Gnoll Estate Papers

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 3167 NAS Gn
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English Latin
  • Physical Description
      0.84 cubic metres (23 boxes, 3 linear metres of volumes and plans)

Scope and Content

Account books, bills and vouchers, 1653-1902; rentals, 1721-1900; lease registers, 1721-1929; sales particulars, 1722-1918; employment records, 1809-1886; schedules of documents, [18th-19th centuries]; correspondence and letter books, 1698-1906; legal papers, 1674-1913; deeds, wills, settlements, bonds, abstracts of title and leases, 1528-1875; inventories, 1800-1902; maps and plans, 1751-1923; papers relating to the Company of Mineral Manufacturers at Neath, 1692-1776; papers relating to the Company of Mine Adventurers of England, 1697-1796; Acts of Parliament and legal papers relating to industrial concerns, 1697-1919; mineral leases, 1637-1914; correspondence relating to industrial concerns, 1702-1903; financial papers and accounts relating to industrial concerns, 1715-1827; other industrial papers, 1700-1874; manorial records of the manors of Avon Burgus, Avon Wallia, Caegurwen, Neath Burgus, Neath Citra and Briton, Neath Ultra and Cilybebyll, and Tir Iarll, 1701-1935; genealogical papers, c. 1894; personal papers, 1791-[20th century]; official papers, 1641-1786; political and parliamentary papers, 1700-1763; publications relating to industry, 1698-1722; papers relating to the Scudamore, Digby and Cotes families, 1715-1800.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Gnoll Estate had at its centre the mansion at Gnoll, to the east of the town of Neath. It included properties in the parishes of Aberavon, Baglan, Cadoxton-juxta-Neath, Cilybebyll, Glyncorrwg, Llangiwg, Llangyfelach, Llangynwyd, Llantwit-juxta-Neath, Michaelston-Super-Avon, and Swansea, Glamorgan, and also included lordship of the manors of Avon, Avon Wallia, Caergurwen, Cosmeston, Neath, Cadoxton, Neath Citra and Briton, Neath Ultra and Cilybebyll, and Tir Iarll. There was also a Cardiff estate, and while the estate was owned by the Mackworth family there were also considerable estates in Shropshire. During the early 19th century the Llangyfelach portion of the estate became the property of John Nathaniel Miers, as a settlement of his legacy from the will of Mary Ann Leigh. He subsequently built Ynyspenllwch House there.Early in the seventeenth century, Gnoll was in the possession of the Evans family of Neath, who were related by marriage to the Evans families of Gwernllwynchwyth and Eaglesbush. In 1686, the last of their line Mary, married Sir Humphrey Mackworth (1657-1727), knight, M.P., and pioneer of the copper industry in South Wales. The Gnoll estate thus passed to the Mackworth family until the end of the eighteenth century. Herbert Mackworth (1689-1765), the son of Sir Humphrey, was High Sheriff for Glamorgan 1733, and M.P. for the Glamorgan boroughs 1739-1765; his son Herbert, who represented the boroughs from 1765 until 1790, was created a baronet in 1776. The second baronet, Sir Robert Humphrey Mackworth died in 1794 and the estates passed to his wife Mary Ann (Molly) and her second husband, Capel Hanbury Leigh, Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire.In 1811, Henry Grant of Wormley (co Herts) purchased the estate from Capel Hanbury Leigh and his wife: on his death in 1831 it was left to his son Henry John Grant (1760-1861), High Sheriff of Glamorgan 1834. During this period, especially in the 1850s, considerable portions of the estate were sold. After the death of Henry John Grant in 1861, his properties, consisting of the Gnoll estate, the manor of Wormley and Wormleybury estate in Hertfordshire, and Ballycarry and Aughness in Co. Mayo, were partitioned between two of his cousins, with a life interest to his wife Mary. The new owners were Henry Jeffreys Bushby and Charles Evan-Thomas of the Thomas family of Llwyn Madoc in Brecknockshire, and this collection consequently contains deeds of Thomas family property in Mid-Wales. Charles Evan-Thomas and Henry Jeffreys Bushby died in 1902 and 1903 respectively, leaving their shares in the estate to their widows and children, and the Evan-Thomas family continued to live at Gnoll House until 1909.


Arranged into five groups. Group 1, General estate papers: Cash/day books; Ledgers; Audit registers and abstracts of accounts; Personal cashbooks; Timber accounts; Other account books; Other accounts; Receipts, vouchers and balance sheets; Rent rolls and rentals; Registers of leases; Other papers relating to estate tenants, properties and land management; Registers of sales; Sales particulars and notices of sales; Records of employment; Original finding aids and schedules of documents; Correspondence; Legal papers; Bills, acts and related papers; Deeds of descent (conveyances, mortgages etc.); Bonds; Leases; Inquisitions; Abstracts of title; Schedules of deeds and leases; Inventories; Maps and plans; Miscellaneous. Group 2, Industrial papers: Company of Mineral Manufacturers at Neath; Company of Mine Adventurers of England; Acts and Bills of Parliament relating to Neath Canal; Correspondence relating to Dulais Valley tramroad; Papers relating to Ynyspenllwch Mill; Legal papers 1697-1892; Mineral and industrial leases and ; Miscellaneous correspondence 1702-1903; Miscellaneous financial papers and accounts 1715-1827; Acts and Bills 1800-1919; Sales particulars 1838; Reports, valuations and lists of coal; Other assorted papers. Group 3, Manorial papers: Manor of Avon Burgus; Manor of Avon Wallia; Manor of Caegurwen; Manor of Neath Burgus; Manor of Neath Citra and Briton; Manor of Neath Ultra and Cilybebyll; Manor of Tir Iarll; Records relating to several manors; Other manorial related papers. Group 4, Personal and political papers: Monumental inscriptions; Book plates and collected books; Personal cashbooks and diaries; Miscellaneous personal papers; Papers of official appointment (sheriffs, stewards etc.); Political publications; Notes for speeches; Printed industrial publications. Group 5, Papers relating to the Scudamore, Digby and Cotes families: Papers relating to the Scudamore family (Holme Lacy estate, Herefordshire; Papers of the Lords Digby (of Geashill, Ireland, and of Sherborne, Dorset); Papers of the Cotes family of Woodcote, Shropshire.

Access Information

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

Source not recorded.


Compiled by Andrew Dulley for the ANW project.

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the Neath Mechanics' Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records have been retained.


Accruals are not expected.

Related Material

A collection of similar extent is at the West Glamorgan Archive Service in Swansea (reference D/D Gn) and includes deeds, plans and industrial and manorial papers.