Church of St Mary, Llanwern
Llanwern House was the home of Lord Rhondda of Llanwern, David Alfred Thomas, who was Minister of Food during the First World War.
In 1887, a year before his election to Parliament, Thomas took the lease of the house, where he lived the life of a somewhat unconventional country squire, riding to hounds and breeding prize Hereford cattle. He bought the house in 1900 and acquired the neighbouring Pencoed estate shortly before his death, the purchase making Thomas the largest landowner in Monmouthshire after Lord Tredegar.
Despite his fortune Thomas was quite content to retain the mansion at Llanwern, a large square house on a hilltop overlooking the village. The house, dating to 1760, was old-fashioned in its appearance but that appearance concealed a delicate and beautiful interior reflecting Chinese influence.
It was demolished in the 1950s, although the site, on a hill overlooking the parish church, is still visible and the parkland intact. D. A. Thomas is buried in the graveyard of the tiny church.
A £115m renewal project called Glan Llyn, is currently transforming the former steel-producing part of the Llanwern steelworks site. Started in 2004, the masterplan envisages 1.5m sq ft of employment-generating accommodation hosting 6,000 jobs, 4,000 new dwellings, community facilities and open space including three new lakes. Full completion is anticipated by 2026-8.
- Thomas Lloyd, Lost Houses of Wales (London, 1987) p.103
- St Mary's Church, Llanwern:: OS grid ST3787 :: Geograph Britain and Ireland - photograph every grid square!