Cottrell Park’s decorated history mirrors the stories usually found only in fiction. Spanning centuries, Cottrell Park has stood pride of place in the area since the Medieval times up to its recent occupation by Mackintosh of Mackintosh, chief of the Clan Chattan and Lord Lieutenant of Inverness-shire, who made his Welsh seat a centre of lavish entertainment and social gatherings. Cottrell’s name was derived from the family who held the Medieval Manor of Trehill.
Several families who played notable roles in the History of Glamorgan and Great Britain resided at Cottrell, namely the Merrick’s, the Button’s and the Tyler’s. The most notable of the Merrick Family was Rice Merrick, the 16th Century genealogist and antiquarian, who held the Lordship of Cottrell and Clerk of the Peace for Glamorgan. He was a celebrated topographer and author of the “Glamorganshire Antiquities (1578)”.
The Cottrell Estate passed to the Button family through the marriage of Sir Thomas Button to Barbara, daughter and heiress of Rice Meyrick. Between 1557 and 1727, the Button Family provided Glamorgan with several High Sheriffs. Miles Button was captured by the Parliamentarians at the Battle of St Fagans during the Civil War. However, the most illustrious member of the family was naval explorer, Admiral Sir Thomas Button, famous for charting the Northwest American coast and the Hudson Straits and is how Button Island got its name.
Upon the death of Emilia Button, Cottrell passed to her spouse, Reverend Samuel Gwinnett, curate of St Nicholas. Their son, Button Gwinnett, was one of the fifty-six men who assembled at Philadelphia in 1776 to sign the Declaration of Independence, thus becoming one of America’s immortals. Through inheritance the Estate passed to the Tyler Family. Maritime traditions continued with Admiral Sir Charles Tyler who commanded one of Nelson’s flagships at Trafalgar. Other notable members of the family include Read-Admiral Sir George Tyler, who was Governor of St Vincent from 1833 to 1846 and Lieutenant Colonel George Henry Tyler MP, who served in the Crimean War.
The final chapter in the Cottrell’s succession of different family ownerships, lies with the marriage of the Tyler heiress to Edward Priest Richards of Roath, Cardiff, whose daughter went on to marry Mackintosh of Mackintosh. The Park’s long, unbroken sequence of distinguished occupation ended with the death of Mackintosh in 1938. Like many of its kind, the Park and its impressive House were acquired for utilitarian use during World War II.
In true Manor House tradition, it is recorded that The Cottrell was haunted by a ghost. Emelia Gwinnett inherited the Estate by her brother Reverend Samuel Gwinnett who had in fact ‘Willed’ the estate to Lord Clarendon. In her attempt to mask the true benefactor, she is said to have burnt her brother’s Will and destroyed the Manor Book that contained all the chronicles and records of the Manor. In retribution for this wicked act, her unhappy spirit is said to haunt the room in which the Will was burned.
SUCCESSION OF FAMILY OWNERSHIP
Rice Merrick – (Clerk of the Peace for Glamorgan held the Lordship of Cottrell)
Barbara Merrick – (daughter) married Sir Thomas Button
Emilia Button (descendant) married Reverend Samuel Gwinnett (curate of St Nicholas) bequeathed Cottrell to sister Emelia Gwinnett
Tyler Family inherited Cottrell Estate
Tyler Heiress married Edward Priest Richards
Daughter married Mackintosh of Mackintosh (Lord Lieutenant of Inverness-shire)
The Cottrell Estate was purchased in 1942 by the present owners, William Powell & Sons. Prior to the construction of the Golf Course, the land was used for agricultural purposes. Unfit for habitation, the original Manor House was demolished in 1972, but three properties remain on the site and have been renovated for staff accommodation.