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National Library of Wales

Gwrych Castle Estate Records

Reference code(s): GB 0210 GWRYCH

Held at:

Title: Gwrych Castle Estate Records

Short title: Gwrych Castle estate, records

Dates of creation: 1535-1920

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 1.047 cubic metres (30 boxes, 6 iron cases, 3 tubes, 4 volumes)

Name of creator(s): Gwrych Castle estate


Administrative and biographical history: The Lloyds of Gwrych Castle can be traced back to David Lloyd of Plas yn Gwrych in 1608. In 1787 Frances Lloyd, daughter of the Rev. John Lloyd and co-heiress of Henry Wrych, married Robert Bamford-Hesketh of Bamford Hall and Upton, who was the son of Robert Hesketh, of Upton, Cheshire. Through marriage the family had acquired land in Cheshire and Lancashire. It was this Robert Hesketh of Upton who acquired the Bamford estates following his marriage to an heiress named Nicholson. He was succeeded by his heir, Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh, (1788-1861), who married Lady Emily Esther Ann Lygon, youngest daughter of the 1st Earl of Beauchamp in 1825. It was Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh who built Gwrych Castle in the first half of the nineteenth century. He was followed by his son Robert Bamford-Hesketh,1826-1894, who married Ellen Jones-Bateman in 1851. He bought various parcels of land and in 1873 the estate measured 3424 acres of land, along with a number of coal mines in North Wales.
Winifred Bamford-Hesketh (b. 1859), Robert Bamford-Hesketh's sole heiress, married Douglas Mackinnon Baillie Hamilton, 12th Earl of Dundonald in 1878. In 1919, she sold some of the old buildings on the estate, along with the Llanddulas limestone quarry and some mines. In her will, she bequeathed Gwrych to Prince George, later King George V, who was unable to accept the gift and sold the castle, which was later on re-purchased by the Earl of Dundonald for £70,000.
Thomas Hesketh Douglas Blair, Lord Cochrane, 13th Earl of Dundonald, sold Gwrych Castle mansion in 1946 for £12,000, along with the remainder of the estate.


Scope and content: Deeds and documents, 1535-1920, relating to the Gwrych Castle estate of the Lloyd, Bamford and Hesketh families in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Cheshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire; minutes and other papers of the manor of Cheadle Hulme, 1735-1817; accounts of Bamford and Crimble collieries, Lancashire, 1825-1832, and of lead mining ventures in Abergele; rentals and accounts of the Gwrych Castle estate, 1818-1920; maps and plans; and pedigrees of the Lloyd family of Plas yn y Gwrych and Hesketh families.


Language/script: English, Latin

Physical characteristics and technical requirements: Some of the collection has suffered from damp

System of arrangement: Arranged into parcels

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at NLW. An online catalogue can be accessed from

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records purchased by NLW have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history: The archive was arranged mainly into parcels prior to its deposit at NLW in 1942 using reference numbers contained in a volume received from Messrs. Dawson & Co., London, which was returned in January 1943. This arrangement has been retained by NLW.

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by the Earl of Dundonald in 1942 and subsequently purchased by NLW in July 1975.


Related units of description: A manuscript survey by T. G. Cummings, 1828, of the Gwrych Castle estate is in National Library of Wales, Map Collections.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds

Archivist's note: Compiled by Mair James.
The following sources were used in the preparation of this description: Griffith, John Edwards, Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (Horncastle, 1914); Baker, M., The Rise and Fall of Gwrych Castle (Colwyn Bay, 1999).

Rules or conventions: This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.

Date(s) of description: April 2001



Bamford-Hesketh family, | of Gwrych Castle | Archives

Coal mines and mining | England | Lancashire

Cochrane family, | Earls of Dundonald | Archives

Deeds | Wales | Abergele

Estate administration | England | Cheshire

Estate administration | England | Lancashire

Estate administration | Wales | Denbighshire

Estate administration | Wales | Flintshire

Gwrych Castle Estate (Wales) | Archives

Lead mines and mining | Wales | Abergele

Lloyd family, | of Gwrych Castle | Archives

Manorial courts | England | Cheadle Hulme

Manors | England | Cheadle Hulme

Personal names

Bamford-Hesketh family, of Gwrych Castle

Cochrane family, Earls of Dundonald

Lloyd family, of Gwrych Castle

Corporate names

Bamford Colliery (England)

Cheadle Hulme Manor (England)

Crimble Colliery (England)

Gwrych Castle Estate (Wales)