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From Buckleys to Parc Howard

The Reverend James Buckley from Lancashire married Maria, daughter of Llanelli brewer Henry Child in 1798 and joined the business. Their youngest child, James, took full control of the company when his father died in 1839.


James was said to have been a worry to his parents, constantly asking for money. But he became an important man in Llanelli's social, commercial and political life. He and his wife Elizabeth had nine children and he died in 1883.


James bought Bryncaerau Mansion (now Parc Howard Museum) for a son, also James, and new wife Marianne Hughes.  Transformed by James Buckley Wilson, a cousin, between 1882-1886, the mansion was renamed Bryncaerau Castle. It is Buckley Wilson’s Italianate-style house that you see today.


James Buckley died aged 56 in 1895, when Bryncaerau Castle was inherited by his son James 'Frank' Buckley. He sold the property in 1911 to Sir Edward Stafford Howard, a prominent Liberal Politician for £7,750 (around £840,000 today), a figure that is believed to have been significantly below its true value.


Sir Edward and his wife Lady Catharine gifted the house and grounds to the town in September 1912. It was their first wedding anniversary. Bryncaerau Castle was renamed Parc Howard in their honour. A condition of the 999-year lease was that the house should be a place of public 'enjoyment', such as a museum.