Denbighshire (formerly Merioneth)

GWYDDELWERN, The Rose and Crown (SJ 0750 4670)

Felling dates: Winter 1570/71 and Summer 1572

Tiebeams 1570(37C), 1551(6+18C NM); Principal posts (4/5) 1571(13½C), 1568(23), 1545(h/s), 1532(h/s); Girt 1566(31); Principal rafter 1543(3); Fireplace bressumer 1537(h/s); Axial beam 1536; Window sill 1544(1+20 NM); Window jamb 1539; Joists (1/3) 1546(h/s); Cross beam 1515; Plank from screen (0/1). Site Masters 1411-1571 GWYDWN (t=12.0 WALES97; 10.7 PENIARTH; 10.4 PLASMAWR)

This site is one of the most interesting houses to have come to light during RCAHMW’s threatened buildings programme.  The Rose and Crown (formerly Ty-mawr: ‘Great House’) is a large storeyed house of hearth-passage plan, of very unusual mixed stone and timber construction.  The ground-floor walls are of roughly coursed rubble but the first-floor walls are close studded and the gable ends are fully framed with an upper jettied gable with robust pilasters and ornate (stellar) framed panels.  Remarkably, the trusses are set on posts which descend through the stone walls and in some instances rest on pad-stones at ground level; although there is no evidence for timber framing at ground-floor level.  Timber detail includes post-and-panel partitions and the rare remains of an un-glazed window with internal shutter grooves.  The fireplace is not bonded into the lateral walls.  The principal problems of interpretation were: was the fireplace an insertion into an open hall; did the posts of the trusses relate to a lost clay-walled phase (as suggested by Peter Smith); was the diverse timber detail of the same date?  Extensive sampling, informed by RCAHMW’s survey of the house (1999), dated all these elements to the primary 1570-72 phase.  Thus, the Rose and Crown was a new-built storeyed building of hearth-passage plan with an integral chimney, its novelty declared by the ornate timberwork.  Dating commissioned by the owners in advance of restoration works with additional sampling by the Laboratory as part of ongoing research into historic building techniques. (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 112)

LLANGYNHAFAL, Ty-coch  (SJ 1293 6380)

Felling dates:  Spring 1430

Crucks 1429(11¼C, 10¼C). Site Master 1375-1429  TYCOCH (t= 6.8 LANCIN; 5.7 SOUTH; 5.4  MALPAS1)

A large five-bay cruck-framed range set on a substantial stone down-slope platform that reaches a height of 1.25m at the lower end. The gable ends have been rebuilt in stone but four cruck-trusses survive.  The upper-end crucks are smoke stained, and the range appears to have had a two-bayed hall between a one-bay upper end and a two-bay lower end.  The upper-end trusses (dais and central open cruck) are full crucks, each having a lapped tie-beam, collar, and collar-yoke.  The blades of the lower-end trusses are truncated above the lapped collars and the ridge is carried on stubby king-posts.  The original tie-beams have been removed from all the trusses and with them the evidence for partitions, but rebates for doorways survive in the infilled dais and passage-end trusses.  The relatively early date of this capacious cruck-framed hall-house is to be noted. The house was converted to an agricultural range in the C18th and the walls reframed. Dating commissioned by RCAHMW in association with Denbighshire County Council. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 181)

LLANSILIN, Hafod, Rhiwlas (SJ 2050 3216)         

Felling dates: Winter 1429/30 to Spring 1432

Arcade post 1431(25¼C); Cusped principal rafter 1431(25¼C); Principal rafter closed truss 1431(26¼C); Tiebeam closed truss 1430(22¼C); Tiebeam with carved oak boss 1429(1C); Carved and pierced arch-brace 1430(22C); Arcade plate 1424(11). Site Master 1337-1431 HAFOD (t = 8.3 TYMAWR1; 7.6 WALES97; 6.7 OLDBRFA1)

A remarkable aisled gentry hall-house survives as the kitchen wing of a C17th farmhouse.  Two aisle trusses define the upper bay and dais end of the hall, but the house was probably fully aisled. The carpentry of the trusses is exquisite with pierced spandrels, delicate bosses, and multi-cusping. Hafod is the earliest rural house so far dated in Wales and it belongs to the first generation of high-status houses built after Glyndwr’s revolt.  It is however archaic in style and the style of carpentry at Hafod may relate to a stratum of high-status aisled houses destroyed in the revolt. Tree-ring dating commissioned by RCAHMW. Harold Hughes, ‘Notes on the architecture of some old houses in the neighbourhood of Llansilin, Denbighshire’, Archaeologia Cambrensis, 5th ser., vol. 15 (1898), pp. 158-62; Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside, (1975 & 1988) figs. 45, 55a, 62a. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 144)

LLANARMON MYNYDD MAWR, Ty-draw (SJ 1282 2793)      

(a)     Primary phase    

Felling dates: Summer 1477, Winter 1479/80  

Purlins (1/2) 1479(21C); Crucks (1/2) 1476(17½C); Windbrace 1475(21C?); Cruck spur (0/1); Raking struts (0/2); Sill beam (0/1). Site Master 1407-1476 TYDRAW1 (t = 5.4 HIARDEN2; 5.0 MILKST2; 4.9 HODNET)

