Oakeley Family

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The FR has been connected for much of its existence to the Oakeley dynasty

This list, (non exhaustive) just lists certain of the known members of the family. For more information see individual entries where available

  1. William Oakeley, Forton, Staffs., clergyman
    1. William Oakeley (1750-1811) (Oakeley Mawr) -m Margaret Griffith d 1809
      1. William Griffith Oakeley (1790-1835)

      1. Sir Charles Oakeley, bart., governor of Madras.
        1. William Edward Oakeley (b1828 d 1st Feb 1912) (birth date also quoted as 1831) m Hon. Mary Russell 10 April 1860 d 13 September 1914.
          1. Edward de Clifford William Oakeley (Teddy) [b Nov 1864, d 30 Mar 1919]
          2. Mary Caroline Oakeley (b. 14 Nov 1865 - 1961) m William Frederick Inge on 29 April 1893
            1. Margaret Ethel Inge b. 7 Jun 1894, d. 30 Jul 1919
            2. Hilda Mary Inge b. 9 Aug 1898
            3. Edith Katherine Inge b. 5 Oct 1901


William Oakeley (1750-1811) Father to WG Oakeley. Came to area and was involved in Dinorwig Quarry.

He married Margaret Griffith

He was followed by his son, William Griffith (1790-1835)

William Griffith Oakeley, quarry owner, laid the first stone of the Railway on 26th February 1833, near Creuau. He married (?), but no children.

Louise Jane Oakeley, his (?) continued the family operations when the inheritance passed to his nephew, William Edward (1831-1912)

William Edward Oakeley was educated at Eton and Oxford before marrying in 1860. However, he did not get his hands on the Tanybwlch estate until 1868, and only then under very interesting circumstances.

It was his aunt, Louisa Jane Oakeley who had responsibility for the estate not only during the minority of her son but afterwards. She was not an easy lady to handle, and by the 1860s had turned into a recluse to all purposes. She would not even answer or acknowledge any letter sent to her by her nephew, William Edward. Further more, the slate business was crying out for much needed attention. Then Louisa disappeared from Plas Tanybwlch and ended up staying in Shrewsbury with her maid. William Edward decided to press his claims and employed a doctor to diagnose the state of Louisa’s mental state, which was normal. The end of the matter was that she was asked simply to transfer the inheritance to her nephew, to which she agreed readily!

William Edward revitalised the estate and served as High Sheriff for the county in 1874 and was deputy lieutenant, a justice of the peace, and both a member and alderman of the Meirionydd County Council. He took on running of the Holland and Rhiwbryfdir Quarries and from 1878 until 1882 was solely responsible for the quarry administration. In that year the Oakeley Company was formed under his chairmanship. More quarries were taken over including that of Cwm Orthin in 1900.

The Oakeley family were major employees in the Tan-y-Bwlch area and had a large house (Plas Tan-y-Bwlch) near to the station.

The fly in the ointment was that Oakeley had to borrow sixty thousand pounds (about six million at today’s value,) for this. But the quarries taken over did not produce enough income to pay the interest on the loans. By the start of the twentieth century the situation was pressing, especially when income fell from thirty two thousand pounds in 1900 to only sixteen thousand pounds in 1904, the last year the family lived at the Plas.

Edward de Clifford William Oakeley, (1864-1919) was not perturbed, and was still spending money like water on racing and at his club in London.

The situation was untenable and the estate was auctioned in 1910. However, only one or two farms were sold in the end. Teddy inherited Tanybwlch in 1912, which was sold to his niece Margaret Inge in 1914.

She however died within a few months of her uncle in 1919 when her sister Hilda Inge inherited.

On her death in 1953 the estate reverted to her mother, Mary Caroline Inge, (1865-1961.)

Tanybwlch was sold the following year (1962) and the links with the Oakeley family were severed. One by one the quarries closed culminating in the closure of the Oakeley Quarry itself in 1971.

For more information on the Oakeley dynasty, go to this external site

Plas Tan y Bwlch is now a residential Environmental Studies Centre (external site), administered by the National Park Authority

See also[edit]