Glanusk Park

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Glanusk Park
Glanusk ParkDE.jpg
Engraving of Glanusk Park, circa 1880
General information
Town or city Crickhowell, Powys
Country Wales, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°52′01″N 3°10′23″W / 51.867°N 3.173°W / 51.867; -3.173
Completed 1826
Demolished 1952
Client Sir Joseph Bailey

Glanusk Park is an estate in Wales, United Kingdom. It is situated near Crickhowell, Powys. It was established in 1826 by a 'retired'[1] ironmaster, Sir Joseph Bailey. The park features in the hereditary title Baron Glanusk which was given to Sir Joseph's grandson, Sir Joseph Russell Bailey in 1899. At that time Baron Glanusk was the Lord Lieutenant of Brecknockshire. Glanusk Park and Estate is privately owned by the Legge-Bourke family. It is situated in the countryside of the Usk Valley, South Wales in the Brecon Beacons National Park, and is one of the largest privately owned Estates in Wales.[2]


Joseph Bailey and his brother, Crawshay Bailey,[3] had made a fortune working for their uncle, Richard Crawshay, who owned the Cyfarthfa Ironworks near Merthyr Tydfil. Joseph had bought estates in Brecknockshire, Radnorshire, Herefordshire, and Glamorganshire, including the estate of Glanusk Park[1] in 1826.

The park and estate contains 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) of common land, 3,500 acres (1,400 ha) of farmland and a five-mile (8 km) stretch of the River Usk. The mansion that was built by the founder was demolished in 1952,[4] due to fire damage which took place during the Army's requisition of the building.[5]

However the family still live in the Dower house (Penmyarth) and numerous other buildings are acknowledged as of either grade II or grade III architectural importance. These include the Tower Bridge, the gamekeeper's cottage, numerous farm buildings dating from 1826 and a private chapel. There are also some Celtic standing stones.

There are 400 acres (160 ha) of private parkland and 800 acres (320 ha) of forest which also includes a collection of 120 different species of oak trees.[5]

Crickhowell & Penmyarth Golf Club (now defunct) was founded in 1897 and played on a course at Glanusk Park. The club and course disappeared in the late 1960s.[6]

A murder[edit]

In 1876, Glanusk was the scene of a murder when the estate's gamekeeper, George King, was shot whilst he and his under-keeper, Philip Hooper, were trying to apprehend poachers. No one was ever convicted for this crime.[7] He left a widow, Eliza, and eight children. There is a "King's Wood" which is said to be named after George. The man who was tried and acquitted for the murder was forced to emigrate to America where it is said[8] he received confirmation of a deathbed confession from South Wales.


Today the estate is used for angling and pheasant shooting and for events and festivals which have included caravans, white water canoeing and archery.

Shân Legge-Bourke, Lord Lieutenant of Powys and a lady-in-waiting to The Princess Royal, is the (present) owner of the Glanusk estate.[9] She is the daughter of Wilfred Bailey who was the third Baron Glanusk. Her daughter Tiggy Legge-Bourke, nanny to Prince William and his brother Prince Harry, grew up at Glanusk and still lives on the estate.

In 2013 fifteen poisoned birds of prey, and five poisoned pheasants likely used as bait, were found on the estate in what was reported as the "most significant wildlife poisoning case ever recorded in Wales". The birds were poisoned with Bendiocarb and the birds were discovered "on a forested area of the outer estate grounds". A police investigation resulted in two arrests, but the Crown Prosecution Service advised that there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.[10][11]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°52′08″N 3°10′19″W / 51.869°N 3.172°W / 51.869; -3.172