Fonds GB 0210 GWRYCH - Gwrych Castle Estate Records

Identity area

Reference code



Gwrych Castle Estate Records


  • 1535-1920 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.047 cubic metres (30 boxes, 6 iron cases, 3 tubes, 4 volumes)

Context area

Name of creator

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.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Deposited by the Earl of Dundonald in 1942 and subsequently purchased by NLW in July 1975.

Content and structure area

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.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records purchased by NLW have been retained..


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

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.

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

Some of the collection has suffered from damp.

Finding aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at NLW.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies


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.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Place access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

April 2001.


  • English



The following sources were used in the preparation of this description: Griffith, John Edwards, Pedigrees of Angelsey and Carnarvonshire Families (Horncastle, 1914), Baker, M., The Rise and Fall of Gwrych Castle (Colwyn Bay, 1999)

Archivist's note

Compiled by Mair James.

Accession area