The name means ‘New Place’. The property probably existed by 1556 when Rhys Vychan ap Rhydderch of Towyn, Ferwig, became the Sheriff of Cardiganshire and resided in St. Dogmaels. He was married to Enghereud verch Owen by 1560, and Rhydderch ap Rhys Vychan, presumably his son, lived at Sealyham. His daughter, Margaret, married Thomas ap Harry of Blaenpant and Noyadd Trefawr, Llandygwydd, in 1560 and Plas Newydd formed part of her dowry. Their eldest son, Stephen Parry, later lived here. In 1597 Thomas Parry of St. Dogmaels was the Sheriff of Pembrokeshire.
In 1629 Stephen Parry of Plas Newydd was the Sheriff of Cardiganshire. His son, Thomas Parry, later married Anne Phillips, daughter of Hector Phillips of Tregibby, Cardigan, and Cardigan Priory. Another son, David Parry, died here, heavily in debt, in 1642, and was succeeded by his son, another Stephen Parry, who died unmarried. In 1646 Stephen Parry occupied Plas Newydd, the grandson of the Stephen Parry mentioned above and son to Thomas Parry and his late wife, Bridgett Parry, daughter to James Lewis. David Parry of Noyadd Trefawr married Elizabeth, his second-cousin, heiress to the Abbey estate that year, and Plas Newydd rather than the Bradshaw mansion, became the main house of the estate. When Stephen Parry later died unmarried, the estate passed to his sister, Elizabeth Parry and her husband, the aforementioned David Parry. They had five children – David Parry, Elizabeth Parry (later married John Jones, Pantyderi), Mary Parry (died unmarried), Bridget Parry (later married John Jones, Tyglynaeron) and Anne Parry (married her cousin Stephen Parry, son of John Parry of Pant Einon.
On 2nd May 1650 Thomas Parry leased property in Bridell and Llantood from Morgan Thomas of Llantood, yeoman. In 1654 Thomas Parry became the Mayor of Cardigan. David Parry of Noyadd Trefawr, Llandygwydd, and Plas Newydd, died in 1664. At the Hearth Tax in 1670 Plas Newydd was assessed at six hearths. An outbuilding was renovated in 1674. David Parry, son of David Parry, was the High Sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1685. David Parry left two daughters – Elizabeth Parry and Bridget Parry, who rented out property in Llantood and Bridell on 28th September 1695. David Parry, son of David Parry, died unmarried in 1711. In 1713 Stephen Parry lived here. In July 1714 Maria Parry of Plas Newydd died. On 9th September 1714 David Parry was the owner and Stephen Parry lived here. On 5th April 1720 Stephen Parry and Anne Parry leased it to William Rowland of Cylgarthen and Charles Evans of Llwyndyrus. On 23rd June 1742 David Parry accused a number of men from the parish of pulling down hedges or fences of a close of his land here.
On 7th June 1774 Sir Watkin Lewis and his wife, Dame Rebecca Eleanor Lewis, of Kent, mortgaged Plas Newydd by lease and release to Rev. Henry Kent of Potterne, Wiltshire. On 12th October 1779 the Noyadd Trefawr estate sold the Plas Newydd estate by auction. After acquiring the property in 1779, Sir Watkin Lewis had the house largely rebuilt and considerably extended. In 1779-93 it was owned and occupied by Sir Watkin Lewis, the Lord Mayor of London in 1780. He later became head of the Cymmrodorion. His later years saw him lose his money to fast women and slow horses. In 1794-1802 there were various tenants farming the property. In 1811 Richard Fenton wrote:
“…A little to the eastward of St. Dogmaels, on a pleasant eminence stands Plas newydd, new mansion, a name perfectly appropriate, being a late creation of my countryman and old friend Sir Watkin Lewes, as a temporary residence whenever he found leisure from city duties to visit his native country. It commands a most delightful view of the ruined abbey, the estuary of the Teivy and the town of Cardigan, a prospect pleasing to any eye; but to that of the gentleman who raised this place doubly so, as it opened on the scenes of his boyish years, endeared by a thousand recollections, which neither time nor change of place can obliterate, and which cannot fail to delight though they should be associated wish the bleak mountain or the barren heath. Here I had the pleasure of drinking claret with the knight; what time he bore his civic honours blushing thick upon him, when neither of us wanted that national enthusiasm necessary to give enjoyment to such a convivial hour. This I understood was but a prelude to a much larger establishment he had in project somewhere on the banks at this charming river, which he did not want for spirit to have accomplished, could he have been reconciled to have lost sight of the praetorian chair, and could have resisted the fascination of the popularis aura, the emptiness and inconstancy of which he has, I fear, too late been made sensible of. Quitting this venerable retreat, we re-embarked…”
Sir Watkin Lewis had one child – a daughter named Justina Bann Lewis. Watkin Lewis died in the Fleet Prison, London, in July 1821.
