We are often asked to recommend venues in various parts of the country. One of the most popular areas is South Wales Murder Mystery Venues.
Here are just some of the fabulous South Wales Mystery Venues that we have visited.
The 10th century holds the earliest record of Miskin Manor, with the origins of it’s name thought to hark back to the words ‘Maen Cun’ or ‘Lovely Plain’. The ‘Lovely Plain’ on which Miskin Manor currently stands is as stunning today as it was 1100 years ago. In 1100, the daughter of the Prince of Glamorgan, lived in a manor on the side of what is now Miskin Manor.
Welsh heritage tells us that for the next 6 generations the estate was home to the Basset family. In 1857 the estate was sold to Mr David Williams, also known as his bard’s title, Alaw Goch. In 1864 the Manor was constructed, beginning the life of what is now our country house hotel.
Gwilym, the son of Judge Gwilym Williams of Miskin Manor, inherited Miskin Manor after his father’s death. Wales, with its rich sense of history, made much of the fact that Gwilym’s wife was a descendant of the original Nest herself.
In the 1990s Miskin Manor was passed on to Sir Rhys Williams, whose wife Juliet, was the daughter of the scandalous novelist Elinor Glyn, who also lived in Miskin Manor. Under the ownership of Sir Rhys Williams, Miskin Manor saw a great deal of society life, and even had the honour of entertaining the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VIII) as well as then Prime Minister Lloyd George.
Miskin Manor has suffered two major fires during the 1900s, first in 1922 destorying all but the external walls. We have photographs on the ground floor illustrating the extent of the damage. The second fire occurred in 1952, shortly after Miskin Manor was transformed from its war-time occupation as a hospital into post-war flats.
In 1985, Miskin Manor was sold, converted and extended. The current owners, Leah and Colin Rosenberg purchased Miskin Manor in 1996. Their care and attention to detail in the restoration of Miskin Manor shows itself very clearly in the Minstrel Hall, which, with its Gallery, is a truly magical room. Miskin’s extensive history gives it the richest atmosphere and ambience of any of the idyllic country house hotels in Wales.
Its isolated yet easy to get to location makes Miskin an ideal venue for setting the atmosphere of murder mystery dinners. It is a great South Wales murder mystery venue.
Home of The 2010 Ryder Cup and host venue of the NATO Summit 2014, the five-star Celtic Manor Resort is set in more than 2,000 acres of panoramic parkland at the gateway to Wales. With two hotels – a 334-room luxury Resort Hotel and an historic 19th century Manor House with 67 rooms – two exceptional spas, two state-of-the-art health clubs, a shooting school, fishing, adventure golf, treetop high ropes course, tennis courts, mountain biking and walking trails, The Celtic Manor Resort provides a complete experience for business, leisure and golf travellers. A choice of seven restaurants includes the Epicure Experience by Richard Davies, Steak on Six and the Newbridge on Usk, a separate country inn with six bedrooms. In 2014, the Resort opened 10 new Hunter Lodges to offer a luxurious self-catering option to guests.
For four years running from 2011 to 2014, the Resort was voted the UK’s Best Hotel at the Meetings and Incentive Travel Awards. It was named UK Sport Venue of the Year and Europe’s Golf Resort of the Year for 2011. The Resort offers the challenge of three 18-hole championship golf courses, including the Twenty Ten course, the first course in history to be designed and built specifically to host The Ryder Cup.
Celtic Manor is a great venue situated just off of the M4 motorway near Newport. Whether at the Golf Club or the hotel..this is a very flexible South Wales murder mystery venue.
The Orangery, Margam
The Orangery in Margam Park was built to house a great collection of orange, lemon and other citrus trees which the Talbots inherited from their Mansel forebears. Nothing is known for certain of the origin of these trees, but legends suggest that they were originally a gift for the crown. As they were being transported, the ship was wrecked on the coast near Margam and the trees claimed by the Mansels.
