The name means ‘End of the Upper Wood’. John Powell of Penrallt Uchaf was the Sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1568. He was involved in the maintenance of a suit at law recorded in the Calendar of Star Chamber Proceedings during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I:
‘…John Lewis of Llangrannog versus John Birt, High Sheriff, John Powell, Lewis David and others, re maintenance of a suit at law, perjury and subordination, concerning the sale of a capital messuage called plas Pen Yr Allt alias Llety y Fidelon Wyre, messuages called Tyddyn Llechryd, Penyfelin Fach, Tir Fagwr ym mhen y Pant Llechryd, Tir Nant y Crefand, Tyddyn y Cei and Tir y Fron Goch in Llangoedmore and Llechryd and a water mill called Y Felin Fawr…’
The property is indicated on Saxton’s map of 1578 as “Penyrallt”. On 15th December 1587 John Owen received the property. In 1609 Rhys ap Gruffydd Lloyd lived here. It is indicated on John Speed’s map of 1610. In 1699 Christian Jones of Penyrallt wrote her will. It was proved by her mother, Angharad Thomas, wife of John Jenkins of Penrallt that year. It bequeathed certain sums to relatives, including £5 to her nephew, David Jones, the son of her brother, when he became of age. She refers to her cousin, Elizabeth, also of Penrallt. David Jones of Penrallt became the Mayor of Cardigan in 1700 and again in 1705.
The farmhouse was built or renovated and dated in 1705. In 1714 David Jones of Penrallt Uchaf was born and lived here until his death in 1763. In 1724 David Jones of Penrallt Uchaf (father of the minor mentioned above?) became the Sheriff of Cardiganshire and wrote his will on 18th August 1724. On 30th September 1730 Deborah Jones of Penyrallt, widow, wrote her will. She referred to her sons David Jones (a minor), Samuel Jones and Thomas Jones; and her daughters Mary Jones and Lettice Jones. Probate was granted on 13th January 1736. David Jones married Elizabeth in 1738. David Jones held the office of Sheriff of Cardiganshire for a second time in 1748. In 1761-64 John Jones lived here. On 13th March 1763 David Jones wrote his will. He referred to his wife, Elizabeth Jones; Daughters Elizabeth Jones, Lettice Jones, Deborah Jones and Hester Jones; and sons David Jones, Thomas Jones, Richard Jones, Samuel Jones; James Evan Jones and Benjamin Jones – all minors. David Jones died in 1763 (will written on 13th March 1763 and probate granted on 18th April 1763), aged 49, leaving a widow, Elizabeth Jones, and was buried at Llangoedmor Church. He was succeeded at Penrallt by his son, John Jones, who leased the property to Rice Gwynn of Cardigan on 2nd April 1764. On 25th June 1780 Lettice Jones of Penyrallt wrote her will. She referred to her nieces: Mary Rowlands, wife of William Rowlands; Elizabeth Prothero, wife of Evan Prothero; Lettice McKeen, wife of Matthew McKeen; Hester Makeig, wife of John Makeig; and Deborah Jones of Cardigan; and nephews (sons of her late brother – David Jones) – Thomas Jones, David Jones, Evan Jones and Benjamin Jones.
On 18th August 1807 Griffith Griffith of Penyrallt wrote his will. He referred to his eldest son John Griffith; grandchildren – John Owens; Evan Owens; Griffith Owens; Ann Owens; Elizabeth Owens; son-in-law Owen Owens; and Evan Griffiths – his second son, living at Noyaddwilym. It appears that by December 1807 Evan Griffith had moved here and Griffith Griffith had moved to Noyaddwilym. Evan Griffith of Penrallt Uchaf died in 1831. In 1840 the property was owned by Evan Protheroe and occupied by George Griffith. In 1851 the following persons lived here: Mary Griffiths, 39; Jane Griffiths, 15, her daughter; Evan Griffiths, 13, son; Griffith Griffiths, 11, son; John Griffiths, 9, son; and servants. In 1861 the following persons lived here: Mary Griffith, 50, farmer’s widow; Jane Griffith, 23, daughter; Griffith Griffith, 19, son; John Griffith, 17, son; and Anne Thomas, 19, servant.
