In her shoes: walking in the footsteps of the women of Tredegar House
As part of Tredegar House; a Herstory we’re exploring the lives of two women who made Tredegar House their home in the early 20th century.
Tredegar House has a deep history of strong and influential women and this autumn we are digging out and sharing the stories of Violet Mundy, the deputy Lady of the House and Nora Rogers, a much-loved Kitchen Maid whose legacy lives on to this day.
Supposedly described in the hunting world as ‘Hellcat Mundy,’ Violet was a passionate horsewoman who spent much of her time riding and hunting with her male peers. During her later years she would train racehorses who would race under her colours of purple and orange.
So much was her love of horses, Violet published a book of her own sketches illustrating various hunting scenes.
" Usually dressed in black she was as capable of putting a ferret down a rabbit burrow and handling a 12 bore gun as she was following the hunt with nerve and skill which would put any hunting man to shame."
Violet would often stand-in as Lady of the House for Lady Katherine, who famously despised Tredegar House and spent much of her time in London. Violet’s duties would involve her hosting friends and dignitaries at the Morgan’s many parties.
As the daughter of Frederick Courtenay Morgan and not the heiress of the family seat, there is very little recorded about Violet’s time at Tredegar House. She did not get her own portrait. Sat astride her hunting horse and surrounded by hounds the only painting of Violet is of her in depicted in the shadow of her father as the two pose in front of Ruperra Castle.
Nora Rogers began working in the kitchens in 1917 under French chef Monsieur Vogel. Earning between £10 and £12 a year and working 16 hours a day, she would often be busy preparing the eight course banquets so often enjoyed by Lord and Lady Tredegar at the time.
Nora left her service in 1921 to marry but as a beloved member of the staff she was asked to return to cook when the Prince of Wales came to visit. Nora was given the elaborate table flower arrangement as a special thank you.
Later on, when Nora’s brother became ill, Violet’s brother and Lord of the House Courtenay Morgan paid for him to be brought to the Royal Gwent for treatment. When he subsequently died, Courtenay paid all the funeral expenses.
Her short time in service has left a lasting legacy here at Tredegar House, with her grandson, great-grandchildren and great-greatgrandchildren all coming back to volunteer here today.
What you need to know
In her shoes will allow you to choose the path of the Lady of the House or the Kitchen Maid as you follow one of two trails through the house and grounds. Follow in their footsteps as they lead you into the past, see where their paths would have collided and those areas they would not have ventured.
- Dates: 24 September – 26 October, every day
- Times: 11am – 4pm
- Prices: Normal admission applies
- Booking: There is no booking in advance, please turn up on the day and pay at our Visitor Reception.