Although ‘Manian’ is first recorded by George Owen in 1603 as the name of the nearby stream, the house here dates from before this time. In 1603 the house was recorded as “Meynian Moore”. In 1620 reference was made to Manian vawr and Manian fach. Circa 1625 a girl named Margaret was born here, the property then being rented by George Lewis. The property was purchased by David Parry of Noyadd Trefawr, Llandygwydd, in 1646, and following his death, passed to his son in 1648. On 5th February 1652 there was a leasehold sale of Manian to Thomas Pryse from the executors of David Parry.
Abel Griffith or Griffine, perhaps of Manian, was in attendance at the Leet Court in Cardigan on 9th May 1653 and became a Cardigan Borough Councillor. He was the Mayor of Cardigan in 1657 and 1663. Matthew Griffith, son of Abel Griffith, was the Mayor of Cardigan in 1668. James Griffith, son of Abel Griffith, was assessed at 1 hearth for the Hearth Tax of 1670 – perhaps for Manian Fawr. On 27th July 1674 Abel Griffith of Cardigan (Castle?) wrote his will and referred to his sons, James and Matthew Griffith, and his grandson Abel Griffith – a minister of the gospel. In 1681 Matthew Griffith was the Mayor of Cardigan.
On 15th October 1691 during a dispute relating to rectoral tithes, James Griffith of Bayvil, aged 80, stated that he was a dairyman here for three years under Robert Lloyd, who rented Manian Fawr from David Parry. James Griffith of Cardigan, aged 60, had been agent here to his father, Abel Griffith, gent, after whom, his brother, Matthew Griffith had leased the property. The mother of Thomas Philip Henry, 80, of Nevern, had lived with relatives here before her marriage. Thomas Philip Henry himself had been a servant of Abel Griffith here. Margaret Richard, 66, had been born here, and deposed that the property was, at the time, leased by George Lewis. On 5th April 1720 Stephen & Anne Parry leased Manian Fawr to William Rowland of Cilgarthen and Charles Evans of Llwyndyrus.
William Owen may have been born here in the early-mid C18. His son Evan Owen was probably born here in 1746 and baptised on 18th April 1761. In June 1761 Elizabeth Lloyd, a widow, lived here. Ca1762 Mary Owen was born here, the daughter of William Owen. On 1st May 1771 it was leased by Marmaduke & Frances Gwynne of Noyadd Trefawr to Evan Owen for 21 years at £66. 3s. per annum, plus suit of mill. In 1771-1810 Evan Owen lived here. In 1788 Evan Owen became a Deacon of Blaenywaun Baptist Chapel. On 1st February 1793 Frances Gwynne of Bath leased Manian Fawr to Evan Owen, husbandman, for 3 lives at £10 per annum plus suit of mill. On 15th November 1796 Evan Owen and his wife, Elizabeth Owen, left the congregation at Blaenywaun Chapel. In 1798 Evan Owen built Soan Baptist Chapel at Trecwn. In 1800 Evan Owen became a Warden of St. Thomas’ Church (!). In 1803 his daughter married Rev. William Richards. Evan & Elizabeth Owen had children – John Owen, later of Foxhill; Evan Owen; Marian Emiah Owen; and Mary Owen.
On 31st January 1810 Evan Owen surrendered his lease and Manian Fawr was then leased to Benjamin Owen for 2 lives at £130 per annum plus suit of mill. In 1810-35 Benjamin Owen lived here. On 16th October 1827 Benjamin Owen was a burgess of Cardigan. On 9th March 1829 Lewis and Evan Owen, sons of Benjamin & Mary Owen, were baptised by the Vicar of St. Dogmaels. On 18th January 1830 Lewis Owen, son of Benjamin and Mary Owen, died aged 4 years and 4 months. Manian Fawr is shown on a map of 1834. On 5th May 1834 Benjamin Owen of Manian Fawr wrote his will. He referred to his wife Mary Owen; and his son Evan Owen. On 15th October 1835 Benjamin Owen died aged 50.
