demesne in 1762 had now been taken into it. On the other hand the 762 survey also shows a field belonging to William Hurst in the north-west angle of the roads meeting at Cross Greenallt. This had been taken into the Upper Lawn by 1798, but it does not appear that any Hurst land was added to the Wenvoe estate before 1790. It seems possible therefore that the park was enlarged and the roads altered in two stages-the first stage by Sir Edmund between 1765 and his death in 1767, and the second stage by Peter Birt or Robert Jenner in the 1790s. The second phase created an awkward 'S bend' in the Port Road near Stumpy Lodge. In 1798 two buildings still stood in the Lawn, south-east of the Castle though hidden from view by an avenue of trees which marked the line of the old road to Cadoxton. The buildings were a survival of Moorcock or Murcock (or even Moorcot)18 farmhouse and outbuildings which are shown as such on the estate plan of 1762. At that time the tenant was Sir Ed- mund's agent, William Deere. The farmstead was a casualty of the landlord's desire for greater privacy and for more imposing grounds around his mansion. The Garn was later built on a virgin site about half a mile away to replace Moorcock, which has now entirely disappeared from view and from memory. III. Sir Edmund Thomas died suddenly while on a canvass of the freeholders of Gelligaer in October 1767, leaving a son, Sir Edmund the fourth baronet, to deal with his numerous creditors and mortgagees. The heir's only course proved to be the sale of the entire estate. It was accordingly advertised in the press in September 1769, and an impressive sale cata- logue was published. It was perhaps not often that such an attractive property came on to the market, but for some reason it was not until September 1774 that the ever-knowledgeable William Thomas could write in his diary: In these days Wenvoe Estate after long lingring was fully sold to one Burt. The price was £ 41,000, equivalent to 33 years' rent, superficially rather a stiff price for those days, but the estate was almost certainly undervalued. By the sale a new and very wealthy landowner was introduced into Glamorgan-Peter Birt of Airmyn Hall, in the county of York, esquire. A great deal remains to be discovered of the biography of Peter Birt, but there are some essential details to hand. David Jones of Wallington thought that the Birts were prosperous yeomen of Berkshire, and it was certainly in that county that Peter Birt was born about 1723. A rumour was current in Glamorgan in 1777 to the effect that Birt had not been born a gentleman but had been 'bred a tailor'. His friend Thomas Roberts (whom we shall meet as the builder of the castle) retorted, with unintentional ambiguity, that Birt 'was bred as much of a gentleman as any man in Wales'. Whatever his origins may have been, there is no doubt that Birt made his money in trade. Beginning his career as a merchant in the Russian trade, Birt became co-farmer of the tolls