In 1871 the following persons lived here: Owen James, 28, farmer; Jane James, 32, his wife (nee’ Griffiths?); William Morris, 15, servant; Sarah Thomas, 17, servant; and Margaret Thomas, 14, servant. In 1871-75 Owen James was the farmer. In 1881 the following persons lived here: David Evans, 21, farmer of 170 acres; Anne Evans, 23, his sister; Thomas Evans, 16, brother; Griffith L. Evans, 12, brother; Susannah J. Evans, 5, sister; and Anne Davies, 18, farm servant. In 1889-91 Levi Jones lived here. In 1891 the following persons lived here: Levi Thomas Jones, 34, farmer; Annie Jones, 33, his wife; Annie Mary Jones, 7, their daughter; Griffith David Jones, 5, their son; Elizabeth Ellen Jones, 3, daughter; James Williams, 18, servant; and Anne Williams, 16, servant. In July 1897 Penrallt Uchaf, occupied by Griffith Evans with 165 acres, was advertised to let. In September 1898 the property was advertised to let. William Jones lived here in 1900. In 1900-02 Miss Sarah J. James lived here. In 1901 the following persons lived here: David Evans, 49, farm bailiff (b. Whitchurch, bilingual); William Edwards, 35, farm labourer (b. Llandisilio, Welsh-speaking); Mary Griffiths, 28, dairymaid (b. Llanboidy, bilingual); and Sarah James, 18, domestic servant (b. Cilgerran, Welsh-speaking). On 23rd October 1901 there was a sale of stock, crops and implements here. On 19th June 1903 Penrallt Uchaf was advertised for sale with 153 acres – William Phillips was the tenant. In July 1905 Penrallt Uchaf was advertised to let with 160 acres. In 1911-15 Howell James lived here. On October 26th 1916 Jane Griffiths, wife of David Griffiths of Penrallt Uchaf, died aged 50. On 4th December 1916 David Griffiths of Penrallt Uchaf, late of Colwyn, St. Dogmaels, died aged 45. In May 1924 the property was advertised for sale as part of the Glanolmarch estate. Mr. Amry Griffiths was the farmer in 1925-26. On August 18th 1936 Annie Mary Griffiths of Penrallt Uchaf, eldest daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. D. Griffiths of Penrallt Uchaf, was buried at St. Dogmaels, having died suddenly aged 45, on 14th August. In July 1937 Penrallt Uchaf was advertised for sale as the Messrs. Griffiths were leaving. In September 1937 it was advertised to let.
In 1940 C. Rotter lived here. In June 1947-51 John Evan Davies was the farmer. In August 1949 the 3-bedroom property was advertised for sale with 153 acres. On 13th November 1951 a clear-out sale was held here for John Evan Davies. In 1952 Mary Davies lived here. In 1953 D. O. James became the farmer. In 1994 the house and an outbuilding were listed.
In 1994 the property was described by CADW:
“…A little altered farmhouse group with unpaved bedrock yard. The 1705 datestone is among the earliest in Ceredigion.
FARMHOUSE – Early C18 or earlier farmhouse with barn attached below. Whitewashed rubble stone with asbestos roofs and red brick end stacks, larger to left. One-and–a-half storeys. Three large C20 eaves-breaking windows. Ground floor two 4-light casements, door and small 12-pane sash. Attached at NE corner is gabled projection with boarded window and door under rough dripcourse. Datestone above ‘DI 1705’. One side window. Added SW rear wing with brick end stack. House has heavy beams and fireplace lintel to E end kitchen.
BARN – Attached downhill to E with slate roof, camber-arched entry with stone voussoirs and double doors, in angle to house projection. One loop to left. 4-bay roof with triple purlins and pegged collar trusses. Three stepped loops in end wall and six tiers of paired dove-holes in gable with slate shelves. Downhill, attached at rear angle is an asbestos roofed stable with centre door and window each side, the left window with stone voussoirs, door and other window with timber lintels.
OUTBUILDING TO NE – Possibly early C18 outbuilding, perhaps originally a house. Rubble stone with asbestos roof and big stone W end stack. One storey and loft. Loft entered from slope by steps next stack. S front has central broad timber lintel entry and one window with timber lintel to right. Lean-to on right end with battered wall base and door in end wall. Loft light over. Pig-sties attached to rear.
Heavy beam to fireplace lintel and two heavy ceiling beams. Three heavy collar trusses to roof…”
Map of Cardiganshire, Saxton 1578
NLW Morgan Richardson MS 1951
Pembrokeshire Record Office – Abstracts of Wills 1730; 1763; 1780; 1807
Census Returns 1851; 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901
List of the Sheriffs of Cardiganshire, J R Phillips 1868
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales1875; 1926
Occupiers List of Voters – Llangoedmor 1889; 1900; 1911; 1915
Annual Report – Llwynadda C M Chapel Llechryd 1900; 1901; 1952
Historical Society of West Wales Transactions Vol. I 1911
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1897-98; 1901; 1903; 1905; 1915-16; 1924-25; 1936-37; 1947; 1949; 1951; 1976; 1997; 2009
Burial Register – St. Dogmaels 1885-1952
Post Office Telephone Directory 1940, 1950; 1953; 1955
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Importance – Llangoedmor, Julian Orbach, CADW
Historic Houses of Pembrokeshire & Their Families, Francis Jones 1996
Historic Cardiganshire Houses & Their Families, Francis Jones 2000
Monumental Inscriptions, St. Dogmaels Cemetery
(c) Glen K Johnson 13/08/2013