House of two storeys with attics and formerly with cellar; principally of the late 17th century, in part dated 1687. Then the home of a younger branch of the Madryn family, it must have replaced an older house which is known from the 15th century onwards. 1 The present house consists of the principal block (A), added service wing (B) and dairy (C).


These extensions (B, C) involved small alterations to the principal block (A), yet in their owner structures closely resemble it and seem to have followed soon after it. At the opening to the stair wing (in A) is a re-set inscription by Richard and Katherine (or Katrin) Madryn dated 1687 2 which presumably dates the completion of the principal block; but by regional standards the work is exceptionally advanced, notably in the use of brick, the vertical proportion of the windows, and in the style of the stairs. There is a contemporary barn among former outbuildings now belonging to the neighbouring farm Llannerch-isaf (No. 166 4). The walls of (A) and (B), where not cement-rendered, are of roughly coursed rubble with large quoin-stones at the main angles; those of (C) are similar but for the quoins. The masonry is lime-pointed but laid in clay.3 Above eaves level the S.E. gable of (A) and both gables of (B) are built of red brick, which is hand-made and imperfectly baked. 4 Some openings in the N.E. front of (A) retain rough dripstones at their heads; those in (B) and (C) have rough stone heads flush with the wall. The roofs are covered with small coarse slates throughout and are original. All the chimney stacks, of red brick like the gables, are short and have plain caps of small projection. Owing to the rendering of the S.W. or main front of (A) it is uncertain how far the windows are unaltered; however, apart from that to N. of the entrance, they are fairly uniform, and that to S. of the entrance retains a wooden rear-lintel which may well be original; all are of vertical proportion and large. On the N.E. front the unaltered ground-floor window still remaining is similar, as were the two at the first floor, as their jambs and dripstones prove, although both are now reduced to a quarter of the opening intended. Towards the S. end is a former doorway, also with dripstone at the head, which was reduced to a window, as shown by the embrasure remaining inside, and finally blocked. The sides of the stair wing do not bond with the main walls externally, but show no straight joint internally in the masonry exposed at the N. side. The S.E. gable has a small vertical window at both floors. The brickwork is visible internally from the attic. The N.W. gable is built entirely of rubble with projecting chimney stack from above first-floor level upwards, only the upper shaft of which is of brick. At the ground floor of (A) the ceiling beams form three main bays of which the northern two are nearly equal and the southern larger. The primary beams are all chamfered and bar-stopped; in the S. bay the eastern secondary beam is partly exposed, also chamfered, with lightly moulded joists let into it on the E. The primary beam between this and the central bay has no softit mortices, nor is there any evidence that there was any partition other than the one existing, which is attached to one side of the beam and is of smooth in-and- out boards, 10 ins. wide, moulded or chamfered at the edges; it returns northwards to enclose a closet or pantry, leaving a way to the cellar stairs on the E. and a vestibule at the outer entrance doorway on the W., where its boards rest on a brick sill. That a division on the line of that beam must have been intended seems clear from the plan of this floor and its ceiling; and that this partition dates from the construction of the house seems likely in the absence of other evidence, although the boarding is more typical of the 18th century than the 17th. The other partitions forming the S.E. and S.W. rooms, with the intermediate brick wall, appear to be later. Both the fireplaces have been modernised. The deep recess to E. of the N.W. chimney breast may have held a steep wooden stair until, with the addition of (C), it became a passage, perhaps by enlargement of a window opening. The cellar beneath the large S. bay was reached by a flight of stone steps in the stair wing; together with the steps it has been filled in recently. 5 The dog-leg staircase to the first floor (Plate 54) has a moulded handrail and strings, turned balusters and square plain newels; the spaces between and below the strings of the two flights are closed with smooth in-and-out boards, chamfered at the edges and shaved at the ends to let into slots in the strings, so partitioning the stairs from the steps down to the cellar. Above the foot of the stairs, on a shallow-arched wooden head attached to the beam which spans the whole opening, is the inscription: R M K M 1687 with a fleur-de-lis (for Collwyn ap Tangno). 6 Attached to the partition on the N. side of the passage leading to the staircase are two boards about 3 ft. long, perhaps reset, inscribed in mixed capitals and uncials: (i) DUW A DIWEdd DA/AROThwI OMbLAUN MIAICA … ; (ii) COFIwch ROI ..; CLO, with fleur-de-lis below. The lettering and carving suggest that they are contemporary with the inscription of 1687. At the first floor the partitions are of in-and-out boarding as on the ground floor; the doors are plank-built with simple latches. The five bedrooms opening off a central landing probably preserve an arrangement as old as the staircase. The ceilings are plastered, the beams concealed. The attic is reached through a trapdoor, and can never have been inhabited. The five roof trusses, the purlins and joists are of squared timber, all pegged together; three of the collars are cambered between the principals, straight against them, but the alternate ones are quite straight; purlins and joists alike are laid flat. The whole roof is an exceptionally well-preserved example of late 17th-century work. Abutting on the N. and N. walls of (A), the service wing (B) communicates with it through a roughly made passage. The outer doorways to N.E. and N.W. seem original; two others have been reduced to windows to S.E. and S.W. At the N.W. there is an upper doorway to the grain or oatmeal loft. 7 In the brickwork of the N.E. gable is a pair of attic windows with timber heads, both blocked. This gable wall is continued to meet the N.W. gable of (A), the brickwork being slotted for doves’ nests. At both gables there are short brick stacks like those of (A). The main fireplace at the S.W. of the ground floor of (B) has a long straight bressummer, and is unaltered except for a modern brick oven. The other fireplace has been modernised. The ceiling beams and joists are plain-chamfered. At the E. corner a plain framed staircase leads up to the grain loft on the first floor, which was lighted by only one small window apart from the service doorway. The attic floor has gone, but the beams have cuts for joists and there are remains of wattle-and-daub from partitions. The roof is carried on two trusses with a straight collar set high and with a pair of curved struts above the collar; the purlins and rafters are as in (A). The dairy (C) has a pent roof which partly covers the blocked attic windows of (B), on which it abuts in a straight joint. At both floors the windows are small and nearly square. The ground floor communicates with both (A) and (B), with the former by a secondary opening in the presumed stair recess. The ceiling beams and joists are as in (B). The upper floor is entered from (B) and in the intervening gable wall it has a small fireplace, apparently provided when (B) was built although outside the gable. The roof is on common rafters only.
1 GlIIaith GI/to ‘ , Glyn, ed. J. L. Williams and Ifor Williams (Cardiff, 1939), No . lxxvii, p . 205; D . C.N.W. Catalogue of Garthewin Papers, 2, 32, 661-705, Dwnn, n, p. 177; Griffith, Ped . ,pp. 167, 191, 242; Welsh MSS . , 1I, ii (1903), p. 623, poem to Risiard Llwyd, 1606.
2 He was high sheriff in 1695, p R.a . Lists and Indexes, IX, p. 249; Peniarth MS. 124, p. 76 , in Welsh MSS., I, ii p. 757.
3 Ex in! the owner, Mr. R. O. Rowlands.
4 Judging from samples obtained in the main attic. ‘Ex in! Mr. R. O. Rowlands.
6 For Richard Madryn and Katherine (either his sister or his wife Catherine Lloyd, whose marriage settlement is dated 13 January, 1692/3, Garthewin Papers, No. 841); if Griffith, Ped., pp. 167, 211.
7 Its probable use according to Mr. R. O. Rowlands.
Condition: good.
SH 3587383
24 vii 59
32 SE

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