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By the time of the industrial revolution, the English landed gentry were firmly established as a political, economic, cultural and social elite that was largely self-contained. Much of Wales had already been acquired by English aristocratic families (such as the Dukes of Beaufort, Marquises of Bute, Lords of Abergavenny) whose extravagant lifestyles were supported by rents from tenant farmers. Any rights to natural resources were either exploited by themselves or leased or sold to wealthy prospectors. Author of the History of the County of Brecknock, Theophilus Jones, wrote,


The Duke of Beaufort, the proprietor, receives from these and other mines near £2000 each year, yet 20 years ago they were not worth £20 annually.”


These prospectors, such as Richard Pennant (Penrhyn slate mines), Richard Crawshay (Cyfarthfa iron works), George Insole (Rhondda collieries & Cardiff docks) or Josiah Guest (Dowlais iron works ) were nearly all English and much of the land (and wealth and influence) in South East Wales remains in the hands of descendants of those coal and iron barons. Yet, the conditions that working people were forced to endure in  18th & 19th century industrialised Wales were appalling: When the writer and philosopher, Thomas Carlyle visited Merthyr in 1850, he wrote of,


"...unguided, hard-worked, fierce, and miserable-looking sons of Adam I never saw before. Ah me! It is like a vision of Hell, and will never leave me, that of these poor creatures broiling, all in sweat and dirt, amid their furnaces, pits, and rolling mills.”


This stark inequality of inherited wealth, power and privilege, and the associated losses where working families - and their descendants, - have been denied opportunities for education; personal, cultural and artistic development; travel etc. that have been second-nature for the descendants of the rich ... is what I have termed the Lost Hope.

Llanover & Llanarth Estate

- Descendents of Richard Crawshay of  Cyfarthfa ("The Tyrant")

Glanusk Estate

- Descendents of Crawshay Bailey, Iron Baron of Nantyglo

Tregoyd & Felin Newydd Estates

- Descendents of Evans-Bevan of Vale of Dulais Colliery & Vale of Neath Brewery

Cabalva Estate

- Descendents of Josiah Guest, Dowlais Iron Works

Pontypool Estate

- Descendents of John Hanbury, Pontypool Iron & Tin Works

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