(b)     Repair phase      

Felling dates: Summer 1641 and Winter 1641/2

Wall plates 1640(38½C), 1641(23C). Site Master 1511-1641 TYDRAW2 (t = 5.9 BROOKGT, 5.7 SINAI, 5.3 WALES97)

A dramatically platform-set cruck-framed upland hall-house-longhouse, the subject of a classic article by P. Smith and D. Hague (1958).  The two-bayed hall stands between an outer cow-house and twin inner-rooms.  The form of the passage partition, with the open panels suggestive of a feeding-walk, has been much discussed, but the function of the lower bay as a cow-house has now been confirmed by excavation. The refined carpentry is noteworthy. The hall has a central arch-braced truss with cusped struts, and a boss on the soffit of the collar. Tree-ring dating shows that Ty-draw is pre-Tudor, built from timber felled in 1479/80 (during the War of the Roses) and re-framed in 1641/2, probably after the insertion or rebuilding of a chimney. Ty-draw subsequently became a farm-building and has latterly become very derelict with the collapse of the trusses (R. Suggett, ‘Recent emergency building recording in Wales’, Trans. Ancient Monuments Soc. 45 (2001), 81-108 (pp. 87-8)).  Tree-ring dating commissioned by RCAHMW prior to excavation of the platform by the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, and eventual restoration of the house. P. Smith and D. Hague, ‘Ty Draw’, Archaeologia Cambrensis CVII (1958), 109-20; Peter Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside (1975 & 1988), figs. 23c, 36. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 144)

LLANSILIN, Tyddyncynar (SJ 2122 3043)

(a)     Primary phase    

Felling dates: Summer 1470, Summer 1471, and Summer 1472

Cruck 1470(31½C); Studs 1471(27½C), 1462(19); Tiebeam 1469(29½C). Site Master 1348-1471 TYDDYNC1 (t = 11.1 SALOP95; 10.3 WALES97; 10.0 NORTH)

(b)     Staircase phase  

Felling dates: Winter 1608/9 and Winter 1609/10

Treads 1608(21C), 1609(26C). Site Master 1459-1609 TYDDYNC2 (t = 8.1 bwl4; 6.9 CLUNBY; 6.2 PLASMWR2)

Another dramatically platform-set upland longhouse of medieval origin (cf. Ty-draw, above). The cruck-framed medieval house, originally timber-walled, has a two-bay hall, with arch-braced central truss (not cusped), set between outer and inner rooms.  The dais truss has a post-and-panel partition with evidence for a bench. The open panels of the passage truss suggest that the lower bay was a cow-house from the outset. After the timber for the crucks was felled in 1472, the next substantial phase of investment occurred almost 150 years later, when the chimney, ceiling, and stair of solid oak treads were constructed. Unpublished survey (NMRW); cruck trusses illustrated in Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside, figs. 39c, 42b. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 144)

LLANYNYS, Hengoed (SJ 093 585)

Felling dates: Summer 1438, Summer 1440, and Winter 1446/7

Arch-brace 1446(18C); Crucks (4/5) 1439(43½C), 1437(24½C), 1373, 1353(H/S). Site Masters  1366-1446 hnr3 (t = 7.3 TYMAWR1; 6.2 FORESTR1; 6.0 WALES97), 1167-1439 HENGOED (t = 8.7 WIGALL46; 7.7 WALES97; 7.4 SALOP95).

A substantial hall-house in the former township of Hengoed in the lordship of Ruthin.  The house was adapted as a farm-building in the nineteenth century. The wall-framing has been lost but the medieval baying survives with the full complement of five cruck-trusses defining the inner room, two-bayed hall, and outer room of a classic three-unit hall-house.  The crucks are large and slow grown, as befits the name Hengoed (= Old Wood), with some sooted open ring shakes which would have opened as the timber seasoned after construction.  Some 496 rings were measured in one cruck, although only the last 250 rings were dateable due to extremely distorted ring sequences.  The central hall truss is archbraced but not cusped. The partitions were framed with large open panels.  Hengoed is one of the earliest hall-houses of gentry type (with a two-bayed hall) which tend to fall within the period 1450-1500. The timber fragments of a later framed fireplace were fast grown (not sampled).  Dating commissioned by RCAHMW; survey in National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW). (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 36, list 169)

LLANYNYS, Pant-glas-isaf (SJ 0929 5958) Wall-framing               

Felling date: Winter 1674/5

Rails 1674(30C), 1655(10); Studs 1671(25), 1592(2). Site Master 1538-1674 LLANYNYS (t = 6.8 WALES97; 6.8 MASTERAL; 6.3 STOKE5)

A late-medieval four-bay cruck-framed hall-house surviving as a farm-building. The distinctive jointed cruck-truss, with chamfered post rising from the tie-beam between infilled panels, is best interpreted as the truss at the entry end of a single-bayed hall.  The cruck-trusses, as in many ‘peasant’ halls, proved very fast grown and could not be dated. The wall-framing probably dates from when the house was converted to a barn. Dating commissioned by RCAHMW.  Plan, sections and photograph in Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside, fig. 26, pl. 16. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 144)

RUTHIN, The Old Court House (now National Westminster Bank) (SJ 123 583)           

Felling date: Spring 1421

Principal rafter 1420(17¼C); Principal post 1412(14). Site Masters  1375-1420 nwr1 (t = 5.6 TYMAWR1; 4.9  nhra6; 4.8 PASTON; 4.6 nhra3; 4.4 NHRA), 1347-1412 nwr2 (t = 5.4 NHRA; 5.1 nhra5; 4.9 SHERNAVE; 4.6 NAGSHEAD).

