The present Bedwellty House was first built in 1822 by Samuel Homfray, who along with Richard Fothergill and Matthew Monkhouse owned the Tredegar Iron Company.
In 1826 Samuel Homfray Junior succeeded his father as shareholder and began a series of ambitious developments to the house and its surrounding 26 acre park, and by 1839 the house and park had its appearance much as we know it today.
Following the retirement of Samuel Homfray Jr in 1853, the iconic building became the residence of the managers of Tredegar Iron Works, the first of which was Richard Powell Davis, whose wife was responsible for the fundraising to build the cast iron town clock situated in the Circle in 1858.
Bedwellty Park Fountain at the side of Bedwellty House, 1951.
Bedwellty House in 1998.
As a result of the decline in the iron industry, the Tredegar Iron & Coal Company relinquished their tenancy of Bedwellty House in 1899, and the following year Lord Tredegar made a free gift of both the Park and House to the Council for it to be utilised as a public park. For the first time in its history, members of the public were able to visit the house and park whenever they wanted, inspiring many community groups to raise funds to develop additional features such as the bowls green, Long shelter and open air swimming pool, which was excavated by unemployed men during the 1930’s depression.
Key to the history of Bedwellty House is also its links to the early political career of Aneurin Bevan. Bevan was elected to Tredegar Urban District Council in 1922, spending much of his time in the Council Chamber within Bedwellty House, and later became the candidate for Ebbw Vale in 1929.
When the Labour Party won the 1945 General Election Bevan was appointed as Secretary of State for Health. He is recorded as having said of the NHS, “All I am doing is extending to the entire population of Britain the benefits we had in Tredegar for a generation or more. We are going to ‘Tredegar-ise’ you.”