CARMARTHENSHIRE


LLANDEILO, Aberdeunant, Llansadwrn (SN 671 307) Outbuilding II

Felling dates: Winter 1793/4 to Spring 1796

Jointed cruck feet 1793 (30C); 1782 (H/S); Cruck blades 1793 (23C), 1795 (18¼ C); Collars (1/2) 1793 (13¼ C); Purlin (0/1). Site Master 1721-1793 ABRDANT1 (t=5.8 MDM17b; 5.6 MAENT; 5.5 ENGLAND)

Aberdeunant II is a two-unit storeyed cottage of central-entry end-chimney type associated with the main farmhouse of Aberdeunant I. Cottages such as this are often found in association with substantial houses in west and north-west Wales, and seem to have been multi-functional. They are variously described as bake-houses, outside kitchens, and dower houses. The dated cores were taken from the soffit-pegged scarfed-cruck trusses. Scarfed crucks are widely distributed in south-west Wales (cf. Houses of the Welsh Countryside, map 44). Scarfed crucks have been found in houses with eighteenth-century date inscriptions, but this is the first securely-dated scarfed-cruck truss in Wales. The multi-period farmhouse which has a medieval core failed to date. Dating commissioned by Iorwerth Esau for the National Trust in Wales. (Miles and Worthington 1998, VA 29, list 94)


LLANDEILO, Aberglasney House (SN 581 221)

(a) Rear service range

Felling dates: After 1531, after 1545, after 1567 (probably c. 1600)

Principal rafters (5/6) 1520; 1534; 1556; 1566; 1567. Site Masters 1429-1556 abg1345 (t=5.9 MILKST1; 5.9 PLASMWR1; 5.7 WHITEHLL); 1477-1567 abg112 (t=5.0 OLDIMPTN2; 4.8 BREMRDGE; 4.8 ASTNEYRE3)

(b) Hall ceiling

Felling date range: 1712-1742

Joist 1708 (7). Site Master 1639-1708 abg7 (t=7.6 MC19; 7.0 MASTERAL; 6.3 SALOP95)

(c) Main range roof reconstruction

Felling dates: Spring 1770 and Spring 1771

Tiebeams 1769 (16¼C); 1770 (12¼C, 14¼C, 17¼C, 19¼C2). Site Master 1689-1770 ABRGLSNY (t=7.8 EXCATH2; 7.6 MDM17b; 5.2 PENIARTH)

Several building phases in Aberglasney House have been identified and dated through dendrochronology. This is a multi-period country-house with gatehouse of circa 1600 and important garden features including a yew avenue or tunnel and vaulted wall-walk. Dendro-dating was commissioned by RCAHMW to establish a chronology for the house and garden features. Ex situ timbers from the demolished roof to the rear range were sampled, and five were found to have originated from two individual trees. Although none retained a heartwood/sapwood transition, the clustering of termini post quem or felled after dates between 1567 and 1578 suggests a building period towards the end of the sixteenth century or the early part of the seventeenth century, and likely to coincide with the assumed acquisition of Aberglasney between 1594 and 1614 by Bishop Anthony Rudd of St Davids, who probably reconstructed the house.

Samples from the main roof trusses over the front range dated to 1771; the king-post trusses are eccentrically designed to allow for a high front cornice. Below this remains evidence for an earlier roof level, probably relating to the second floor level over the two-storey hall from which a double-tenoned joist end produced a date range of 1712-1742. Other ranges were assessed for dendrochronology, but none contained timbers suitable for dating.

A yew tunnel, reputed to be 1000 years old, was found to be more likely to have been planted around the middle of the eighteenth century at the earliest. The work on the yews and other living trees from the house gardens was undertaken by Dr Martin Bridge of the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Further information can be found in: Miles, D H, and Bridge, M C, 1999, ‘The tree-ring dating of building timbers, the yew tunnel, and other trees at Aberglasney House and Gardens, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire’ unpublished report for RCAHMW deposited in the National Monuments Record for Wales. (Miles and Worthington 1999, VA 30, list 103)