Childhood Visits - a Memory of Merthyr Mawr.
My family built and lived at Merthyr Mawr. My grandfather was a younger son, so left there when he grew up and married, to another Nicholl. However he managed the estate and when I was a small child we would regularly visit my grandparents, then living at Laleston, and would always spend time at Merthyr Mawr.
At that time the hospital that had occupied the ground floor during the war had gone, leaving it empty, with the family still living on the first floor. The sweeping lawns, the swing on the huge tree and the folly in the woods were magic. My cousin's governess used to walk down the drive with a raised umbrella at all times, to protect herself from the droppings of the numerous rooks that lived in the overhanging trees. Along the riverside the scent of balsam was wonderful; I only seem to remember Merthyr Mawr in summer!
At the Home Farm the herd of dairy Shorthorn cattle were beautiful, all colours, roan, brown and white. One was named after me; I was very proud of the honour. The bulls were fierce and one, I remember, wore a leather mask, so he could not see in front of him and attack people.
Later memories are of weddings and parties there, though inevitably devolved on to funerals, as the older generations went to the churchyard. What a nice place to lie among ones ancestors. Quite a gathering!
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