FFESTINIOG, Plas Pengwern (Pengwern Old Hall) (SH 6993 4304)                                                        

(a)     Cross-wing primary phase          

Felling dates: Spring 1478, Winter 1478/9 and Spring 1479

(b)     Cross-wing roof repairs/alterations         

Felling date / date ranges: Spring 1493, 1517-47, 1526-56

(c)     Kitchen range primary phase      

Felling date range: After 1483

(a) Tiebeams 1478(21C, 21C), Posts 1469(5), 1460(2); Transverse beams 1477(30C), 1467(17), 1395; Purlins 1458(6), 1458, 1416, Purlin re-used in Kitchen range 1455; Rafter re-used in kitchen range 1465(18). (b) Inserted purlin 1492(19C); Cross-beam 1506(h/s); Purlin repair 1521(6). (c) Ex situ floor joist 1472. Site Master 1353-1521 PENGWERN (t = 6.3 WALES97; 5.8 PENIARTH; 5.7 HEREFC)

Plas Pengwern is a large roughly H-plan stone-built house with a central hall set between wings, one medieval in origin.  Recent repairs to the  upper wing have revealed that it retains a largely complete and partly smoke-blackened medieval roof of four bays with tenoned ridge and purlins and two tiers of cusped windbraces.  The range appears to have been an elaborate timber-framed cross-wing whose hall has been rebuilt.  As well as the primary date for the trusses of the medieval wing, various phases of rebuilding and repair have been dated. Dating commissioned by Gwilym Jones/Peter Crew for the Snowdonia National Park in association with a survey by RCAHMW.  Plan in Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside, fig. 146a, with additional survey notes in NMRW. (Miles and Worthington 2003, VA 34, list 144)

LLANABER, Egryn Abbey (SH 5950 2034)           

(a)     Primary phase    

Felling dates: Summer 1507; Winter 1507/8; Winter 1508/9; Winter 1509/10

(b)     Flooring over of hall       

Felling date range: 1592-1622

(a) Principal rafters (3/4) 1506(16C, 17C), 1507(18C); Rafters 1508(25C), 1509(19C, 24C). (b) Lower girt 1584(3). Site Masters (a) 1433-1509 LLANABR1 (t= 7.2 PLASMWR1; 5.9 ARDEN2; 5.8 OLDWORD2); (b) 1447-1584 egr8 (t= 5.8 PENGWERN; 4.8 NWTNNTTG; 4.8 LLANABR2)

A remarkable gentry hall-house, stone-walled but with refined carpentry, a characteristic Snowdonia combination. The outer room has been replaced by a nineteenth-century cross wing but otherwise the house is virtually complete and retains its multi-cusped roof. A cusped aisle truss stands at the entrance to the hall and has twin bowtail mouldings on the posts. The hall roof is divided into two unequal bays by an arch-braced collar-beam truss with cusped apex, and a cusped louvre-truss is perched on the purlins of the larger (inner) bay. The dais-end truss has a two-tier post-and-panel partition set under the tiebeam. The seventeenth-century date of an inserted beam in the aisle truss relates to the modernisation of the hall and presumably dates the distinctive first-floor dormers and ovolo-moulded windows. The early sixteenth-century date for the hall refines the after l496 obtained by Esling before the roof was fully accessible (Studia Celtica 30 (1996), 246). It may be compared with the after 1476 date obtained for Penarth-fawr (VA 23 (1992), 45), a similar late aisle-truss house. Egryn is fully described by Peter Smith in J. and Ll. Beverley Smith (eds), The History of Merioneth, II: The Middle Ages (Cardiff, 2003), 446, figs 10.8-10.10; also P. Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside, figs 45, 55a, 62a. Dating commissioned by Elizabeth Biblio for the National Trust in Wales in association with RCAHMW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 157)

LLANABER, Egryn Old House (SH 593 205)        

Felling dates: Spring 1615; Winter 1617/18; Spring 1618

Transverse beam 1614(18C); Principal rafters (2/3) 1617(42C, 44C); Collar (0/1).  Site Master 1472-1617 LLANABR2 (t= 6.4 TUHWNT; 5.4 VICTWHF; 5.4 DINMORE1)