On 17th May 1836 Ellen Elizabeth Parry, daughter of William Henry Webley Parry and Catherine Angharad Parry of Manian Fawr, was baptised by the Vicar of St. Dogmaels. In 1838 the property was owned by William Henry Webley-Parry and leased to William Williams. William Williams was married to Phoebe Williams, daughter of John Rees of Eglwyswrw. In 1838-92 William Williams lived here. On 27th June 1839 Elizabeth Rees, minor of Manian Fawr, daughter of the late John Rees, farmer, married John George, mariner. In 1840-42 William Williams was a burgess of Cardigan. In 1841 the following persons lived here: William Williams, 30, farmer; Phoebe Williams, 20, his wife; John Williams, 5; Thomas Williams, 4; William Williams, 2; Morris Williams, 6 months; and five servants. On 11th January 1848 Mary Lewis, servant, of Manian Fawr, married David Jones, farmer, Moylegrove. In 1851 the following persons lived here: William Williams, 41, farmer of 350 acres; Phoebe Williams, 34, his wife; John Williams, 16, their son; Thomas Williams, 15, son; William Williams, 12, son; Morris Williams, 10, son; Elizabeth Williams, 7, daughter; Phoebe Williams, 5, daughter; and 7 servants.
In 1861 the following persons lived here: William Williams, 57, farmer of 370 acres; Phoebe Williams, 44, his wife; John Williams, 25, their son; William Williams, 22, son; Morris Williams, 20, son; Elizabeth Williams, 17, daughter; Phoebe Williams, 15, daughter; Joseph Williams, 8, son; Hannah Williams, 5, daughter; Benjamin Williams, 3, son; and five servants – Benjamin Thomas, 19, carter; John Richards, 15, carter; Mary Davies, 60, dairy maid; Mary Bowen, 22, house servant; and Dinah Morris, 19, house servant. On November 5th 1861 Walter White, 28, labourer here, married Mary Jones, servant at Trecwn. John Williams of Manian Fawr married Eleanor Rees, daughter of William Rees of Granant.
D. K. W. Webley Parry sold Manian Fawr to Thomas Harman Brenchley of Glaneirw in 1862. On 18th May 1864 future Mayor of Cardigan William John Williams was born here, the only son of Thomas Williams, Penralltddu, Llantood. In 1871 Manian Fawr was the home of William Williams, 61; Phoebe Williams, 54, his wife; Joseph Williams, 18, their son; Benjamin Williams, 13, son, Hannah Williams, 15, daughter, and servants – John Davies, 20; Mariah Thomas, 25; Thomas Williams, 12; Ann Joseph, 19; Margaret Owens, 19; and John Davies, 18. In 1876 William Williams may have been the owner of the 70 ton Cardigan ship “Emily”.
The following persons lived here in 1881: William Williams, 71, farmer; Phoebe Williams, 64, his wife; Joseph Williams, 27, their son; Hannah Williams, 25, daughter; Benjamin Williams, 23, son; Thomas John, 19, servant; William Mathias, 25, servant; Eliza Davies, 28, servant; Elizabeth Davies, 17, servant; Benjamin Williams, 14, servant. In the late 1880’s Manian Fawr was occupied by William Williams, Benjamin Williams, Sarah Sambrook, Mary Evans, Benjamin Williams (servant), Johnny Harries, Rachel Davies and David Rees. In 1891 the following persons lived here: William Williams, 81, farmer; Phoebe Williams, 74, his wife; Benjamin Williams, 38, their son; Benjamin Williams, 26, servant; David Richards, 28, servant; Benjamin Harries, 14, servant; Ann Bowen, 26, servant; Letitia Jenkins, 28, servant; and Ann Thomas, 14, servant. On 16th September 1892 William Williams died aged 83.
In 1892-1904 Benjamin Williams lived and farmed here. In 1901 he was a Guardian of the Poor. In 1901 the following persons lived here: Benjamin Williams, 43, farmer (b. St. Dogmaels, bilingual); Margaret Williams, 27, his wife (b. Nevern, bilingual); John Morris, 43, visitor (b. St. Dogmaels, bilingual); James Griffiths, 25, servant (b. Bayvil, Welsh-speaking); William Watkins, 50, servant (b. St. Dogmaels, Welsh-speaking); John Ll. Evans, 15, carter (b. St. Dogmaels, Welsh-speaking); David Richards, 15, general servant (b. St. Dogmaels, Welsh-speaking); and Martha Morgan, 20, domestic servant (b. Aberaeron, Welsh-speaking). On 22nd September 1901 a son was born to Mrs. & Mr. Benjamin Williams. In March 1904 Manian Fawr was advertised to let.
