Category Archives: Mansel family

Researching Irish family history

I’ve been trying to find out a little more about my ancestors and their time in Ireland. It seems as though my branch of the Mansel family had land in both Ireland and Wales.

Both Sir Richard Mansel 8th Baronet and Sir William Mansel 9th Baronet kept a property at Woodstone in Cork, Ireland which it seems Sir William Mansel 10th Baronet left for after he sold Iscoed in around 1812.

I have been thinking that his son Thomas Mansel may have spent some time in Ireland when he left active service in the Royal Navy. Although he was not listed as a witness to his daughter’s marriage in 1850 at the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas in Galway he may have been resident at the time. Her address was given as Stoneligh Cottage, Shantalla which was in Galway far away from Cork. I would love to use Irish records and see if Thomas Mansel or his daughter Selina Mansel were living in Ireland in the 1840s.

I’ve been unable to find out anything about Woodstone in County Cork, Ireland so this is something I will keep researching. I did come across  a great website called landed estates which lists the landed estates and historic houses in the provinces of Connacht, Munster and part of Ulster, c. 1700-1914 but unfortunately it does not cover Cork.

Findmypast also has  records relating to Landed Estates Court Rentals 1850-1885 in Ireland. I’m thinking I might have to take out a subscription to search these records at some point. I’m just not sure where else to look.

Margam Abbey and Castle

We were lucky to have the time to stop off and explore the Margam Abbey and Castle on our way back from Wales. This had been the family home of a branch of the Mansel family and is now owned by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and run as Margam Country Park.

Within Margam Country Park can be found Margam Abbey, a ruined Cistercian monastery; Margam Castle, a neo-Gothic country house that was once the seat of the Mansel Talbot family; and the 18th-century Orangery.

I really wanted to visit Margam Abbey but we were also able to walk up to Margam Castle too.

Margam Abbey

Margam Abbey

I bought a photography permit for £1 and took some photos of the beautiful Mansel tombs within the Mansel Chapel at Margam Abbey. The four tombs show members of the Mansel family who held the Margam Estate following the Dissolution. The alabaster tombs illustrate the family wealth.

As well as the alabaster tombs showing recumbent effigies (the males of the line appear in full armour, their wives wear appropriate costume from the period),  there are several wall memorials too.

Mansel tomb in Margam Abbey

The four alabaster tombs are for Sir Rice Mansel of Oxwich and Penrice (1487-1559), Sir Edward Mansel (1531-1585), Sir Thomas Mansel (1556-1631) and Sir Lewis Mansel (1638).

The wall memorials are dedicated to Sit Edward Mansel, Sir Thomas Mansel, Sir Rawleigh Bussey, Sir Rich Mansel and Katherine Bussey.

Mansel tombs in Margam Abbey

From here it was a short walk to Margam Castle which was built for Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1830-1890) in 1840, designed by Thomas Hopper in the Tudor Gothic style.

Margam Castle

You cannot see much of the house today although I was very happy to be allowed inside. We did get to see the magnificent central staircase.

staircase within Margam Castle

There are formal garden and a stable block which now houses a cafe and shop.

There was a wedding taking place on the day we visited so we were unable to visit the Orangery. This was designed by Anthony Keck to house a large collection of citrus trees and built between 1787 and 1790. It is the longest orangery in the British Isles.

We enjoyed our unexpected trip to Margam Abbey and Castle. It is well worth a visit, especially if you have a family connection.

Faculty records at the National Library

Yesterday I sent my research request off to Carmarthenshire Archives in regards the burial vault of Lady Mary Mansel at St Peter’s Church. I was amazed to receive a response back in a matter of hours.

“Unfortunately, we do not hold the records required. Any alteration to the fabric of a building owned by the Church of Wales, including the erection a memorial tablet, etc., requires official consent i.e. the granting of Faculties on behalf of the archbishop. Faculty records are held at the National Library in Aberystwyth. See:

….With that said, you are very welcome to visit the archives and carry out the research for yourself. Our staff will provide you with all of the assistance you require.

Relevant catalogues available online are:  This catalogue has not been catalogued to item level.

