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National Library of Wales
Pennal Tower estate, records

Reference code(s): GB 0210 PENNALTOWER

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Pennal Tower Estate Records

Short Title: Pennal Tower estate, records

Creation date(s): 1501-1922

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 1.097 cubic metres (50 boxes, 3 volumes)

Name of creator(s): Pennal Tower estate


Administrative/Biographical history: The original Pennal Tower estate, situated near the village of Pennal, Merioneth, on the north side of the Dyfi estuary and extending to the foothills of Cader Idris, was called Esgairweddan, though its earlier name was Plas yn Rofft, or Plas yn y Rofft. The Pryce or Price family who owned the estate claimed direct descent from Owain Gwynedd, prince of Gwynedd, through Iorwerth Drwyndwn, the eldest of his sons to survive him. The male line became extinct upon the death of Robert Price in 1702. His daughter Mary, who subsequently inherited the estate, eventually devised it to Humphrey Edwards of Talgarth, near Pennal, for life, with remainder to his eldest son Lewis Edwards and his heirs male.
It was Humphrey Edwards who was responsible for building the present mansion at Talgarth. The surname Edwards had become settled with Lewis Edwards of Talgarth and Tonfane, who married Mary, daughter of John Davies of Machynlleth, sometime before 1708. It was through this marriage that property in Glyntrefnant and Esgeireedd in the parish of Trefeglwys, Montgomeryshire, and in the town of Machynlleth, passed into the family. It was through his son Humphrey's marriage to Mary, daughter of James Turner of Oldport, Oswestry, Shropshire, that the Oldport estate passed to the family. Humphreys son, another Lewis Edwards, died on 17 January 1797, aged 49 years. One of his married daughters, Frances, inherited Talgarth and Tonfane. She married Charles Thomas Thruston, a captain in the Royal Navy, and a member of the Thruston family of Hoxne, Suffolk. She died in 1828, aged 38 years, leaving one son, Charles Frederick Thruston, of Talgarth Hall. It was Charles Thomas Thruston who built Pennal Tower mansion house in the 1850s and who created the small Pennal Tower estate out of the existing Talgarth estate probably to provide his second son, Clement Arthur Thruston, with an adequate estate.
Captain Charles Thomas Thruston married secondly Eliza, daughter of Admiral Thomas Sotheby (1759-1831), who was the younger brother of the author, William Sotheby (1757-1833). She died in 1840, leaving a son Clement Arthur, who succeeded to Pennal Tower in 1858 on his father's death. Clement Arthur Thruston married Constance Sophia Margaret, daughter of Major-General Lechemere-Coore Russell of Ashford Hall, Shropshire. Their eldest son and heir, Edmund Heathcote Thruston, was born in 1863. However, Clement Arthur Thruston died a relatively young man in 1883, and in 1895 an agreement for the auction of the Pennal Tower estate was made between Edmund Thruston on the one hand and his mother, his brother Arthur Blyford, and his sisters Marion and Olwen on the other. The intention was to establish a trust fund as a security for a jointure for both parties, but the estate failed to sell and the house was let for a number of years to the Mcnair family. Major Arthur Blyford Thruston was killed two years later in an uprising at Fort Luburan in Uganda.


Scope and content/abstract: Pennal Tower estate records of the Price family of Esgairweddan, Pennal, Merioneth, and the Edwards and Thruston families of Talgarth Hall and Pennal Tower, Pennal, Merioneth, including title deeds, 1501-1918, of the Esgairweddan, Talgarth Hall and Pennal Tower estates, mainly in Merioneth and Montgomeryshire, rentals of the Esgairweddan estate, 1604-1727, and Talgarth Hall, 1760-1855; financial papers, [c. 1558]-1918; estate correspondence, 1787-1925; family correspondence, 1727-1917; and the papers of Captain Edward Scott (c. 1752-1842) of Bodtalog, near Tywyn.


Language/scripts of material: English, Latin

System of arrangement: Arranged chronologically into estate records; family and personal papers; and miscellaneous papers.

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


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records donated to the NLW have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Mrs Margaret Austen-Leigh, Titchfield per Messrs Williams Gittins & Tomley, Newtown, in March 1960.


Related material: A further collection of Thruston family papers, 1683-1927, is in the Meirionnydd Archives. Prints, oil paintings, water colours and pencil sketches, together with maps and plans, are in National Library of Wales, Map Collections and Special Collections.


Archivist's note: Compiled by Mair James.
The following source was used in the completion of this description: NLW, Schedule of Pennal Tower Estate Records.

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

Date(s) of descriptions: May 2002

Estate administration | Wales | Merioneth
Pennal Tower Estate (Wales) | Archives
Thruston family, | of Talgarth and Pennal Tower | Archives

Personal names
Edwards family , of Talgarth and Tonfane
Price family , of Esgairweddan
Scott , Edward , of Bodtalog
Thruston family , of Talgarth and Pennal Tower

Corporate names
Pennal Tower Estate (Wales)
Talgarth Hall Estate (Wales)


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