CAERNARFONSHIRE


BEDDGELERT, Gardd-llyga(i)d-y-dydd (SH 6053 4572)

Felling dates: Spring 1571

Purlins 1570(38C), 1554(20), 1530. Site Master 1467-1570 BDGLRT19 (t = 6.3 CEFNCAR1; 5.7 ALCASTON; 5.6 LLWYN; 5.5 DITTON2)

A two-unit, downhill-sited, storeyed farmhouse of Snowdonian type with an eighteenth century wing. It is one of the earlier securely-dated Snowdonian houses but was truncated in the early twentieth century by the construction of a new house with the loss of the gable-end fireplace. There is a framed partition with a single doorway into the outer room. The original morticed collar of the surviving truss has been removed and a higher lap-jointed collar of eighteenth century type introduced. An unobtrusive date inscription of 1571 (perhaps 1579) at the entry, initially regarded as not authentic, is consistent with the tree-ring dates. A more prominent inscription of 1723 (or 1725) may date the alterations to the house. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)


BEDDGELERT, Hafodruffydd-uchaf (SH 568 496)           

Felling date range: (OxCal modelled) 1531-46 (unrefined 1531-53)

Collar 1523(h/s); Crucks 1511(h/s), 1506(h/s), 1503(h/s). Site Master 1416-1523 BDGLRT20 (t = 7.0 PENGWERN; 5.6 BDGLRT10; 5.5 NWTNNTTG)

A platform-sited three-bay range with upper-end chimney and with trusses of morticed collar-beam type; redundant mortices cut into the fireplace beam suggest modification of an earlier croglofft plan. This upland farmstead was a possession of the Augustinian Priory of Beddgelert until the Reformation. The tree-ring date range straddles the Reformation, but it seems likely from the documentation that the house was built after a lease was granted by the last prior of Beddgelert in 1528. The house was replanned in the nineteenth century with the introduction of a central stair, new ceilings, and the creation of a heated parlour at the lower end. The stub of a cruck blade in a much altered parallel agricultural range was not suitable for sampling. Survey in National Monuments Record of Wales. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)


BEDDGELERT, Oerddwr-isaf (SH 5907 4543)      

Felling date: Winter 1494/5

Purlins 1494(22C), 1474(h/s); Principal rafters (1/2) 1494(21C); Crucks 1494(20C), 1490(15+3C NM); Inserted mantel-beam (0/1). Site Master 1424-1494 BDGLRT21 (t = BDGLRT10; ROYALHS3; ROYALHS1)

An upland farmstead of medieval origin sited about 120m. above O.D. The present house appears to incorporate part of the medieval fabric of a hall-house whose platform extends beyond the present three-bay house. The truncated house was of croglofft type with an upper-end chimney, cruck-truss central to an open hall and passage, and a re-set partition truss with a lapped collar (probably a re-used section of cruck blade) replacing a morticed collar. The fireplace beam was unsuitable for sampling. Description in RCAHMW, Caernarvonshire Inventory II (1960), 22, no. 709. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)


BEDDGELERT, Nantmor, Tŷ-mawr (SH 6103 4620), Inserted fireplace beam       

Felling date range: (OxCal modelled) 1537-63 (unrefined 1533-63)

Mantel-beam 1528(6). Site Master 1415-1528 bdgc9 (t = 7.2 BDGLRT23; 6.2 PENGWERN; 5.7 HAFOTY1)

A hall-house of gentry type tree-ring dated 1529 (VA 37, 130) having a hall of two bays with a central open truss, mortices suggesting a spere-truss at the entry, and cusped windbraces throughout. The opportunity was taken to sample the fireplace constructed against the arch-braced truss in the hall. The results showed that the fireplace was inserted relatively early. The fireplace beam has a date of 1619 (or perhaps 1579) cut into the chamfer. Plan and account in RCAHMW, Caernarvonshire Inventory II (1960), 18-19, fig. 22. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)


Beddgelert, Ty-mawr, Nantmor (SH 6103 4620)        

Felling date:  Summer 1529

Principal rafters 1528(21C), 1510(7, H/S+15C NM), 1504(2, 1), 1498(1); Screen head 1506(H/S); Collar (0/1). Site Master 1425-1528  BDGLRT3 (t= 6.3 BEDD_T6; 6.2 PENGWERN; 5.7 shu6)

The five-bay stone-walled hall-house of gentry type has a two-bayed hall with passage bay set between upper and lower storeyed bays.  The cross-passage doorways have voussoir heads. The house combines stone walls with good timber detail, including a post-and-panel two-door dais partition.  The trusses are of collar-beam type with an arch-braced central truss and two tiers of cusped windbraces. Some evidence suggests that the entrance to the hall was defined by spere-posts.  The inserted fireplace has a graffiti date of 1619.  Plan and account in RCAHMW, Caernarvonshire Inventory II, pp. 18-19, with further information in the NMRW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 181)


