A servant love story

Lily Kite and Basil Taylor

Dinefwr Park has been the setting for many a love story but one romantic tale has captured the hearts of the Newton House tour guides – the story of Lily Kite and Basil Taylor.

During the early 1900’s both Lily and Basil worked as domestic staff at Newton House, the 17th century mansion that sits in the heart of the Dinefwr Parkland overlooking the designed landscape.

Lily, who was from Wiltshire, was the House Cook and would spend most of her time in the kitchen, preparing elaborate meals for the Dinefwr family. Basil, a Groom, was from Gloucestershire, his job was to tend to the horses and drive the horse and carriage.  

It wasn’t unusual to find that the servant staff were brought in from outside the locality, in fact this was a cunning ploy to ensure that no gossip from the house would reach the local community.

The star-crossed lovers risked their livelihoods by getting together as in those days’s, forming a romantic attachment with a fellow staff member meant instant dismissal and male and female staff members would therefore never mix.

But love conqueres all and the young couple married at Llandyfeisant Church on the Dinefwr estate in 1911 before moving Abercrave where Basil took up work as coal miner to support his new family.

We’re grateful for Lily and Basil’s grandchildren for sharing their story and family photographs with us on their recent visit to Newton House.