At the January WI meeting, President Ruth Potter welcomed members and visitors to the first meeting of the Centenary year. The Christmas wreath workshop was well attended and those who took part were pleased with their efforts thanks to the guidance of Cathy Russell. The Christmas lunch at The Speech House was a great success and enjoyed by all.
The guest speaker was Dr Ann Benson a landscape historian who gave a talk on the history of Troy House near Mitchell Troy.
There are four historical periods associated with Troy House. The first was when Sir William Herbert owned it followed by his son Charles during the reign of Henry the seventh and Henry the eighth. Sir William altered the medieval buildings on the site to create an impressive Tudor manor house. Charles spent most of his time at court in London. After marrying Elizabeth sole heir of Sir William Powell and touring Europe he returned to live in Troy House in 1612. Sir Charles made many changes including Jacobean ceilings, a conduit house water system for the estate and developing the landscaping further. On his death in 1665 the estate passed to his nephew Henry, who was said to be the second most wealthiest man in England after the King. Henry added a Carolean extension to the house. His main residence was Badminton so his son Charles lived at Troy with his wife Rebecca. Charles was killed in a coaching accident near Llanrothal in 1698 after which his son and heir was taken to live with the Duchess of Badminton. For the next three hundred years Troy House was largely unoccupied. The estate was overseen by resident stewards. In 1902 the house was auctioned and bought by nuns who for many years ran a laundry to fund the upkeep. Unfortunately this was not viable and in 1935 became an approved school for girls run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd some of whom were resident at The Priory in Monmouth. In 1979 the house changed hands and became a special school for boys. Eventually it was sold to Mr Peter Carroll and since the 1980’s has only been habited by a caretaker who occupies just four rooms. Unfortunately the house is now in a state of bad repair, but it is hoped that at some point it can be restored to its full potential before being lost for ever.
The evening concluded with tea and cakes.
Next month the speaker will be Karen Carmen a Nutritional Therapist.
For information on The Narth & District WI see our village groups page