THE red brick mansion that can be seen today when you visit Tredegar House was built in the 1670s, to expand the original stone property that had been there since medieval times.

What visitors may not realise when looking up at the impressive architecture and towering walls, is that the house was built as a result of an advantageous marriage between William Morgan and Blanche Morgan, heiress of Dderw in Brecknockshire.

At the time, marriages were often arranged for the benefit and progression of powerful or wealthy families. Blanche’s substantial dowry brought with it a large contribution towards the building of the new house, and thus a more modern and magnificent red brick mansion was created.

Theirs was not the only union which brought further prosperity to the Morgan family.

In 1724, Sir William Morgan married Lady Rachel Cavendish, who was the daughter of the 2nd Duke of Devonshire, an eminent politician and member of the Privy Council.

South Wales Argus: A wedding party leaves Tredegar House by carriage from the Edney Gates

A wedding party leaves Tredegar House by carriage from the Edney Gates

Thirty years later, the Morgan family found itself without a male heir to continue the family name and inherit the house (in accordance with tradition at that time). Therefore, Jane Morgan married Sir Charles Gould, an attorney general, who agreed to change his name to Sir Charles Gould Morgan to continue to family’s lineage.

Although several of the Morgan family marriages were an alliance of power and fortune between elite households, they still held many similarities to the celebrations that we have today, involving large parties and extravagant decorations.

Between 1854 and 1872, the Monmouthshire Merlin reported numerous weddings of Morgan family members, and each report tells of the splendour of the event.

The articles detail lengthy guest lists, with many noble families in attendance, including Lord Churchill who attended the wedding of Miss Georgiana Morgan in 1857.

South Wales Argus: Godfrey Morgan leaves Tredegar House with his nieces, who are bridesmaids.

Godfrey Morgan leaves Tredegar House with his nieces, who are bridesmaids. 

The articles also detail impressive bridal gowns, sumptuous wedding breakfasts and magnificent gifts, including a chronometer and bracelet bought by the local community as a gift for the granddaughter of Lord Tredegar on her wedding day.

While the house and parkland were finely decorated with flower arches and mottos to celebrate the occasion, the weddings were often a community affair.

Locals would decorate the route from the house to the church with flowers and flags, and would come out to wave to the procession as they passed by – similarly to royal weddings that we see today.


Much like other aspects of the Morgan family’s lifestyle, it seems that weddings too were another reason to celebrate in style, and to impress and entertain guests and locals alike.

Although the unions may not always have been in the interest of love and romance, one thing is for certain; the history of Tredegar House would have been very different without them.