Derwen-fawr Estate Papers

Scope and Content

Papers relating to the Derwen-Fawr estate, 1729-1960, including deeds relating to the Derwen-Fawr estate, 1729-1909; deeds relating to land in Cheltenham, 1837-1842; papers relating to the wills of Charles Henry Smith, 1865-1935; inventories, 1866-1873; correspondence, 1852-1920; Mr and Mrs Byng Morris settlement papers, 1898-1960.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Derwen-Fawr Estate, also known as Sketty Isaf, Lower Sketty and Hendderwen. The ancient name was Sketty Isaf, given to the farm situated to the south of the village of Sketty, Glamorgan, on the brow of the slope looking down towards the River Clyne to the west and the sea to the south. During the 18th century the farm was leased by Sir Francis Holbourne until 1803. However, during the 19th century the house had a number of occupants, and its name changed first to Hendderwen ("old oak tree"), then Derwen Fawr ("great oak"). A mansion house replaced the original farmhouse, and a new farm, called Lower Sketty or Sketty Isaf, was built on the other side of the road. In the 1920s and 1930s the estate was bought by the Bible College of Wales. Derwen Fawr and Glynderwen (formerly Casino) became the Bible College, and Sketty Isaf Farm became the Bible College School, later called the Emmanuel School. Several generations of the Smith family lived at a mansion near Llansamlet, Glamorgan, called Gwernllwynchwith. In 1804 Charles and Emily Smith baptised their second son Charles Henry Smith. He went on to marry Emily, the daughter of Leicestershire gentry, and had three children, Leeds Townsend, Emily and Emily Matilda. During the 1840s Charles Henry Smith first leased then purchased the freehold of the small estate at Sketty Isaf, later Derwen-Fawr, in the parish of Swansea, with some lands in the parish of Oystermouth. The family were living there in 1851, but by the late 1860s they had decided to lease, and in 1868 it was let to Jeremiah Clarke Richardson. At the time of his death in 1878, Charles Henry Smith was residing in Tenby. His will left the estate in the hands of trustees.


Arranged into the following: Deeds of the Sketty Isaf/ Derwen-Fawr Estate; Deeds of properties in Cheltenham; Abstracts of title; Wills of Charles Henry Smith; Documents relating to the administration of the estate of Charles Henry Smith, deceased; Schedules of costs incurred by the trustees of the estate of Charles Henry Smith, deceased; Inventories; Correspondence; Mr and Mrs Byng Morris' Settlement

Access Information

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Strick and Bellingham, solicitors, Swansea.


Compiled by Richard Burman for the ANW project. The following source was used to compile this description: West Glamorgan Archive Service, Catalogue of the Derwen-Fawr Estate Papers.

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy is available at the West Glamorgan Archive Service.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at West Glamorgan Archive Service have been retained.


Accruals are not expected

Geographical Names