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The Sugar Loaf

 
The Web Brecon Beacons

The Sugar Loaf rises to 1955 feet (596M) above sea level. its distinctive conical top from which its name is derived is complemented by its commanding position northwest of Abergavenny.  It is a popular walking destination for serious walkers and visitors alike. The summit is a long narrow ridge affording splendid views of the Bristol Channel to the southeast and of the Malvern Hills to the north east. the Sugar Loaf is currently owned and managed by the National Trust. it was given to the trust by Viscountess Rhondda in 1936.


Margaret Haig Thomas 1883–1958, was the daughter of David Alfred Thomas a British industrialist and public official. He was born in Ysgyborwen, near Aberdare. He entered his father’s coal business in South Wales which became one of the largest coal producing companies in Britain with several collieries in the Rhondda Valley.  He served as Liberal M.P. for Merthyr Tydfil from 1888 to 1910.  On the outbreak of the First World War, he was sent by David Lloyd George to the United States to arrange the supply of munitions for the British armed forces. In May 1915, his daughter, Margaret Haig Thomas, who had accompanied her father was returning from the United States on the Lusitania when it was torpedoed by a German submarine. Over a thousand passengers died, but they were rescued. In 1917 during World War I he was made food minister, introducing a compulsory food rationing system. 


Margaret Haig Thomas, sometimes referred to as the "Welsh Boadicea", became second Viscountess Rhondda having inherited the title from her father by special permission. Educated at Notting Hill High School, St. Andrews and Somerville College, Oxford, Margaret joined the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1908 and remained an active member until 1914. A supporter of the WSPU's arson campaign, she was sent to prison for trying to destroy a post-box with a chemical bomb. However, a hunger-strike led to her early release. During the First World War she was appointed as Director of Women's Department of the Ministry of National Service. Was founder (1920) of Time and Tide which was originally a strongly left-wing and feminist publication, but which went through many shades of political opinion before closing in 1977. Contributors included D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, and Robert Graves. The Sugar Loaf was given to the National Trust by Margaret Haig Thomas Viscountess Rhondda in 1936.

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