Wednesday, March 01, 2006
The Morgan Graves (looking shabby?)
In tonight's South Wales Argus, Mike Buckingham writes of the current poor state of the graves of the Morgans of Tredegar at St Basil's Church, Bassaleg.
Hopefully something can be done to improve them.
The last time I was there was after a Spooky Tales Tour last year. A group of us had retired for a drink at the Tredegar Arms next door, to mull over the evening. After chatting about the Morgans for a bit, somebody suggested (I forget who, but it sounds like a suspiciously Goff Morgan-ish idea) that we actually pay them a visit, seeing as we were in the neighbourhood. And so, by the light of a mobile phone, our small intrepid band headed into the pitch black graveyard to find the resting place of many of the later members of that colourful dynasty.
Slightly away from the main plot of Morgans (there were so many buried there that the Tredegar family vault was full by the 1920s) , are the graves of a father and daughter. It was quite poignant, and somehow fitting, to find, side-by-side, the graves of Courtenay Morgan, Viscount Tredegar, and his only daughter Gwyneth (who drowned in the Thames in December 1924).
I had been studying the sad case of Lord Tredegar's daughter only a few weeks before and it had been the first time I had visited her grave. I had heard all about the great tensions between father and daughter, and of how scandal had been heaped upon the Morgan name by her connections with some rather shady characters from the Limehouse region of London. If there was anything that Courtenay hated it was scandal. The death of Gwyneth, deeply affected him, however, and probably accelerated his own physical decline.
Originally Gwyneth had been buried at Putney Vale Cemetery, near Wimbledon, and it was only on the insistence of her brother, Evan, that her body was brought back home, and re-buried at St Basil's.
I am sure that Courtenay would be pleased that he is now at rest so close to his daughter.