The name means ‘Small Tumulus’. The medieval family here was descended from Rhys of Crugbychan, Lord of Caerwedros. He was succeeded by his son, Ieuan, who was in turn succeeded by his son, Rhys. Rhys’ son, Philip, succeeded him. In the late 15th Century, Philip, son of Thomas ap Rhys ap Mauredudd ab Owain of Towyn, married a daughter of Philip ap Rhys ap Ieuan of Crugbychan. Their son, Rhys, succeeded to Crugbychan. On 13th August 1574 Owen ap Rhys Philip of Crugbychan gave a mortgage of property in Ferwig to Rees ap Morgan ap Owen of Richardston, Pembrokeshire. Owen, son of Rhys ap Philip by Nest, daughter of Howel David Howell, married Elen, daughter of David Lloyd Griffith ap Rhys ap Gwernan and his wife, Janet, daughter of Sir Thomas Philipps of Picton, and had a son, Nicholas Bowen. Owain ap Rhys Philip was living here on 24th January 1588. About the year 1591 Nicholas Bowen married Elizabeth, daughter of Owen Phillips of Cilrhue, Llanfihangel Penbedw. They later had a son named George, and three daughters. One daughter, Elinor, married Edward Lloyd of Ffrwd, Carmarthenshire.
A new house was built here about the year 1600. George Bowen of Crug Bychan married Elizabeth, daughter of Hector (a.k.a. George) Phillips of Tregibby, Cardigan. Nicholas Bowen owned and leased four parcels of land in Llangoedmor, referred to in a document of 20th September 1609. Owain ap Rhys Philip may still have been living here at that time. Reference was made in 1620 to George & Elizabeth Bowen. They later had a son, John Bowen, who, by his first wife, Fortuna Prynallt ap Rheinallt, (daughter and heiress of Hugh Prynallt of Morfa Bychan, Llanychaearn), had a son, also named George Bowen. By 1640 this John Bowen, son of George Bowen, had succeeded to Crug Bychan. John Bowen had one brother and five sisters. His brother, Hugh Bowen, remained a bachelor. His sister, Elen Bowen, married Owen Bowen of Ferwig; Lettice Bowen married Nicholas Owen, Vicar of Aberporth and Mary Bowen married Thomas Morgan of Ferwig. Anne Bowen was married twice – firstly to John Williams of Ffoslas, Carmarthenshire, and secondly to Richard Lewys of Trefynys.
On 6th February 1653 John Bowen, then residing at Morfa Bychan, mortgaged Crug Bychan to Robert Lloyd of Cardigan. On 28th August 1654 John Bowen and his wife, Fortune Bowen, were involved in a dispute over property in Ferwig and Cardigan. On 16th September 1656 John Bowen, then residing at Morfa Bychan, mortgaged by means of sale “Krigbychan”, together with a close called Parke yr Hendy, to Robert Lloyd of Cardigan. In 1659 Hugh Bowen of Crug Bychan became the Mayor of Cardigan. On 3rd October 1661 Robert Lloyd leased the property to George Bowen, who lived here, describing it as a capital messuage. By 1st September 1665 George Bowen was being assisted in paying the rent by Hugh Lloyd of Cloydjack, Ystrad. Deeds dated 1680 show:
‘…1. Elinor Lloyd, widow of John Bowen and John Lloyd, relict and administratix of Robert Lloyd, late of Cardigan, gent, deceased, and 2. Hywel Davies of Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, and Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of said Robert and Eleanor Lloyd…”
This was a quitclaim of the former mortgage. In 1682 John Bowen of Morfa Bychan married Margaret Lloyd, daughter of John Lloyd of Cilgwyn. In 1683 John Bowen became the Mayor of Cardigan. His second wife was a daughter of Thomas Pryse of Glanfred, Llanfihangel Genau’r Glyn. John & Fortuna Bowen had four sons and two daughters. These were: George Bowen, who succeeded his father; Hugh Bowen; Nicholas Bowen; Charles Bowen; Mary Bowen; and Fortuna Bowen. The latter married Owen Jones, son of Thomas John ap Edward of Nanteos.