Betws Garmon, Ffridd-isaf (SH 5752 5280)

Felling dates:  Spring 1598 and Winter 1599/1600

Principal rafters 1597(45C, 36C);  Purlins 1599(38C, 30C), 1584(15); Transverse beam (0/1). Site Master 1423-1599 BDGLRT1 (t= 5.6 CLIVEHS; 5.4 ALCASTON; 5.3 CEFNCAR1)

A classic Snowdonia house, extended in the C19th, the old house surviving as a rear wing to the new house. The house is of two-unit  plan-type with cross-passage and gable-end chimney.  The two trusses are of collar-beam type and the passage partition of post-and-panel type.  The house is associated with a seventeenth century barn and eighteenth century cowhouse (fast-grown, not sampled). (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 181)


BETWS GARMON, Llwyn-bedw (SH 5300 5826) 

Felling date: Winter 1584/5

Secondary ceiling beam 1584(47C, 42C); Axial beam (0/1); Joists (0/2). Site Master 1504-1584 BDGLRT12 (t = 5.5 CLRENDN7; 5.4 OLDHLLFM; 5.2 WILBURY1; 5.1 BERRYPOM)

A stone-built, storeyed, sub-medieval house of Snowdonian type with gable-end chimney, situated by a knoll at 130m O.D. above the valley bottom.. A parlour wing (possibly of earlier date) has a mutilated plaster overmantel with part of a shield bearing the coat of arms of Collwyn ap Tangno. The earliest documentary reference (1583) matches the felling date (1584/5) obtained from the hall ceiling. Further details in NMRW with plan in RCAHMW, Caernarvonshire Inventory II (1960), 34, fig. 34. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)


CLYNNOG, Pant-glas-uchaf (SH 4770 4787)         

Felling dates: Summer 1571; Winter 1573/4

Purlins 1573(33C); Half-beam 1573(27C); Principal rafter inscribed 1562 R+W 1570(34C); Joist (0/1); Ex situ window head (0/1). Site Master 1413-1573 BDGLRT14 (t = 8.2 BADESLY3; 8.1 WALES98; 7.8 BDGLRT10)

A small sixteenth-century storeyed house (apparently with one room on each floor) situated at 190m above O.D. on the moorland edge. The range has the characteristic gable-end fireplace with winding stone stair of the Snowdonian house. The single collar-beam truss has the inscription 1562 R+W on the rear principal rafter, but this timber was felled nearly a decade later (summer 1571), and a purlin and half beam in winter 1573/4. Timbers in the associated and possibly earlier range (barn) did not date. The early history of the house has not been traced. Plan and description in RCAHMW, Caernarvonshire Inventory II (1960), 42-3 & fig. 38. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)



CONWY, Aberconwy House (SH 7819 7762)

Felling dates: Winter 1417/18, Winter 1418/19, Spring 1420

Joists (5/6) 1419 (14C), 1418 (8C, 18C), 1417 (15C, 10C); Main jetty joist/transverse beam 1418 (13C); Axial beam 1417 (15C); Transverse beams 1418 (14C2), 1403 (17); Jetty brackets 1597 (H/S), 1377 (H/S); Principal posts 14062  (h/s). Site Masters 1227-1419 ABRCONWY (t=7.4 TYMAWR1; 6.9 WALES97; 6.9 OLDBRFA1; 5.9 PLASMAWR)

Aberconwy House is a prominently sited storeyed house within the walled town of Conwy.  The house is visually striking with a tension-braced timber-framed upper storey jettied over a stone-built lower storey and basement.  Numerous closely-spaced curved jetty-brackets support each joist and rest on corbels.  The jettied floor arrangement is particularly interesting in that the central axial beam acts simple as a support underneath the jetty joists which span the whole width of the building, and that this beam is supported at the stone gable end by a similar timber bracket on a stone corbel, whilst the other end is tenoned into a principal jetty timber which sweeps down to receive the axial beam.  The plan of Aberconwy House is distinctively urban.   A street-level basement, probably for trading or storage, was set below a first-floor hall and outer room with further chambers above the hall in the jettied upper storey. There is no trace of smoke-blackening in the roof and the principal rooms were apparently heated from the outset by lateral fireplaces.  However, intriguingly, the timbers of the undercroft are soot-encrusted, possibly from an open fire or brazier. 

Estimates of the age of Aberconwy House have varied considerably.  It has long been considered a fourteenth-century site although RCAHMW advanced a cautious early sixteenth-century date in the Caernarvonshire Inventory.  Several building phases have also been proposed, however sampling has clearly shown that the different storeys are coeveal with closely-related felling dates of 1417-20 obtained from the principal timbers.  This house is not only the earliest securely dated townhouse in Wales but also the earliest identified secular domestic building in Wales.

