National Library of Wales

Davies (Gregynog) Collection and Deeds

Reference code(s): GB 0210 DAVNOG

Held at: NLW

Title: Davies (Gregynog) Collection and Deeds

Short title: Davies (Gregynog) collection and deeds

Dates of creation: [1310]-[1958]

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 0.19 cubic metres (8 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Gwendoline Elizabeth Davies and Margaret Davies


Administrative and biographical history: The Misses Davies of Gregynog were Gwendoline Elizabeth Davies (1882-1951) and Margaret Davies (1884-1963) of Gregynog who were art collectors and benefactresses. They were the granddaughters of David Davies of Llandinam, Montgomeryshire, whose fortune was derived from contracting, coal, railways and docks. The sisters had a Calvinist background, and acquired Gregynog mansion near Newtown, Montgomeryshire, after the First World War. Their original intention was to build an art centre there. They established the Gregynog Press which became one of the foremost private presses of the inter-war era, producing fine examples of book craft, containing excellent illustrations. From 1908, the Davies sisters began to collect the work of the French Impressionists, and bought paintings by Cezanne ('Still life with teapot'), van Gogh ('Rain at Auvers'), Monet, Renoir and others, as well as Rodin, JMW Turner and Augustus John (many can be seen at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff). The sisters funded the National Council of Music for Wales. At Gregynog, they hosted conferences about contemporary issues.


Scope and content: Collection of deeds and other papers, [1310]-[1958], of Gwendoline Elizabeth Davies and Margaret Davies, including printed books, 1478-1844, papers concerning the Gregynog Press, 1922-1960, copies of books, 1923-1940, ephemera, 1927-1962, designs and drawings, n.d.; and deeds relating to properties in Montgomeryshire, 1597-1832.


Language/script: Middle English, East Anglian, English, Welsh, Spanish, Latin, French, Greek, German

System of arrangement: Arranged in chronolgical order.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.
Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Immediate source of acquisition: The Davies deeds were deposited by the Misses Davies, Gregynog, in 1947, and the Gregynog Collection was donated to the NLW in 1962.


Related units of description: Maps relating to docks, railways etc. acquired by the family are NLW, Davies (Gregynog) Collection of Maps, held in the NLW Map Collection. NLW, Special Collections holds publications of the Gregynog Press and photographs.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds. The dates of the papers in the collection and the dates of the deeds pre-date the lives of Gwendoline Elisabeth Davies and Margaret Davies.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule of Davies (Gregynog) Collection of Deeds; Dictionary of Welsh biography, 1941-1970 (2001), John: Hanes Cymru (1990).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of description: January 2003



Artists | Wales

Classification | Books

Gregynog Press | Records and correspondence

Printed ephemera | Wales

Printing presses | Wales | Powys

Publishers and publishing | Wales | Powys

Personal names

Davies, Gwendoline Elizabeth, ca. 1882-1951

Davies, Margaret Sidney, 1884-1963

Corporate names

Gregynog Press