The Old Court House stands in the Ruthin market-place and was historically a courthouse for the Marcher lordship of Ruthin.   It is a four-bayed timber-framed building with two-tiered framing of large panels, each bay with two deep curving up-braces from posts to wall-plate. Internally, the decoration is restrained, but each bay has trefoiled windbraces and the trusses are cusped at the apex. The Court House was restored by the National Provincial Bank in 1926, reinstating the central open hall set between two storeyed end bays. Despite short ring sequences, good matches were found with the neighbouring Nantclwyd House. Dating commissioned by RCAHMW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 36, list 169)

RUTHIN, Castle St, Nantclwyd House (SJ 123 581)

(a)     Hall Range         

Felling dates: Spring 1421 and Winter 1434/5

(b)     South Range      

Felling date: Spring 1625

(c)     South-west Wing - first floor beam: re-used?      

Felling date: Summer 1662

(d)     South-west Wing - roof  

Felling date: Spring 1734

(e)     Porch Chamber  

Felling dates: Winter 1692/3

(f)      North-east Wing

Felling dates: Spring 1663

(g)     North-west Wing           

Felling dates: Spring 1619

(h)     Oriel      

Felling date: Spring 1677

(i)      Hall fireplace surround    

Felling date range: After 1423

(a) Wall plates 1434(19C, 30C); Principal rafter 1434(28C); Purlin 1434(23C); Arch-brace 1434(17C); Girts 1434(16C), 1431(13), 1423(H/S); Wall brace 1433(23¼C); (b) Tiebeam 1624(28¼C); Wall plate 1595(H/S); Post (0/1); (c) Floor beam 1661(37½C); (d) Principal rafter 1733(43¼C); (e) Window sill rail 1692(23C); Studs (1/2) 1692(46C); Rail 1610; (f) Studs 1662(18¼C2); Corner posts (1/2) 1662(23¼C); Tiebeam 1662(25¼C); Girts 1656(28+5¼C NM), 1634(H/S); (g) Principal posts 1618(29¼C, 61¼C), 1557(H/S); Purlins (0/2); Bearer (0/1); Mantelbeam (0/1); (h) Door post 1676(28¼C); Door head 1648(2); (i) Carved panels 1402(+10 NM), 1393(+10 NM). Site Masters (a) 1336-1434 NHRA (t = 8.9 TYDDYNC1; 8.0 GWYDWN; 7.9 FORESTR1); (b) 1475-1624 NHRB (t = 6.9 HIERCALL; 6.8 BROOKGT; 6.6 SALOP95); (c) 1552-1661 nhrc2 (t = 5.9 YORKS2; 5.5 NORTH; 5.2 PBT_C); (d) 1621-1733 nhrc1 (t = 7.2 MASTERAL; 6.6 MC19 6.6 CHAZEY2); (e) 1619-1692 NHRD (t = 6.5 LLANYNYS; 6.4 NDH20; 6.2 NEWDIG2); (f) 1563-1662 NHRE (t = 8.3 EASTMID; 8.1 STOKE5; 8.0 WALES97); (g) 1487-1618 NHRF (t = 7.5 ASTONPIG; 5.7 GWYDWN; 5.6 OLDIMTN2); 1590-1618 nhrf6 (t = 6.2 HLSCROFT; 5.3 WELLSBRN; 5.1 SEFTON); (h) 1543-1676 NHRH (t = 7.3 EASTMID; 7.1 SENG98; 7.0 NORTH); (i) 1246-1402 NHRM (t = 6.5 37BSBOAT; 6.4 MASTERAL; 6.0 EASTMID).

A substantial and remarkably complete timber-framed townhouse of outstanding interest sited near the entrance to the castle. The core of the range is a three-unit hall-house sited parallel with the road, the earliest urban hall-house so far identified in Wales. It is box-framed with a jointed central hall truss with restrained cusping, with framing of large two-tier panels with up-braces; it is jettied on the road side. Subsequent developments are complex but have been clarified by tree-ring dating.  Precise felling-dates reliably date a further seven phases:  the added wings (b-c, f-g), the oriel (h), the columned porch (e), and the re-roofing of the south-west wing (d).  In addition, panels carved with fleurs-de-lis in the hall fireplace surround, probably introduced into the house in the twentieth century, were dated (i).  Three samples from the west service range failed to date.  Dating commissioned by Dr Charles Kightly for Denbighshire County Council in association with RCAHMW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 36, list 169)