In 1693 reference was made to George Bowen, his wife, Elizabeth Bowen, and their son, John Bowen. Elizabeth was the daughter of Hugh Lloyd of Lloyd Jack. After his death, she married John Lloyd of Nantgowry. George Bowen may have died that year. John Bowen died in 1706. He left a son, also John Bowen, by his wife Margaret Bowen, daughter to John Lloyd of Cilgwyn. This younger John Bowen died in 1719 without issue. The Bowens had ceased to reside at Crugbychan by this time. In 1757 Anne Tindall of Carmarthen, widow, granted a lease of the property to Roger Rees of Ferwig.
In 1808 Samuel R. Meyrick described Crug Bychan as merely a farmhouse. On 26th December 1812 John Thomas of Crugbychan, farmer and widower, wrote his will. He referred to his eldest son, Mathias Thomas; son John Thomas; daughter Margaret – wife of Evan Evan; and youngest son David Thomas. In 1838 “Crug Farmhouse” was owned by Thomas Lloyd and occupied by John Williams. It contained re-used mediaeval roof timbers. In 1841 the following persons lived here: Mathias Thomas, 70, farmer; Margaret Thomas, 75, his wife; and Ann Davies, servant. Two agricultural labourers – David Thomas, 15, and John Jones, 10, lived in a separate dwelling here. In 1851 the property was occupied by Mathias Thomas, 81, farmer of 64 acres; Margaret Thomas, 82, his wife; and Margaret Davies, 30, house servant; John Jones, 19, farm servant; David Jones, 15, farm servant.
In 1861-72 John Williams lived here. In 1861 the following persons lived here: John Williams, 63, farmer of 128 acres; Margaret Williams, 56, his wife; Lewis Williams, 25, their son; Margaret Williams, 21, daughter; Benjamin Williams, 12, son; Thomas Jones, 19, servant/carter; Richard Jones, 18, servant/carter; and Margaret Evans, 21, barn maid. In 1870 John Williams owned shares in the 83 ton Cardigan ship ‘Mountain Lass’. Other shareholders included John Thomas – the Captain of the vessel, and Mathias Thomas, all of Crugbychan. The following persons lived here in 1871: John Williams, 73, farmer; Margaret Williams, 67, his wife; Lewis Williams, 33, their son; Benjamin Williams, 22, son; John George, 23, farm servant; John Richards, 16, farm servant; David Jones, 13, farm servant; Elizabeth Jones, 27, farm servant; and Elizabeth Jones, 15, farm servant. In 1872 John Williams sold his shares in the ship ‘Mountain Lass’. In 1875 the property was farmed by L. & B. Williams.
The following persons lived here in 1881: Margaret Williams, 77, widow, farmer of 128 acres; Benjamin Williams, 33, her son; David Edwards, 30, farm servant; Thomas Edwards, 21, general servant; Hannah Jones, 27, dairy maid; Martha Williams, 17, general servant; Mathias Thomas, 73, lodger, retired mariner.
From ca1883-1902 Thomas Davies lived here. In 1891 the following persons lived here: Thomas Davies, 34, farmer; Mary Anne Davies, 35, his wife; Elizabeth Davies, 12, their daughter, scholar; William Ithel Davies, 8, son, scholar; Anne Davies, 7, daughter, scholar; Mary Anna Davies, 4, daughter, scholar; Nellie Davies, 3, daughter; Mary Johnson, 21, domestic servant; David Lloyd, 21, working on farm; and William Davies, 15, working on farm. In 1901 the following persons lived here: Thomas Davies, 43, farmer (b. Llangoedmor); Mary Anne Davies, 45, his wife (b. Cardigan); Elizabeth Davies, 22, their daughter (b. Llangoedmor); William Ithel Davies, 18, son (b. Ferwig); Anne Davies, 17, daughter (b. Ferwig); Mary Anna Davies, 14, daughter (b. Ferwig); Nellie Davies, 12, daughter (b. Ferwig); John Davies, 7, son (b. Ferwig); and Owen Jones, 18, agricultural labourer (b. Cardigan, bilingual). The Davies family were all Welsh-speaking. In April 1902 Thomas Davies stood in a local election. On 12th April 1904 Miss Elizabeth Davies of Crug married Joshua Jenkins of Clynyrynys.
