The present owners of Cresselly – the Allen family, originally from Ireland – began their long association with the estate when John Allen married Joan, daughter and heiress of John Bartlett of Cresselly in 1728.
The Bartlett family had lived at Cresselly since 1564. John and Joan Bartlett's son and heir was John Bartlett Allen who was born in 1733. It was he who decided to pull down the original house which was next to the coal workings, from which the family derived much income, and build a new, larger and altogether more commodious house higher up the hill, looking down to Creswell river and away towards Milford Haven. The architect for his new, elegantly proportioned classical villa, is thought to be William Thomas.
In April 1763 John Bartlett Allen married Elizabeth, the only daughter and heiress of John Hensleigh of Panteg, and acquired the property at Llanddewi Velfrey, Pembrokeshire.
Elizabeth bore him two sons and nine daughters, two of whom married into the famous Staffordshire pottery family of Wedgwood. In November 1802 Tom Wedgwood, the youngest of the family, and his friend the poet Coleridge spent a month at Cresselly during a trip to Wales. Coleridge evidently was very contented at Cresselly, remarking that ‘there was always plenty of music and plenty of cream’.
On John Bartlett Allen’s death, Cresselly was inherited by his eldest son John Hensleigh Allen, a popular figure who became a barrister and M.P. for Pembroke boroughs 1818-26. The estate then descended directly in the male line until Henry Seymour Allen (1847-1928), who died unmarried. Cresselly then passed to his nephew, Hugh Evelyn Allen (1880-1933 whose heir was his only daughter, Auriol Joan Bartlett Harrison-Allen. Hugh Harrison-Allen is her son and present owner.
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Cresselly | Pembrokeshire | SA68 0SP
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