Tredegar House was the palatial home of the Morgan family, who during the 18th and 19th centuries, had been successful industrial philanthropists, leasing land in Monmouthshire and Breconshire for mining activities, as well as overseeing the creation of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, plus many improvements in the Docks at Newport and the creation of new wharfs.
The House, completed in 1672, has been a Grade One listed building since March 1952 and is situated in 90 acres of grounds, five miles to the north-west of Newport city centre. Cricket at Tredegar Park dates from the time of Godfrey Charles Morgan who in 1875 became the 2nd Baron Tredegar Educated at Eton, he served as a cavalry officer and was involved in the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava in October 1854 during the Crimean War.
On returning to South Wales, he served as Conservative MP for Breconshire from 1858 until 1875, and played cricket for Monmouthshire in their match on the Newport Marshes against the All-England Eleven on September 13th, 1858. He failed to score in either innings, but retained his enthusiasm for cricket and helped to cover the costs of a return match the following year which saw the Monmouthshire side win by 60 runs – the first victory by a Welsh side over an English team.
His younger brother Freddie was also a keen cricketer and, together with Godfrey, was instrumental in creating a Tredegar Park cricket club, initially for the enjoyment of those who worked at the house and on the estate. During the 1880s Godfrey oversaw the creation of a bowling green and a cricket field to the south of the House, where the visitor’s car park is currently situated for those visiting the National Trust property.
In 1892 Godfrey further helped the cricketers of Monmouthshire and the Newport Athletic Club by providing a five acres of land, at a purely nominal rent at Rodney Parade, so that a self-contained cricket ground could be laid out. 1892 also saw Godfrey agree to serve as President of the Monmouthshire County Cricket Association.
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