The history of the Dyffryn estate

The Pompeain Garden at Dyffryn Gardens

The Dyffryn estate can be traced from the 7th century right up to the present day. Although there are currently some gaps in our knowledge, we do have a good overview of the history of the house and gardens.

The story of Dyffryn dates back to the 7th century. The house was then called the Manor of Worlton and was given to the Bishop Oudaceous of Llandaf. In the 16th century the Button family acquired the manor and the first house was built. The family occupied the estate for a number of generations and the name was changed to Duffryn House.

Titans of industry

In 1891 the estate was sold to John Cory, an extremely wealthy coal merchant, who built the present house in 1893. He moved here from Devon with his wife Anne, and two of his four children Florence and Reginald. Reginald was a passionate horticulturalist and collaborated on the garden design with Thomas Mawson. You can still see evidence of the family's vast wealth today - from the 16th century fireplaces to the commissioned stained glass window.

The council days

Following Florence’s death in 1937. The estate was purchased by Sir Cennydd Traherne who later leased it to the Glamorgan County Council in 1939. There followed a chequered period of institutional use as a police academy, dog training centre and education conference facility.

Dyffryn's future

The house and gardens are still owned by the Vale of Glamorgan council, but the National Trust took over their maintenance and running in January 2013 on a 50 year lease. A lot of conservation work has been done to the house and gardens by the council and now we can build on that work and secure Dyffryn's future.