The name means ‘Nook’. In 1766 the will of Jenkin Lewis of Cardigan left the property to his daughter, Mary Lewis. On 21st May 1768 “…Gill Vach…together with Outhouses and a large garden facing the river there…” formerly granted by Thomas Parry to Thomas Hugh, was then occupied by William Mathias Lewis. On 12th October 1779 the ground rent of Gilfach was included in the sale of the Plas Newydd estate by the Noyadd Trefawr estate. On August 26th 1814 Mary Rowland of Gilfach was buried at St. Dogmaels having died aged 37. On 18th February 1833 Elizabeth Rowland, daughter of James Rowland of Gilfach, was baptised by the Vicar of St. Dogmaels.
On 13th November 1836 Mary Evans, daughter of Evan & Phoebe Evans of Gilfach, was baptised by the Vicar of St. Dogmaels. On 13th December 1836 Mary Evans of Gilfach was buried at St. Dogmaels having died aged 3 months. On 17th March 1838 William Evans, son of Evan & Phoebe Evans of Gilfach, was baptised by the Vicar of St. Dogmaels. On 9th March 1839 Sarah John of Gilfach married William Davies, mariner, of Quay Street, Cardigan. In 1841 Phoebe Evans, 30; and William Evans, 4, were the probable occupants. On June 16th 1844 Elizabeth Rowlands of Gilfach was buried at St Dogmaels having died aged 6. On September 11th 1844 Livy Lloyd of Gilfach was buried at St Dogmaels having died aged 67.
The present house here was built in 1850 for Captain Evan Evans, Master of the schooner ‘James’. He may have married the Phoebe Evans referred to above. Evan Evans became the village Post Master and the new house here was probably the first Post Office in the village. In 1871 the following persons lived here: Evan Evans, 60, Post Master; Phoebe Evans, 59, his wife; and Mary Evans, 23, their daughter, general servant. In 1881 the following persons lived here at the Post Office: Evan Evans, 69, Post Master; Phoebe Evans, 68, his wife; Amelia Davies, 22, servant, Telegraphic Clerk; and Margaretta Davies, 19, servant, letter-carrier. On 30th April 1885 Evan Evans of the Post Office was buried at St. Thomas’ Church having died aged 74. In the late 1880’s William Stephens and James Lewis lived here. In 1891 the following persons lived here: Phoebe Evans, 79, widow; Margaret Ellen Evans, 22, her grand-daughter; and David Evans, 19, grandson. On July 19th 1892 Phoebe Evans, retired post-mistress of Gilfach, was buried at St Dogmaels having died aged 81.
On March 1st 1893 Lizzie Ann Bowen, daughter of Thomas Bowen of Gilfach, carpenter, was buried at St. Dogmaels having died aged just ten weeks on 26th February 1893. On February 26th 1894 Jane Selby of Gilfach was buried at St. Dogmaels having died aged 63 on 21st February 1894. On 7th August 1894 John Ladd of Trewidwal married Miss Mary Williams of Gilfach. On 19th December 1895 David Williams of Gilfach married Mary Rowlands of Moylegrove. On 20th February 1896 Evan Williams of Gilfach married Miss Amelia Thomas of Nevern. In 1897 Mary James, 68, of Gilfach, was receiving assistance from the Cardigan Union owing to her blindness. In 1901 Mary James of Gilfach, 72, was still receiving assistance from the Cardigan Unin Workhouse due to her blindness.
In 1901 the following persons lived here: David Morgan, 41, Calvinistic Methodist minister (b. Cardiganshire, bilingual); Catherine Morgan, 39, his wife (b. Merthyr, bilingual); and John Alexander Morgan, 7, their son (b. New Tredegar, Welsh-speaking). Gilfach House: Mary Jenkins, 44, wife; Elizabeth Jenkins, 22, her daughter, dressmaker; and Emiah Louisa Jenkins, 13, daughter. All were St. Dogmaels born and bilingual. In June 1907 tenders were sought for alterations to Gilfach to plans by Lewis Lewis, architect. On September 8th 1909 Elizabeth Griffiths, wife of James Griffiths of Gilfach, died aged 36. On 20th September 1910 Captain John Jenkins of Gilfach died aged 59. In 1911 the following persons lived here: Mary Jenkins, 55, widow; and Emma Louise Jenkins, 23, her daughter, milliner. Both were St. Dogmaels born. In 1912 Miss E. Jenkins, milliner, lived here. On 1st November 1931 Mary Jenkins, widow of Captain John Jenkins of Goilfach, died aged 75. In 1935-44 Mrs. Martha E. Cole lived here. In January 1954 D. Ladd Rees lived here.
On 2nd February 1995 the 3 bedroom property was advertised for sale, and again in April 2009-January 2010. It was sold in February 2010. In 2010-11 the property was sensitively refurbished.
Mid C19 house in painted rubble with imitation slate gabled roof and painted stone end stacks. Two storey and basement, 2 window range. Outer bays have small-paned sashes with stone sills and centre bay has ground floor door within C20 lean-to glazed porch.
Will of John Lewis, Cardigan, 1766
Unpublished Bill regarding William Webley 1773.
Gloucester Journal 09/08/1779
St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Marriages 1837-1970
St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Burials 1813-52; 1852-84; 1884-1952
Accounts – Rebuilding Blaenywaun Chapel, St. Dogmaels 1891
Census Returns 1841; 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901; 1911
Headed Paper – Miss E Jenkins, Milliner, Gilfach 15/08/1912
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1893-94; 1896; 1899; 1907; 1932; 1935; 1995
Blaenwaun Baptist Chapel Annual Report 1938; 1939; 1944
Monumental Inscriptions, St. Dogmaels Cemetery
Sale Particulars – Gilfach, John Francis 25/03/2009.
Monumental Inscriptions, Blaenwaun Chapel cemetery
© Glen K Johnson 16/08/2013.