This four-bay, stone-built range, latterly an agricultural building, lies parallel to Egryn Abbey. It was originally domestic, probably built as a dower house when the principal house was modernised. It is a fully storeyed dwelling of Snowdonia plan with cross passage and end chimneys. Partitions have been removed but the beams and three chamfered collar-beam trusses survive intact, as well as one timber mullioned window with ovolo mouldings. It was formerly sampled but failed to date (Esling, Studia Celtica 30, 246). It is worth noting that the timber used for the beams and trusses had been seasoned or cut from dead trees. The construction date is therefore c.1620.  Dating commissioned by Elizabeth Biblio for the National Trust in Wales in association with RCAHMW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2004, VA 35, list 157)

LLANABER, Llwyn-du

(a)Principal house (SH 6001 1855) Felling date: Summer 1581

(b)Dower house (SH 5999 1854) Felling date: Winter 1592/3

(a) High-end first-floor cross beam 1557(6+22C NM); Low-end first-floor cross beam 1580(26C); Principal rafters (1/2) 1523; Upper purlin (0/1); Passage partition beam (0/1). (b) Principal rafters 1592(24C), 1535, 1503; Window lintel (0/1). Site Master 1404-1592 LLWYNDO (t = 9.4 BDGLRT14; .9.3 BDGLRT22; 8.7 WALES97)

(a) Llwyn-du has a classic Snowdonian unit system arrangement with the subsidiary house flanking the lower end of the principal house. The principal house is substantial, fully storeyed with collar-beam trusses and habitable attics. The plan is of Snowdonian type with parlour and hall on either side of a cross passage, and fireplace stairs alongside both end chimneys. The tree-ring date establishes the identity of the builder of the house as Robert Edwards (d.1616), member of a prominent gentry family and clerk of the peace for Merioneth (ex inf. Peter Thompson). Plans in P. Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside (2nd edition, 1986), fig. 221a-f.

(b) The subsidiary house is a classic Snowdonian unit-system arrangement, converted to a bakehouse in the nineteenth century. The two-unit dower house is storeyed with ground and first floor fireplaces. The tree-ring dates show that principal and subsidiary houses are broadly contemporary. However, both buildings had possible heartwood-sapwood boundaries without sapwood which produced estimated felling date ranges which are significantly earlier than the associated precise felling dates. It is not known whether these were stock-piled timbers, or had unusual amounts of sapwood. Plan and discussion in VA 38, 22. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2008, VA 39, list 206)

LLANDECWYN, Nant-pasgan-mawr (SH 6541 3656)

Felling date: Winter 1564/5

Crucks 1564(43C, 39C), 1535(2); Wall beams 1558(29), 1539(4); Ceiling beam 1536(H/S); Floor joist 1546(24+13C NM); Collar 1535(H/S); Mantel beams 1520(H/S), 1521(1). Site Master 1400-1564 HOH (t = 10 BDGLRT14; .9.7 BDGLRT7; 9.6 BDGLERT22)

A cruck-trussed, stone-walled, Snowdonia farmhouse with cross passage between small outer rooms and a large hall. The crucks are of open type with morticed collars. Other features of interest include the head beam of a post-and-panel passage partition, and a large end-chimney with fireplace stair. Evidence for a stair in the outer room suggested that fireplace stair and hall ceiling might be secondary. If so, Nant-pasgan-mawr belongs to a group of houses intermediate between hall houses and classic Snowdonian houses (cf. Gorllwyn-uchaf, tree-ring dated 1533, VA 37, 130). Tree-ring dating has established the relative lateness of the crucks, and shows that they are contemporary with the hall ceiling and beams. Dating commissioned by RCAHMW with Adnabod Ardudwy (Rhian Parry) and the co-operation of Rev. Jonathan Lumby. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2008, VA 39, list 206)

Llanfrothen, Bwthyn Cae-glas (SH 6281 4468), Cottage      

Felling date ranges: 1497-1527, 1519-49, 1527-56, and 1541-71

Crucks 1530(H/S), 1517(2), 1489(H/S), 1482(H/S); Collar 1508(H/S). Site Master (including previous entry) 1386-1547 BDGLRT7 (t= 8.6 WALES97; 7.9 CEFNCAR1; 7.9 PENGWERN)

