Margam Estate Collection

Scope and Content

Rentals and accounts, 1682-1940; rentals, 1751-1757, accounts including the Penrice estate, 1743-1880; cash books, 1784-1872; wages books, 1843-1891; household accounts, 1845-1932; poll books for Glamorgan election, 1820; ship's log book, 1806-1808; printed material relating to maritime affairs; ship's logs for the Talbot family yachts, 1845-1873, and a plan of a proposed orangery at Margam, [c. 1785].

Administrative / Biographical History

The ancestors of the Mansel family originated in Normandy and appear to have arrived in Britain in 1066. The Gower branch of the family lived in comparative obscurity during the Middle Ages, but through judicious marriages with local families they acquired the manors of Penrice, Oxwich and Port Eynon in 1410, which formed the basis of the family's Gower estates. Later purchases included the manors of Landimore (including Rhossili), Weobley and Reynoldston, and later still, portions of the Popkins and Lucas estates in Gower. During the 15th and 16th centuries the Mansels lived mostly at Oxwich Castle, but at the Dissolution of the Monasteries Sir Rice Mansel first leased and later bought the lands and buildings of the Abbey of Margam. Rice Mansel, now the owner of lands stretching from one end of Glamorgan almost to the other, set about converting the old monastic buildings into a mansion, which became the principal home of his descendants for the next 200 years. The Mansel family line came to an end in 1750 with Bussy, the fourth Baron Mansel, and the estates, but not the title, passed to the family of his sister Mary who had married John Ivory Talbot of Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire. In the 1770s Thomas Mansel Talbot built a new house at Penrice, as an alternative residence to the rambling old house at Margam. The house at Margam was in its turn pulled down in the early 19th century and a new mansion was built there between 1827 and 1830 near the ruins of the old abbey. According to the 1873 return of owners of land, Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot, of Margam owned an estimated 34,033 acres in Wales (all in Glamorgan), with an estimated rental of £44,175.


Arranged into rentals, accounts, poll books for Glamorgan election, records relating to ships, maps and plans.

Access Information

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

It is the policy of the West Glamorgan Archive Service to withhold the names of depositors.


Compiled by Mair James for the HMC/NLW Family and Estates project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: West Glamorgan Archive Service, Schedule of Margam Estate Papers ; Collis, Kim, The West Glamorgan Archive Service: A Guide to the Collections, (West Glamorgan Archive Service, 1998).

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at the West Glamorgan Archive Service, the National Library of Wales and the National Register of Archives. Further details relating to manorial records can be accessed from the Manorial Documents Register.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

Information not available


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

Further papers relating to the Talbot family of Penrice and Margam are West Glamorgan Archive Service: D/D P, D/D Xgz, D/D Xgc, D/D Z 24, 25, 26. The main part of this archive is held National Library of Wales, Penrice and Margam Estate Records. Further papers are also held by the Dorset Record Office: D/FSI; and British Library: Harleian Charters 75A1-75D25. Various members of the Llewellyn family of Baglan and Cwrt Colman acted as stewards or agents of the Penrice and Margam estate, and records relating to their activities in this capacity are held in the Glamorgan Record Office: Llewellyn estate records.

Geographical Names