Christmas at Tredegar House

Wales has always held a certain fascination for me, beginning with the discovery of my Welsh families back in 2012. My great-great grandfather, Edward Harris was born in Tredegar, Wales in 1854, just 22 miles north of Tredegar House in Newport, Wales.

Tredegar House ~ Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Tredegar House is a 17th century country mansion that was owned by the Morgan family (one of my ancestral families) for more than 500 years. The house sits on 90 acres of land that is part of Tredegar Park that has been under the care and watchful eye of The National Trust of the UK since 2012. In that time, the National Trust has managed to create a wonderful environment with yearly traditions and activities, and especially during the Christmas season that transforms Tredegar House into a magical place of yuletide attractions that lure visitors in for a journey back in time of Christmases past.

There is a Murder Mystery – “The Case of the Sugared Almond”, being held this year on Dec. 6th.

During the holiday season, Father Christmas makes weekend visits, after school visits, and quiet hour visits.

You can even have breakfast with Father Christmas.

There are Christmas Craft & Wreath Workshops.

As well as Yuletide Tours.

Christmas at Tredegar House is something quite special, and there’s more…

The Gilt Room at Christmas ~ Courtesy of The National Trust

There’s even more to discover year round.

Famous and infamous Morgan family members of Tredegar House…

Sir John Morgan (1447-1492) ~ Knight of the Holy Sepluchre (c.1448). Married to Jenet Matthew. In 1490, commissioned the building of a new house in Tredegar. A wing of the stone manor still exists as part of Tredegar House.

Thomas Morgan (1474-1538) ~ son of Sir John Morgan and Jenet Matthews, Esquire to the body of King Henry VII, and built Plas Machen and purchased the manors of Bedwelty (same place where my g-g-grandfather Harris grew up) and Mynyddislwyn. Thomas married Elizabeth Vaughn.

John Morgan (abt.1512) ~ son of Thomas Morgan and Elizabeth Vaughn, 5x great-grandfather of Sarah Morgan (b. 23 July 1720), who married Squire Boone of Bucks Co., PA, and was mother of Daniel Boone.

Rowland Morgan (1498-1577) ~ son of Thomas Morgan and Elizabeth Vaughn, Sheriff in 1557. Married to Blanch Thomas.

Henry Morgan (1536-1603) ~ son of Rowland Morgan and Blanch Thomas, married Catherine Kemeys, and is the Morgan branch from which descended Sir Henry Morgan of Jamaica, privateer and adventurer, knighted by King Charles II, and made Lt Govenor of Jamaica. He was also known as “Morgan the Pirate” and is the guy on the label of Morgan’s Rum.

Godfrey Morgan (1831-1913) ~ son of Charles Morgan, 1st Baron Tredegar. Godfrey Morgan was 1st Viscount Tredegar, and fought in the Crimean War as Captain in the 17th Lancers, specifically the Battle of Balaclava (The Charge of the Light Brigade) at age 22. Godfreys’ horse, Sir Biggs survived the battle and lived at Tredegar House until dying at the age of 28 and is buried in the Cedar Garden of Tredegar House.

The Ultimate Surprise…

Do you recognize this scene from a pretty famous British show? Here’s a clue – Harriet Jones, Prime Minister to be:

Image courtesy of BBC

Yes, if you guessed Dr. Who, you are right…there have been multiple episodes filmed on location at Tredegar House. You might say that my wife and I are fans…more like SUPER fans! Just call us Whovians! We absolutely love this show.

Dr. Who Episodes Filmed at Tredegar House:

The Christmas Invasion (the scene above is from that episode)

Tooth & Claw

Human Nature / Family of Blood

Girl in the Fireplace

The End of Time

New Earth

The Next Doctor

Army of Ghosts

The Unicorn and the Wasp

One last surprise


All images except where noted are used by special permission of The National Trust.

It is with great appreciation and gratitude that I can humbly mention the great work that The National Trust does in preserving not only those landmarks that are important to the history of the British Isles, but to the world as well, and in preserving the history of the Morgan family at Tredegar House, and all those families that came before us. Thank you.

A special thank you to Jessica Courtney of The National Trust for her cooperation on behalf of this great organization and allowing me to use content from The National Trusts’ website.

And lastly, to my wife, whose support and love are the air I breath everyday.

Happy Holidays to all my readers!

Brian S. Miller, descendant of Philip ap Morgan

2 thoughts on “Christmas at Tredegar House

  1. Cathy,
    Originally, I was just going to “brag” about the Christmas decorations, but then it dawned on me that I should also give some history about the Morgans…and then I came upon the Dr. Who connection. The series has been on since 1963, and then there was a lull for the series in the 90s then picked up again by the BBC in 2005 and has been on ever since. You can actually purchase DVDs of the show. It’s a great show, even though it has its moments of tense drama, you never have to worry about the main character known as “The Doctor” ever dying. I just had to add it in because of the location connection and the Christmas special they filmed there. Thanks again!


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