A three-bay stone-walled range with two cruck-trusses, latterly used as a farmbuilding. The range has opposed central doorways and splayed window openings.  The range is difficult to interpret but appears domestic in origin because the lap-jointed crucks are smoke-stained.  This is provisionally interpreted as a secondary dwelling (dower-house) in a Snowdonian unit-system arrangement. The dwelling was probably of crog-lofft (half-loft) type with an open hall/kitchen. Of the four cruck blades, two seem to be somewhat earlier than the others. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 181)

Llanfrothen, Beudy Cae-glas  (SH 6280 4447), Cowhouse   

Felling dates:  Summer 1703 and Spring 1704

Purlin 1703(44C); Principal rafters 1702(30C), 1698(36 plus 1-5C NM), 1672(3+28NM); Collar 1664(H/S). Site Master 1578-1703 BDGLRT4 (t= 8.0 BDGLRT5; 5.3 DMCC-T9; 4.9 MIDHSQ01)

A detached cowhouse of three bays with a down-slope siting. The cowhouse was entered at the lower gable end; the upper gable having a loft doorway.  The two tie-beam trusses have lapped apexes and wavey collars.  The tethering arrangements have been lost. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 181)

Llanfrothen, Cae-glas (SH 6274 4571)          

Felling dates:  Summer 1546, Winter 1545/6, Winter 1546/7, and Winter 1547/8

Principal rafters (2/3) 1547(28C, 27C); Mantel-beam 1547(27C); Collar 1546(38C); Screen heads 1545(28C, 26C); Rear door head/lintel (0/1), Rear wing floor beams (0/2).  Site Master: see next entry

An early storeyed house of classic Snowdonian plan-type with a voussoir-headed cross-passage doorway and a projecting end chimney. The cross-passage was fully screened with post-and-panel partitions between the outer rooms and the hall. The first floor was open to the roof with two trusses of collar-beam type and two tiers of cusped windbraces.  The principal chamber has a corbelled-out fireplace.

LLANFROTHEN, Gelli (Gelli-Cornwydog) (SH 618 435)             

(a)     Primary phase mantel-beam        

Felling date range: 1564-9

(b)     Phase 2 roof      

Felling date: Winter 1615/16

(c)     Ceiling joists       

Felling date: Winter 1662/3

(a) Mantel-beam 1563(37+1-5C NM); (b) Transverse beam 1615(34C); Principal rafter 1615(41C); (c) Joists 1662(20C, 15C). Site Master 1391-1662 BDGLRT8 (t = 11.2 BDGLRT22; 10.3 BDGLRT7; 9.0 WALES97)

A two-unit cottage-farmhouse with end chimney and mural stair. The tree-ring dates show that the fireplace beam is earlier than the truss, suggesting a building sequence not immediately apparent. The suggested phases are:  (1) cottage with end chimney, probably of croglofft type; (2) modifications including new beams and a centrally-placed truss with morticed collar and doorway into a chamber with lost corbelled-out fireplace. The mural stair logically belongs to phase two but the 1663 date for the joist suggests either a repair or that the ceiling remained open to that date. Survey in NMRW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)

LLANFROTHEN, Garreg-fawr (SH 626 432), Bakehouse

Felling dates: Summer 1758; Winter 1758/9; Spring/Summer 1759

Purlin 1758(28C); Principal rafters 1758(33C, 18C, 16C), 1757(23C); Collar 1758(21C). Site Master 1590-1758 BDGLRT9 (t = 11.7 BDGLRT5; 8.6 BDGLRT4; 6.4 BDGLRT18)

An upland farmstead on the valley side about 150m. above O.D.. The main house is of Snowdonian type and as is often the case associated with a smaller cottage-like bakehouse that may have had a dual domestic function. The four-bay farmhouse failed to date but the lapped collar-beam trusses of the two-bay bakehouse were securely dated. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)

Llanfrothen, Hafoty, Croesor (SH 6312 4325)          

