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Keeping up with the Joneses in 17th C Fonmon

Fonmon Castle
Fonmon Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan

This often overlooked, gem of a stately home near Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan has an incredible and little known history going back 800 years. And it is still inhabited to this day.

In this video, I talk about Fonmon Castle with Sir Brooke Boothby (BART).  

It is his ancestral home. We also hear about his ancestors who can be traced back to the 9th Century and who have lived in Fonmon since the civil war. He reveals some amazing history covering topics as diverse as:

The Norman invasion of Morgannwg

The early days of the 12th Century castle

The St John, Seyes and Umfraville families

Cousins to Henry VIII live at Fonmon

The English Civil war

The most powerful man in Britain lives at Fonmon

Oliver and Richard Cromwell

The Restoration

John Wesley and the Methodists

‘Wild’ Robert Jones and Rococo architecture

The Viking origins of the Boothby family

The power brokers of pre-industrial Wales

 First broadcast on Bro Radio in June 2022 as part of the ‘History on your doorstep’ series.

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The RAF in the Vale of Glamorgan

Vulcan bomber and ground staff maintenance at RAF St Athan

Since 1931, military aviation has played an ever changing role in the county of the Vale of Glamorgan. At its height, tens of thousands of people were employed either as military or civilian contractors across four bases. Yes four! I always though it was three.

In this discussion, first aired on Bro Radio on 23rd May 2022, we examine the history of the RAF in the Vale and hear accounts of those who served. Both in the early days and more recently. To get a flavour of what life was like on our bases and also the role they played in the wider military context. In particular during WWII, the Cold War and the Falklands.

We also look at the work being done by the South Wales Aviation Museum to keep that legacy alive.