Please also see attached: You could also try contacting the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society to see if any work has been done in this area.

Iscoed House

I had not come across Historic Carmarthenshire Homes before and am so happy to have read the pages about Iscoed old and new. It confirms that little bit of information I came across the other day about Iscoed Home Farm being the original home of Sir William Mansel.

Now to contact the National Library in Aberystwyth regarding the granting of Faculties on behalf of the archbishop!

Lady Mansel memorial lozenge at St Peter’s

I was doing a little research into family connections with St Peter’s, Carmarthen. When we visited Carmarthen last year we walked past the church and I am annoyed with myself that we did not go in. Since then I have discovered that a few of the children of Sir William and Mary Mansel were baptised in the church:

Rebecca Elisabeth baptised 9th August 1769 at St Peter’s, Carmarthen

Richard Mansel baptised November 10th 1770, at St Peter’s, Carmarthen

William Mansel baptised April 4th 1776, at St Peter’s, Carmarthen

I also discovered that there was a memorial lozenge to Lady Mansel at St Peter’s Church, on the wall near the organ which states the following:

In the family vault in this chancel are deposited the remains of MARY Relict of Sir WILLIAM MANSEL of Iscoed and Daughter of JOHN PHILIPPS Esq. by ELIZABETH his 2nd Wife of Coedgain in this County. In the Christians full hope of a blessed immortality She departed this life in the 66th year of her age.

The memorial lozenge looks to be made of marble and was designed/made by Cooke.

Lady Mary Mansel died in 1811 and was buried at St Peter’s Carmarthen in the family vault on the 3rd January 1813.

I have contacted St Peter’s to see if they have any record of the family vault but they do not think they have any records relating to burials in the vault, they also mentioned that burials ceased in the church yard in 1856. So I have contacted the Carmarthen Records Office first to see if they hold any records of burial vaults at St Peter’s.

All Saints Newchurch parish records

I have been exploring the short life of Alexina Louise Mansel who was baptised at Birdham in 1829. Her mother died shortly after her birth and was buried at All Saints parish church, Newchurch, Isle of Wight.

I checked the burials at Birdham but could not find mention of the death and burial of Alexina. I was hoping that I would find the records of burials online but they don’t seem to be digitised yet.

Instead I looked up the Isle of Wight Records Office where you can consult the original registers or copies on microfiche: NEW/REG/BUR/1 1813-1864. All the entries in the parish registers from 1539 to 1900 have been recorded in the Personal Names Index. This is a card index that can be consulted in the Record Office search room.

The Isle of Wight Record Office can be found at
26 Hillside
Isle of Wight
PO30 2EB

I will try and make an appointment to see these records next time we visit.

Mention of Captain Thomas Mansel

I came across a couple of mentions of my 3x great grandfather, Captain Thomas Mansel, in The Life of William Stirling, and his account of the Wreck of the Ship, ‘Tiger’, and the two months spent on Anstove Island in the Seychelles, in 1836.

July 20th 1831 New Romney, Kent

I daresay you are quite unprepared for this new address but having girded on my Sword for the fight I have hastened to this my destination. I took possession this afternoon of No 1 Battery Dungeness a station on the Coast for the prevention of smuggling. I left my Wife & family on the 12th caught a severe cold on my way to Town from exposure to the heavy rain during the night, was laid up at Folkestone with a slight attack of inflammation on the Chest for three or four days waited on my Commander Capt. Mansell & on the following day repaired to this dreary spot.

The Coasts of Kent & Sussex so near the French Coast are of course Demons for smuggling & you may have seen in the Papers what dreadful work there has been lately in this District right & left of us. Lieut Parry in resisting the attack received 3 Slugs in his Shoulder & a copper nail, one Slug in his arm and another in his finger all of which have been extracted he is slowly mending & four of his Crew desperately wounded 34 Smugglers were killed & wounded 15 have been buried & some still lie very ill. I have not been attacked but expect an attempt will be made this week when we shall do our best. Parry is promoted & we propose giving our Inspecting Commander Capt. Mansel a Dinner in consequence of his exertions to that end.