Felling dates:  Summer 1760 to Spring 1766

Joists 1765(50C), 1760(28C); Upper crucks 1760(41C, 25C); Purlin 1763(32C); Collar 1760(28C), Mantel-beam 1760(16C); Transverse/tiebeam 1759(20C); Cleat (0/1). Site Master 1581-1765 BDGLRT5 (t= 7.0 WALES97; 5.4 EASTMID; 5.4 CBMSQ02)

A storeyed cottage-farmhouse (tyddyn) in a range with former farm buildings.  The dwelling has a two-unit front range with a rear service wing.  It is dominated by a large kitchen end-fireplace with arched beam. The trusses are of upper-cruck type, with lapped wavy collars, set on roughly chamfered beams. The tree-ring dates show that the timber used was felled over a period of several years. The graffiti date of 1773 on the fireplace beam is significantly later than the latest felling date of 1766. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 181)

LLANFROTHEN, Y Parc (Park)   

(a)     Principal house (House 4) (SH 6268 4395)        

Felling dates: Summer 1660; Spring 1668; Winter 1669/70

(b)     Subsidiary house (House 3) (SH 6273 4396)     

Felling date: Winter 1654/5

(c)     Gatehouse: Gatws (SH 6282 4402)        

Felling dates: Winter 1617/18

(a) Collars 1669(52C), 1650(30), 1619(1); Principal rafters (4/5) 1667(58C), 1644(23+21 NM), 1633(17), 1620(8+44 NM); Queen strut 1659(37C); Purlin (0/1); (b) Transverse beams (0/1) 1654(36C); Lintel 1583; (c) Principal rafters 1617(50C), 1614(53); Purlin 1588(h/s); Collar (0/1); Transverse beam (0/1). Site Master 1386-1669 BDGLRT22 (t = 11.8 WALES97; 11.2 BDGLRT8; 10.7 BDGLRT17)

Y Parc (Park) is the classic example of the unit-system, as described by W.J. Hemp and A.C. Gresham, Park, Llanfrothen and the unit system, Archaeologia Cambrensis, 97 (1943), 98-112. Sampling was undertaken to establish the relative phasing of the group as a preliminary to future reinterpretation. As it stands (using Hemp and Greshams numbering) the buildings in chronological sequence are:  House 1 (sixteenth century demolished); the Gatehouse (1617/18); House 3 (1654/5) set corner-to-corner with House 2 (ruined and possibly earlier); House 4 with 1671 date inscription (last tree-ring date 1669/70). The great barn and the cow-house remain to be sampled. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)

LLANFROTHEN, St Brothens Parish Church (SH 6222 4118), Screen   

Felling date range: 1496-1506

Head beam 1495(21); Posts 1483(h/s), 1481(h/s), 1478(h/s); Sill beam (0/1). Site Master BDGLRT16 (t = 8.4 CEFNCAR1; 8.4 ROYALHS1; 8.2 WALES97)

A richly-moulded screen with open panels above a plank-and-muntin base, fully described by F.H. Crossley & M.H. Ridgway, Archaeologia Cambrensis, 98 (1945), 153-98 (pp. 178-80). The screen divides nave from chancel and there must always have been a screen of some type in this single-chamberered church. Cadws list description notes that the detail of the caps and bases of the standards suggested that this screen was very early, possibly contemporary with the lancet windows of the chancel. However, tree-ring dating showed conclusively that the screen was late fifteenth/early sixteenth century, as proposed by Crossley and Ridgeway. The half-round mouldings of the standards and head-beam are clearly related to the half-round mouldings found in high-status domestic contexts of the same period. The roof of arch-braced trusses with cusped windbraces was not sampled. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)

MAENTWROG, Caenycoed-uchaf (SH 6827 4065)                                 

(a)     Primary phase    

Felling dates: Summer 1576; Winter 1578/9; Spring 1579

(b)     Alteration or repair phase?         