An early Christian inscribed stone was discovered here in 1904. On 12th October 1905 William Jones of Manian Fawr married Elizabeth Nicholas of Troedyrhiw, Ferwig. In 1906 the stone was moved to the Abbey grounds for safety. John Jones was the farmer in 1906-12. In 1911 the following persons lived here: James (John?) Jones, 61, farmer (b. Llanboidy); Sarah Jones, 62, his wife (b. Clydey); Philip Jones, 29, their son (b. Llanfihangel); Geprge Thomas Jones, 26, son (b. Llanfihangel); Mabel Jones, 10, grand-daughter (b. Cardigan, Welsh-speaking); Benjamin Rees, 17, farm labourer (b. St. Dogmaels); Benjamin Jenkins, 17, farm labourer (b. Clydey); Margaret Jenkins, 19, servant (b. Clydey); Maggie Evans, 16, servant (b. St. Dogmaels); and Jane Luke, 26, servant (b. Eglwyswrw). On 25th January 1912 John Jones of Manian Fawr, formerly of Tregibby, Cardigan, died aged 62.
In 1912 Sarah Jones lived here. In 1914 Mrs. Elizabeth Jones was the farmer. On 22nd September 1914 there was a sale of crops here for Mrs. Jones and George Thomas Jones of Manian Fawr. In 1918-45 William Jones was the farmer. On 15th October 1929 Miss Sarah Jones, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. William Jones of Manian Fawr, married Austin Jones of Trebared, Cardigan. From 1929-32 William Jones was the Chairman of the Vale of Tivy Agricultural Society. He held the position again for 1940-45. On 9th March 1945 William Jones, a senior Deacon at Gerazim Baptist Chapel, died aged 65. In July 1946 Manian Fawr was sold with 360 acres. On 24th October 1946 there was a clear-out sale here.
In 1947 Mr. & Mrs. Wasik and family lived here. In March 1950 Manian Fawr was advertised for sale with 287 acres. In September 1950 Manian Fawr was sold to Mr. Idwal Morgan. In 1955 Morley Idwal Morgan and Nelly Mary Morgan lived here. On 15th June 1963 there was a clear-out sale here. In September 1979 the property was advertised for sale. In 1990 a porch was added to the house. In 1992 the house was made a listed building.
The house was described by CADW in 1992:
“…Early C18 farmhouse, possibly earlier origins, altered. Roughcast rubble stone with small slate roof, L-plan with 3 stone end stacks. One and a half storeys. Double-fronted with 12-pane sash in stucco surround each side of centre door in 1990 gabled porch. Six-panel door with overlight. Two gabled eaves dormers, not aligned, with C20 plate glass and slate sills. Raised stucco plinth and angle strips. West end wall has similar 12-pane ground floor sash and small upper window.
Rear range has door in angle and C20 4-pane window to left. C20 porch. Upper floor has eaves breaking gabled small 12-pane sash to right and very small casement pair to left, under eaves.
INTERIOR – Heavy beams to 2 front rooms, south room beams encased and room panelled in late C19 boarding. Rear wing has narrow staircase, dog-leg, smaller ceiling beams and large end fireplace, the lintel replaced in iron after fire damage. Main range has 5-bay pegged oak roof withheavy collar trusses, and rear range has 2 heavy scarfed crucks and one raised cruck blade on north side, south side principal timbers are replaced…”
Hearth Tax List for Pembrokeshire 1670
NLW Noyadd Trefawr MSs 472; 1601-1602; 949; 979; 1022-1023
Pembrokeshire Record Office: HPR/145/15-18
Pembrokeshire Record Office: Abstract of Wills 1761; 1834
Gloucester Journal 09/08/1779
St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Baptisms 1813-58
NLW Minor Deposit 490-9B
Map of Cardigan, John Wood 1834
St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Marriages 1837-1970
Tithe Map of St. Dogmaels 1838
Census Returns 1841; 1851; 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901; 1911
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1875; 1906; 1914; 1926
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1885; 1892; 1896; 1901; 1904-05; 1911-12; 1914; 1923; 1929;
1939; 1941-42; 1945-46; 1950; 1952; 1963; 1971; 1973-75; 1979; 1983; 1994; 1996-99
Accounts – Rebuilding Blaenywaun Chapel, St Dogmaels 1891
Hanes Blaenywaun, Benjamin Rees 1899
Abstract of Accounts – Cardigan Union 02/08/1901
The History of St Dogmaels Abbey, Emily M Pritchard 1907
Register of Electors – Cardigan 1912; 1955
Register of St. Dogmaels Parochial School
Post Office Telephone Directory 1955
The Vale of Tivy Agricultural Society Diamond Jubilee 1962
Elizabethan Pembrokeshire, George Owen, ed. Brian Howells 1973
Maritime Heritage, J Geraint Jenkins 1982
The Place Names of Pembrokeshire, B G Charles 1993
The Phone Book 2003.
Survey at Manian Fawr, St. Dogmaels, Glen K Johnson 03/09/2010.
© Glen K Johnson 22/06/2013