Lady Llanofer is said to have
promised one of her old servants, upset that the Welsh national dress was
dying out, that it never would while she was head of the Llanofer estate.
However, it seems that some of the young maids, forced to wear Welsh dress
while at work, would change into more fashionable clothing at one of the
Lodges before going into Abergavenny on their day off. The Gate-keeper's
wife kept their secret!!
from a sketch c. 1896
'The costumes of Wales
being chiefly composed of wool, are from the nature of the material particularly
well adapted to defend the wearer against the inclemencies of the weather,
and the sudden transitions from heat to cold to which our climate is
'... How frequently do we now see the hale and robust mother of fifty,
and even grandmother of eighty, returning from church or market secure from
the storm, under the protection of the warm woollen gown, and comfortable
cloak or whittle of Gwent or Dyfed, with a neat and serviceable beaver hat,
and black woollen stockings, pursuing her homeward path unobstructed by the
influence of cold or wet, while the delicate and cotton clad daughter or
grand-daughter, with perhaps the symptoms of consumption on her cheek, is
shivering in the rain, seeking the precarious shelter of the nearest hedge,
or shifting her station from tree to tree, to avoid the soaking of the
shower, while her flimsy straw bonnet, saturated with water, and dyed like
a rainbow by the many coloured streams descending from its numerous and
once gaudy ribbons, is presenting a deplorable example of the sad effects
resulting from that absurd abandonment of ancient and wise habits.'
From the Prize Essay, Cardiff
Eisteddfod 1834, by Lady Llanofer, (Gwenynen Gwent).