Fonds GB 0210 ABEPERGWM - Aberpergwm estate records

Identity area

Reference code



Aberpergwm estate records


  • 1258-1972 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.694 cubic metres (13 boxes, 58 volumes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The Williams family of Aberpergwm was an old family with a very long association with the upper Neath Valley. The family pedigree can be traced back to one Morgan ap Caradoc ap Iestyn, the 12th century lord of Nedd-Afan. The family made Aberpergwm their home in the 16th century, and continued there until the 1950s. The estate consisted in the main of a large area in the parish of Cadoxton-juxta-Neath, principally in the hamlets of Neath Higher and Neath Middle, in the manor of Neath Ultra and Cilybebyll, and adjacent areas in Breconshire. Several members of the family were instrumental in cultivating Welsh poetry and music in the Neath Valley, and the house once contained many important Welsh manuscripts.
The Williams family were deeply involved in the coal industry, encouraging the growth of the industry to such an extent that Morgan Stuart Williams is described in 1889 as colliery owner in preference to the usual esquire.
William Williams (1788-1855) married Matilda Susannah Smith, only daughter and sole heiress of Col. Thomas Smith of Castellau, Glamorgan, and Rosamund, daughter of John Bush of Burcot, Oxfordshire. Matilda Susannah married secondly, Edward Lloyd of Ty'n-y-Rhyl, Flintshire, which may explain the presence of papers of the Lloyd family of Castellau and Aberpergwm.
According to the 1873 return of owners of land, Morgan Stuart Williams (1846-1909) of Aberpergwm, Glamorgan, owned an estimated 3,917 acres in Wales (in Glamorgan and Breconshire), with an estimated rental of £3,690. He purchased the St Donat's Castle estate in 1899. His eldest son and heir, Godfrey Herbert Joseph Williams, sold St Donat's Castle in 1922.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Mr Godfrey Williams, per Mr R. Bernard Bowran; Aberpergwm; Deposit; 1939.
The Trustees of the Aberpergwm Estate; Deposit; 1949.
Major Idris M. Williams, per Messrs Ashurst, Crisp & Co., London; Deposit; between December 1964 and March 1965, July 1965.
BRA 1787: Messrs Pennington Lewis & Lewis, per The British Records Association; London; Donation; 1979.
NLW MSS 22348-50: Dylans Bookstore; Swansea; Purchase; 1987.
Major Idris Morgan-Williams; St Helier, Jersey; Deposit; 1991.
NLW MS 24187B: Shapero Rare Books; London; Purchase; October 2021; 992460594802419.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Deeds of the Aberpergwm estate in Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, Breconshire, and Carmarthenshire, 1258-1919; rentals and general account books of the estate (including some colliery accounts), 1791-1870, account books and balance sheets of the Aberpergwm colleries, 1794-1972; documents relating to Treferig Valley railway, 1874-1884; and personal papers, including letters to the Williams family of Aberpergwm and the associated families of Smith of Castellau, Llantrisant, Lloyd of Castellau and Aberpergwm and the Bush family of Burcot, Oxfordshire, 1760-1909; Castellau estate papers, 1867-1879; and papers, mainly 18th century, relating to the claims of inhabitants in the Forest of Dean.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All records deposited and donated to NLW have been retained.


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged at NLW as follows: letters; other papers; deeds and documents; manuscripts.

Conditions of access and use area

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.

Language of material

  • English
  • Latin

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Latin.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Hard copies of the catalogues, entitled Aberpergwm Letters and Manuscripts (1964), Aberpergwm Deeds and Documents (1968) and Aberpergwm Papers (1993) are available at NLW and HMC. The BRA donation remains uncatalogued.

Generated finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

A group of 19-20th century papers relating to the Aberpergwm estate is West Glamorgan Archive Service, D/D Ab. Papers relating to the estate in the National Library of Wales are NLW BRA parcel 1787 (uncatalogued). Further records relating to the family's other Glamorgan estates, Castellau and St. Donat's, are in Glamorgan Record Office. Portraits and topographical prints are in National Library of Wales, Special Collections.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

May 2002.


  • English



The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: West Glamorgan Archive Service, Catalogue of the Aberpergwm Estate Papers; Brian Ll. James, 'The Great Landowners of Wales in 1873', National Library of Wales Journal, 14(1965-66), 302-320; Kim Collis, The West Glamorgan Archive Service: A Guide to the Collections (West Glamorgan Archive Service, 1998); Burke's Landed Gentry (London, 1952).

Archivist's note

Compiled by Mair James.

Accession area