Members of the group welcomed the opportunity to find out about the range of archive material held by both Glamorgan Archive and Parliamentary Archives, and how this can give insight into the history of their local area.
They were interested to find out how much dispute there was over the building of the docks. They found much evidence of quarrelling amongst the iron-masters of the district, of whom Richard Blakemore is a prime example. Areas of dispute included the Glamorganshire Canal, particularly how much water could be drawn from the River Taff to feed the Canal.
They were also interested to find an example of another powerful local landowner, Baroness Windsor, who opposed the development of the Bute Docks because she was building her own docks in Penarth. They found evidence of her motives in the correspondence files from the estate collection, held at Glamorgan Archives. Baroness Windsor was of particular interest to the group because she owned the land on which Grangetown was built, and the group found letters in the estate collection outlining her plans for this area and the progress of its development.
One of the participants wrote, ‘It is rewarding to know that efforts are being made to enlighten people in other parts of the country about the workings of Parliament and the archiving of documents for history.’