Gnoll Estate Records

Scope and Content

Title deeds of the Gnoll estate lying mainly in the parishes of Aberavon, Baglan, Llangynwyn, Llantwit-juxta-Neath and Neath, 1606-1913; manorial records relating to the manors of Avon, Avon Wallia, Tir Iarll, Neath, Neath Citra and Britton, Neath Ultra and Cilybebyll, 1726-1876; plans, 1741-1882; records of shipwrecks, 1778-1910; records of industrial undertakings, railways and other public utilities in Aberavon, Briton Ferry and Neath, [19th century]. The archive also contains a number of Briton Ferry estate papers, 1738-1856, and deeds and documents relating to the Evan-Thomas family of Llwynmadoc estate in Brecknockshire, Carmarthenshire, Glamorgan, Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire, 1602-1874.

Administrative / Biographical History

Evan ap David appears to have been the first to be described as of the Gnoll. His son David Evans was sheriff of Glamorgan in 1562, and was succeeded by his son Lleisan Evans of the Gnoll (fl. 1602). The estate descended from father to son for another three generations, David Evans, sheriff in 1631, Edward Evans, and Sir Herbert Evans, sheriff in 1661, before the male line failed. In 1686 Mary (d. [pre-1696]) daughter and eventual sole heir of Sir Herbert Evans, married Sir Humphrey Mackworth (1657-1727) of Bentley in the parish of Tardely, Worcestershire, kt, the son of Thomas and Anne Mackworth of Betton Grange, Shropshire. The Mackworth family were originally from Mackworth in Derbyshire, and were of considerable antiquity in Derbyshire and Shropshire. Thomas Mackworth of Normanton was created a baronet 1619. Humphrey Mackworth was succeeded at the Gnoll by his son Herbert Mackworth (1687-1765), who was succeeded by his son Herbert Mackworth (d. 1792), who was created baronet in 1776. His son Robert Mackworth (dsp 1794), 2nd baronet, was succeeded in his baronetcy by his brother Digby Mackworth, 3rd bart, of Glan Usk, Monmouthshire, which became the seat of the Mackworth family. The 2nd baronet bequeathed the Gnoll Castle estate to his widow, who subsequently married Capel Hanbury-Leigh of Pontypool Park, Monmouthshire. Gnoll Castle was afterwards sold to Henry Grant (d. 1831), of Wormley, Hertfordshire. It passed to his son, Henry John Grant (1780-1861), and was sold again after his death. In 1857 it was intended that Gnoll Castle would be used as the college of the Western University of Great Britain. Charles Evan-Thomas of Llwynmadoc was joint owner of the Gnoll estate, 1861-1902.


Arranged by record type into the following: deeds; manorial records; estate administration records; mining, industrial and public utility papers; and miscellaneous.

Access Information

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

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


Compiled by Stephen Benham for the HMC/NLW Family and Estates project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Thomas Nicholas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County families of Wales, (London, 2 vols, 1872), vol. II; Debrett's Peerage (London, 1877); Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Glamorgan County Record Office, Catalogue of the Gnoll Estate Records. Additional information from Old Westminsters and West Glamorgan Archive Service, Neath Antiquarian Society catalogue.

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.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

Information not available


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

An estate plan, c. 1900, is held at WGAS: D/D Xcx; a considerable collection of estate correspondence and deeds is held at WGAS, reference RISW Gn; a collection of deeds, estate, manorial, industrial and personal records is held at the Neath Antiquarian Society, reference NAS Gn.