Travellers who journeyed through Wales at the end of the eighteenth century in search of picturesque beauty, and who published accounts of their tours, noted several versions of the legend. Queen Elizabeth I, Charles I, Charles II’s wife Catherine of Braganza and William III’s Queen Mary all appear in the variations of the story.
By the mid-eighteenth century, the citrus collection numbered about one hundred trees and was housed in several greenhouses in the park. It was the bold design of Thomas Mansel Talbot to build the present Orangery, (327 feet in length), to accommodate the whole collection. In Britain, orange trees need protection from the severity of our winter weather, but in the summer months they can stand outdoors and were used to ornament the formal gardens of the time.
As a building the Orangery is superbly functional; long and narrow with a series of twentyseven tall windows to admit the winter light. The plain back wall contained fireplaces, from which hot air passed through flues. In its centre was the high door through which fully-grown trees could be wheeled into the garden.
This idyllic location is a perfect get-away South Wales murder mystery venue and offers a stunning backdrop to any storyline.
Craig Y Nos Castle
The rugged limestone hills rising sheer above the Tawe valley created an Alpine scene that sought sympathetic architecture. Here it was that Captain Powell created his neo-gothic castle. He used local limestone for the original building but the cost ran away with him and he was unable to complete the north wing.
The estate had been entered into Chancery and was finally bought by Morgan of Abercrave for £6000. Mr Morgan and his family settled at the castle where his son, also Morgan, joined him soon afterwards. Both families lived together happily for several years
As the decade grew toward it’s close, the current owners decided to leave, and a remarkable chapter in the history of Craig-y-nos was about to unfold.
In 1878, the castle and its setting captivated the leading opera star of that day, who felt she had found the home of her dreams amid the calm isolation of this beautiful valley. It’s name alone strikes a romantic note and in rough translation means ‘Rock of the Night’.
This small estate in the mountains of Wales appealed to Madam Adelina Juana Maria Patti, who bought the castle and surrounding park land for £3500.
The prima donna had reached the soaring heights of a spectacular career and was to spend the rest of her life at Craig-y-nos, leaving to sing in the premier opera house of Europe and elsewhere, captivating the world with her flawless soprano voice.
She set about spending an estimated £100,000 in renovations and adding to the castle. The theatre at the mansion was a remarkable addition and could hold 150 people. It was designed as a private auditorium where an international Queen of Song could enthral with her remarkable voice, all those who came to listen.
The winter garden was another architectural feature to be built for the Baroness at the end of the 19th century.
Once again, time and the war brought change to the castle, and in 1918 the Prima Donna presented her winter garden to the people of Swansea where it became the Patti Pavilion and has been restored.
The Diva remained at the castle during the twilight years of her life and music remained her first love. She would practice her scales daily, sometimes accompanied by her three parrots, one of which was eighty years old.
Since her death, stories have been told of her benign presence being seen or felt over the years. The tiny figure of a lady dressed in black is said to have been seen gliding across different rooms and drifting around the courtyard.
One recent story tells of a lady pianist who once sat at a piano in an ante-room of the theatre and then felt a presence behind her. At her first attempt she played the whole of Patti’s ‘Home sweet Home’ perfectly, before turning round to find no one there.
The castle and the grounds were sold to the Welsh National Memorial Trust for £11,000 in March 1921, and it was called the ‘Adelina Patti’ Hospital at the request of the Baron. It functioned as a chest hospital and many were nursed back to health during this period until the scourge of tuberculosis was conquered. In its latter years, the patients were mainly elderly and infirm.
The castle finally closed as a hospital on the 31st March 1986 after the transfer of remaining patients to the new Community Hospital at Ystradgynlais. The Welsh Office maintained Craig-y-nos Castle and its unique theatre until it was sold into private ownership.
More than any other venue Craig Y Nos is the perfect South Wales murder mystery venue. So many stories are attached to this venue that the mystery writes itself!!