Plan & description:  RCAHMW, Caernarvonshire Inventory, vol. I, pp. 64-6.  The dating was jointly commissioned by RCAHMW and Edward Holland for The National Trust. (Miles and Worthington 2001, VA 32, list 121)


DOLBENMAEN, Clenennau  (SH 5320 4240)

(a)     Front range        

Felling date ranges: 1520-50; 1522-52; 1535-49; 1551-2; 1574-1604; 1577-1607; 1581-1611

(b)     Rear wing          

Felling date ranges: 1556-86; 1571-1601

(c)     Repair phase to both ranges       

Felling date: Spring/Summer 1732

(a) Principal rafters 1512(3), 1518(7+33C NM), 1510(2+25C NM); Purlins 1570(h/s), 1566(h/s); Raking struts (1/2) 1511(h/s); Ridge 1563(h/s); (b) Purlins 1545(h/s), 1560(h/s); (c) Principal rafters (3/4) 1731(24C, 18C), 1714(2); Collars 1731(21C, 16). Site Masters (a+b) 1406-1570 BDGLRT10 (t = 10.0 BDGLRT17; 9.2 BDGLRT22; 8.9 ROYALHS3); (c) 1647-1731 BDGLRT11 (t = 6.4 BASINGDF; 5.5 CHAZEY2; 5.3 DRELM; 5.1 HANTS02)

Clenennau was the historic centre of one of the largest estates in Eifionydd, south Caernarvonshire, but was reduced to the status of a farmhouse by the eighteenth century and considerably modified. Tree-ring dating has shown the building sequence of this important house to be somewhat difficult to interpret, given the wide variety of felling date ranges. However, the present stone-built L-plan structure has a sixteenth century origin: the front range retains two arch-braced trusses from a (parlour) cross-wing probably built c. 1550 and adjusted in the latersixteenth century. The hall (with gallery referred to c. 1600) was reconstructed in 1732, and this rear range is now the working kitchen of the farmhouse. Plan and description in RCAHMW, Caernarvonshire Inventory II (1960), 67-8, fig.58. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)


DOLBENMAEN, Derwyn-bach (SH 4765 4520)

Felling date range: (OxCal modelled) 1549-52 (unrefined 1549-61)

Collar 1520(h/s); Joists 1525(h/s), 1516; Ex situ half-beams 1548(30), 1523(1); Rafters 1516(h/s+23 NM, h/s). Site Master 1385-1548 BDGLRT15 (t = 8.0 BDGLRT10; 8.0 PENGWERN; 7.6 BDGLRT8)

A storeyed house of classic Snowdonian type situated in an open valley at 110m above O.D. It has a cross-passage doorway with voussoired head, gable-end chimney and stone fireplace stair, and collar-beam trusses. The mid-sixteenth-century felling-date range identifies this as one of the earliest Snowdonian houses.. Plan and description in RCAHMW, Caernarvonshire Inventory II (1960), 71, fig. 63, plate 60. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)


Dolbenmaen, Gorllwyn-uchaf (SH 5829 4298)

Felling dates:  Spring 1533

Ex situ ridge piece 1532(37C); Unidentified off-cut 1532(35C); Crucks (2/4) 1529(28), 1522(28); Purlin (0/1); Inserted transverse beams (0/2). Site Master 1437-1532 BDGLRT2 (t= 7.1 CERFNAR1; 5.8 ALCASTON; 5.6 CLUNBY)

A stone-walled, cruck-framed hall-house incorporated in a two-unit house of Snowdonian plan-type.  Two cruck trusses survive, each with a morticed collar. Timber detail included a fragmentary post-and-panel partition with mortices in the head-beam (independent of the cruck) showing that the partition had three doorways.  Only the outer-room bay was originally floored over, and the hall was open to the roof until the eighteenth or nineteenth century.  It is not clear if the projecting end chimney is an addition replacing the dais-end inner-room.  Precise felling dates are from ex situ off-cuts from repairs of uncertain provenance.  However, they are consistent with the felling date ranges produced by two of the crucks. The house stands surrounded by mountain grazing, over 200m above O.D.  Account in RCAHMW, Caernarvonshire II, p. 70, with additional information in the NMRW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 181)


Dolbenmaen, Y Gesail Gyfarch (SH 5404 4175)         

Felling date:  Winter 1609/10

Joists (2/3) 1609(34C), 1470(2); Transverse beam 1569(H/S); Half-beam (0/1). Site Master 1384-1609 BDGLRT6 (t= 8.3 WALES97; 7.9 BDGLRT7; 7.8 PENGWERN)

A large Snowdonia house of gentry status, superseded by an attached farmhouse of c. 1830 and subsequently used as an outhouse. The tall, fully-storeyed house is of classic two-unit Snowdonia plan-type with end chimney and (lost) fireplace stair. Timber detail includes an ovolo-moulded mullioned window and the head-beam of a lost post-and-panel partition.  The roof-trusses have been replaced. The house is associated with the family of Wynn of Gwydir. Account in RCAHMW, Caernarvonshire II, p.73. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 181)