Christmas tree in Craig-y-Nos theatre, illus. by Rob Davies

Home Life

Christmas at Craig-y-Nos

Craig-y-Nos Castle was for many years the home of the internationally renowned opera singer Adelina Patti. Adelina was a generous local patron and was well loved by her staff.

One member of staff, Ethel Rosate-Lunn, recalled how Madame Patti used to go down to the staff dining hall on Christmas Day:

" . . . drink a glass of champagne with us and join heartily in the chorus of a song we were singing. Before leaving us she would wish each one a merry Christmas and a good appetite. How happy she used to be on these occasions; it added greatly to our enjoyment too.

Christmas was a very happy time at Craig-y-Nos when Adelina Patti was mistress of it. She loved to see people happy and I can remember well how pleased she was to know that as many of the staff as possible used to go to the home of Mr Brookman, the night watchman, between tea and supper on Christmas night to keep company with Mrs Brookman as Mr Brookman had, of course, to be on duty on Christmas night. There was always a large Christmas tree in the theatre laden with presents, cheques and jewellery for the house steward and the personal maids, costume lengths of cloth for the head maids, and also costume lengths - but of a quality not quite as good - for the under maids. There was a staff dance on Christmas evening and Madame Patti always danced with the chef, butler and footman, while her husband, the Baron, danced with the head girls."

The theatre has been restored and is again in use today.

Mme Patti: Craig-y-Nos Castle
Adelina Patti and Craig-y-Nos Castle
Mme. Patti: Adami the Chef
Mme. Patti: 'Patro'
The Staff of Craig-y-Nos
The Theatre at Craig-y-Nos