Felling date: ?Summer 1593

(a) Principal rafters 1578(45C2); Rafters (1/2) 1578(32C); Transverse beam 1577(31C); Joist 1575(42C); Collar 1565(22+7 NM); Mantel-beam 1509(h/s); Tiebeam (0/1); (b) Joist 1592(31C?). Site Master 1407-1592 BDGLRT17 (t = 10.7 BDGLRT22; 10.0 BDGLRT10; 8.4 WALES97; 8.3 BEDD_T6)

A storeyed stone-built house of classic two-unit Snowdonian type with end chimneys and stone fireplace stair. Timber details include: a post-and-panel partition dividing hall from outer rooms; a timber diamond-mullioned window to the hall; a plain mullioned window to the service-room; and heavy trusses with morticed collar beams and trenched purlins. Survey and account in NMRW. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)

MAENTWROG, Plas Tan-y-bwlch (SH 6555 4063), East wing (re-used timbers)   

Felling date ranges: 1525-55; 1536-61

Floor beam 1516(2); Sill beam 1535(15); Floor joist (1503). Site Master 1411-1535 BDGLRT23 (t = 7.8 CEFNCAR1; 7.7 WPGASQ04; 7.4 GWYDWN; 6.17 PENGWERN).

Plas Tan-y-bwlch is a country house, now used as the Snowdonia National Park Study Centre. It was greatly enlarged in the second half of the nineteenth century, but the main block incorporates a mid-eighteenth-century house. This had an imposing three storey frontage and a rear wing also of three stories. The timbers dated by this study were all re-used as window lintels in the rear wing of the eighteenth-century house. They probably derive from an earlier structure on the site associated with Robert ap Ievan ap Iorwerth, who died circa 1568. Dating commissioned by The Snowdonia National Park Authority. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)

PENNAL, Cefn-caer (SH 704 001)

Felling dates: Spring 1525, Winter 1525/6, Spring 1526

(a)     Main range

Collar 1524 (24C); Principal rafters 1525 (27C, 29C); Rafters 1525 (22C2); Purlin 1491 (3). Site Master 1404-1525 CEFNCAR1 (t=9.4 WALES97; 8.9 PENIARTH; 8.2 PLASMWR1)

(b)     Repair phase

Felling dates: Summer 1658 and Summer 1660

Principal rafters 1657 (52C); 1659 (60C). Site Master 1491-1659 CEFNCAR2 (t=6.6 LANGLEY; 5.4 SEECHEM2; 5.3 lsy1)

A substantially complete late-medieval stone-walled gentry hall with fine timber detail sited within a Roman fort.  The three-bay hall with cusped trusses is set between inner and outer units with close-studded partitions.  The door-heads have distinctive double-ellipse profiles. The inserted fireplace and ceilings were not dated.  Dating commissioned by Snowdonia National Park in association with an exemplar survey by RCAHMW. (Miles and Worthington 1999, VA 30, list 103)

PENRHYNDEUDRAETH, Minffordd, Rhos (SH 5920 3871)       

Felling dates: Winter 1571/2 and Spring 1572

Mantel-beam 1571(44C); Principal rafters 1571(30C), 1539(h/s); Transverse beam 1571(18C); Purlin 1536(h/s); Screen head (0/1). Site Master 1434-1571 BDGLRT13 (t = 7.7 BDGLRT22; 7.1 BDGLRT6; 6.9 BDGLRT17; 5.8 WALES97)

A Snowdonian house of 1572 but probably of earlier origin: a fragment of undatable cruck blade is visible in the outer room. The large gable-end fireplace is original but the parlour fireplace is a nineteenth century addition. The nineteenth century stairs in the passage replace an earlier stair in the hall/kitchen indicated by a trimmer beam. The morticed collar of the visible truss has been removed. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)


Felling dates: Winter 1754/5; Winter 1755/6; Spring 1756

Joists 1755(33C, 32C, 32C, 30C, 23C, 11C), 1754(35C, 16C), 1741(1), 1734(h/s); Tiebeams 1755(31C), 1753(22+2C NM); Mantel-beam (0/1); Transverse beams (0/2). Site Master 1637-1755 BDGLRT18 (t = 7.8 WALES97; 7.5 BDGLRT5; 6.4 BDGLRT9; 6.4 EASTMID)

A late two-unit fully-storeyed house of Snowdonian type of mid-eighteenth-century date.  The detail is still traditional, with a large end fireplace, mural stair, and post-and-panel partition. The mural stair has been superseded by a staircase constructed in the passage, as is often the case. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 193)