tree. 

We always said we’d come someday, well I guess someday is now. I never expected to get here alone, but things don’t always work out the way you think they will, I guess. 

Tredegar House is amazing. You would have loved to go through it and hear all the stories about the family. 

Let me tell you a little about it…

Right now the house is being restored, so it’s covered in plastic and scaffolding. Apparently 300 year old roofs tend to be leaky. I bought some postcards that show what it looks like without its raincoat. 

But the part that’s open for visitors is really cool. I told the volunteers that you were a Morgan and they helped me find our ancestor on the family tree. He’s the brother of the one who remodeled the house into what it is today. 

The planks on the floor of this room are all 40 feet long and are assumed to have come from the same tree. The each span the entire length of the room.

The downstairs “dining room” is covered with carvings in oak, which was unusual at the time, suggesting that a shipbuilder was the artist since they would be used to working in oak.

The guides said that according to local legend, the Morgans were likely the chieftains of a Celtic clan that built a nearby hill fort before the Romans and then the English took over. They believe the name Tredegar means “place near the hill fort” in Welsh. 

Mom, they said the Morgans were good people, beloved by their servants and tenants, that they believed they were “of the people and of the land.” They weren’t landed gentry to begin with, they were commoners and self made. They didn’t get a title until after our branch split off, but they were incredibly wealthy until the last two heirs sort of spent it all on… well on things like bathtubs full of champagne… and betting on horses. 

A recreation of Evan Morgan’s bathroom from the 1920s.

Some of them were a little quirky. But at least they were interesting. And at one time they owned 90,000 acres. The entire county almost. 

The house was great to see, but I think my favorite thing was the grounds. Tredegar Park is spectacular, with a small lake and a walking trail and ginormous trees and convenient benches. 

And dogs. So many dogs. It seemed like everyone was out walking their dogs in the park today. I felt slightly out of place without one… 

Also on the grounds is a cafe and a gift shop and… a second hand bookstore. Yes, I bought a book, among other things. 

I didn’t think I was going to be able to see it because this morning it was raining so hard I couldn’t see the hotel parking lot, much less walk a mile to get there. But by the time I finished breakfast at the cafe next door it was clear. 

You would have appreciated the stables, you come by your love of horses honestly – the stables were nearly as nice as the house. 

The stables.

I spent all day there trying to soak it in. You would have enjoyed all of it. The guides said the Morgan women were strong ladies. Clearly you came by that as well. 

It was an awesome day. The only thing that would have made it better is if you were here to see it with me. 




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