In 1908-29 William G. George lived here. In June 1908 the 128 acre property, occupied by William George, was advertised for sale. In 1914 Edith May George lived here. On 20th April 1924 Arthur George, 26, son of William George of Crug, died in tragic circumstances. On 21st September 1928 Miss Blodwen George, eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. William George of Crug (who lived at Trerhys, St. Dogmaels, with her sisters Emily and Maggie George), married Mr. J. Perkin Morris of Moylegrove. William G. George died in January 1929. On 10th February 1929 John Edgar George, son of the late William G. George of Crug, died in tragic circumstances at the age of 18. On 21st October 1930 Miss Doris Ceinwen George, daughter of Mrs. M. A. George & the late Mr. William G. George of Crug, married Ben Davies of Heolas, Ferwig. On 23rd July 1940 Miss Gwyneth George, daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. George of Crugbychan, married Trevor D. Davies of Penparc, Llangoedmor. In 1940 Mrs. Phillips lived here. About the year 1997 the property became a listed building.
Circa 1997 the building was described by CADW:
“…DESCRIPTION – Small farmhouse with undistinguished exterior but retaining mediaeval roof timbers possibly as early as 1450, reused for current C17 house. EXTEROR – Painted roughcast one-and-a-half storey double-fronted exterior with C19 slate roof. End chimney stacks, the larger on N end. Outshut rear, two C20 dormers and rear porch. C20 windows and rendered S end. W end has two 4-pane sashes, six panel door two glazed and two C20 dormers. Large lean-to on left side of W front with raised roof pitch to ridge and two C20 windows (one in roof). Outbuilding (bake-house) at right angle to main house at S end. Whitewashed rubble stone and slate roof of two storeys. N end door to left and one window each floor to right. Solid stone lintels to ground floor.
INTERIOR – GROUND FLOOR – Hallway has chamfered joists to plain beam on left with planked partitions under. Main hall has massive oak centre beam with pyramid stops one end. Chamfered joists with ogee stops except at hallway end. Large beam above fireplace has pyramid stop on front face and rests on oak beam leading to lean-to chamber to left. Both centre beam and beam above fireplace have housing for joists to be closer together. Massive fireplace beam (4m) and fireplace 3m wide with corner bread oven to left. Main hall originally had brick floor on beaten earth (not now in situ). Door with oak lintels to outshut on right. Four beams in outshut, one with scarf addition and purlin hole (reused from first floor of original building?). Parlour to right of hallway has three beams and some chamfered joists. The third beam nearest the hallway has at some time been turned through 90 degrees as the housing for a partition is visible together with a 2.5m wide entrance. Below this beam is a stone and timber partition with planked door. FIRST FLOOR – Five massive trusses as follows from S end. Truss one (marked V) chamfered and stopped at second purlin height with three purlin holes and collar mortice. One side has later pegged collar added. Truss two (marked IV) has collar mortice higher than truss one and is chamfered and stopped. One side has a scarfed base with two visible purlin holes. Truss three (marked III) is chamfered and stopped. Truss four is chamfered and stopped with one purlin hole visible on one side. Truss five is chamfered and stopped and both sides have a scarfed base, one with two purlin holes visible and the other with three purlin holes visible. This side is burn marked approximately 1m from the present floor level. Outbuilding (bake-house) originally one room and loft. Massive fireplace beam and oak lintels on windows and doors. A frames with iron staples probably Victorian.
Listed as a rare example of C17 farmhouse built incorporating timbers from earlier C15/16 gentry house…”
NLW Llwyngwair MS 13826
NLW Eaton, Evans & Williams MS 1185
NLW Morgan & Richardson MSs
NLW Kyle MSs 38-39
NLW MSs 40-41
The History & Antiquities of the County of Cardiganshire, Samuel Rush Meyrick 1808
Pembrokeshire Record Office: Abstract of Wills 1812 ]
Tithe Map of Ferwig 1838
Census Returns 1841; 1851; 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1875; 1895; 1926
Cardigan Observer 1879
Ballot Paper 1902
Cardigan &Tivy-Side Advertiser 1904; 1908; 1914; 1924; 1928-30; 1940-41; 1943; 1962; 1991
An Illustrated History of Cardiganshire, W J Lewis 1970
Official Programme – National Eisteddfod 1976
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Ferwig, Julian Orbach, CADW 1997
Cardiganshire County History Vol. III ed. Geraint H Jenkins & Ieuan Gwynedd 1998
Historic Cardiganshire Homes & Their Families, Francis Jones 2000
(c) Glen K Johnson 27/07/2013