In 1824 Herbert Evans of Highmead was heir-at-law of Sir Watkin Lewis. In the 1820’s old Plas Newydd was stripped to the bare walls and had disappeared by the 1860’s. An old cottage adjoining it had an external round chimney and a gothic doorway and must have been of a considerable age. The present building seems to have been added at a later date, probably by the Bowen family. On 30th May 1831 Mary Rees of Plas Newydd was buried at St. Dogmaels having died aged 77. The property is shown on a map of 1834. In November 1843 John Owen of Plas Newydd died aged 38. David James acquired Plas Newydd, but was declared bankrupt in 1846. On 14th May 1847 the following advertisement appeared in the ‘Pembrokeshire Herald‘:
“…April 21st, 1847. BOROUGH OF CARDIGAN. A very Eligible FREEHOLD ESTA TE for Sale by Private Contract, by order of the Assignees of David James, a bankrupt. TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE CONTRACT, ALL THE FREEHOLD & LEASEHOLD ESTATES, Of the said bankrupt, situate within the said borough and contiguous thereto, comprising (amongst others), a mansion, or site of an ancient mansion, called PLAS-NEWYDD, with the lands of GELLI, GNOLL, MISS MEAD, and MWTCHWR, all lying in a ring fence; COMPRISING some of the richest meadow and pasture in the Principality, and containing, by admeasurement, 34 acres (more or less), situate in the parish of Saint Dogmells, in the county of Pembroke, now and for many years in the occupation of the bankrupt. PLASNEWYDD, which for beauty of scenery is not to be surpassed, is situate near the picturesque village of Saint Dogmells, only one mile from the borough town of Cardigan, and from which there is a daily London mail, it stands on a delightful eminence, commanding a view of the Abbey, the village, and the estuary, of the Tivy, and the surrounding country. The tithes have been commuted, and the parochial rates are very low. For particulars, and to treat, apply to E. M. Miller, Esq., official assignee, St. Augustine’s place, Bristol Mr. James Smith, solicitor, Cardigan or to Mr. H. S. Sabine, solicitor, 50, Broad-street, Bristol. Cardigan, 5th May, 1847…”
The property was sold by auction with two cottages and 25 acres at Cardigan to Captain George Bowen, who conducted some alterations, or may even have built the present house. In 1847-78 Captain George Bowen (born 1794 in St. David’s) lived here. In 1847 George Bowen was the sole owner of the Cardigan ship ‘Adeona’, 19 tons. On 5th February 1848 George Rees Bowen, son of George Bowen, died aged 20. On 11th January 1849 Captain George Bowen saved two men from the brig “Agnes Lee” of North Shields, which sank on Cardigan Bar with the loss of nine lives. He swam ashore with both men lashed to one of his arms – an act of bravery that inspired John Owens to write a ballad in his honour. He was presented with a silver cup by the local gentry, and was elected the first Coxswain of the new Cardigan lifeboat before the end of the year.
Ca 1850 Albert Bowen, natural son of George Bowen and Maria Michael Lewis, was born here. On 9th February 1852 Captain George Bowen, son of the late Captain William Bowen, married his second wife, having been a widower for some time. His bride was spinster Maria Lewis, daughter of Thomas Lewis of St. Dogmaels, labourer. In May 1852 their daughter, Alice Bowen, was born. In 1854 George Bowen owned shares in the Cardigan ship ‘Tivy’, 25 tons. In 1854 he was sole owner of the Cardigan ship ‘Eugenie’, 44 tons. On July 25th 1855 Helena Louisa Bowen, daughter of George and Maria Bowen, was baptised by the Vicar of St. Dogmaels (d. Glanteifion 1926). On 6th February 1857 Elizabeth Ferrier of Plas Newydd was buried at St. Dogmaels having died aged 85. Captain George Bowen retired in 1857. On 10th September 1858 Arthur William Bowen was born. On 11th September 1858 his twin, Alfred George Bowen, was born, both sons of George and Maria Bowen. On December 16th 1859 Hannah Jones of Plas Newydd was buried at St. Dogmaels.
In 1860 George Bowen owned shares in the Cardigan ship ‘Britannia’. In 1861 the following persons lived here: George Bowen, 63, general merchant; Maria Bowen, 40, his wife; Albert Bowen, 10, their son; Helena Bowen, 5, daughter; Alice Bowen, 8, daughter; Arthur William Bowen, 2, son; Alfred G. Bowen, 2, son; David Sambrook, 30, servant, carter; Margaret James, 31, servant; and Mary James, 18, servant. On June 7th 1861 Alfred George Bowen, son of George Bowen, died aged 2. On 29th June 1861 Arthur Bowen, son of George Bowen, died aged 2. In 1871 the following persons lived here: George Bowen, 79, farmer; Maria Bowen, 57, his wife; Albert Bowen, 20, their son, sailor; Alice Bowen, 19, their daughter, dress-maker; Helena Bowen, 15, daughter, scholar; Arthur W. Bowen, 12, son, scholar; Catherine Rees, 22, farm servant; and, in a separate unit, James Jones, 25, Curate of St. Dogmaels. In November 1875 Arthur William Bowen, son of George Bowen, drowned at sea on passage from Bull River on board the ‘Saladin’ of Llanelli. He was 18, and was described as “…a promising lad…” Captain George Bowen died on 29th June 1878 aged 84, and his widow, Maria Bowen, died on 30th September 1878, aged 63.
In 1881 the following persons lived here: Alice Bowen, 28, farmer; Helena Bowen, 25, her sister; Cheryl Lewis, 36, servant; and Alban Alban, 36, lodger, clergyman. In 1881-1909 Rev. Alban Alban lived here. On 18th July 1882 a son was born to Captain and Mrs. David Jones of Plas Newydd. On 28th November 1882 Thomas Evans of Plas Newydd, married Charity Lewis of Whitchurch (they later lived at Pencwm). On June 21st 1885 James Jones, 27, a farm servant here, married Rachel Jones of Briar Cottage, St. Dogmaels. On 1st September 1885 Rev. Alban Alban, Rector of Bridell, married Alice Bowen, daughter of the late Captain George Bowen, and took up residence here until 1909. Margaret Davies lived here in the late 1880’s. In 1891 the following persons lived here: Alban Alban, 41, Rector of Bridell Church; Alice Alban, 37, his wife; and Margaret Davies, 32, servant.
In 1901 the following persons lived here: Alban Alban, 56, clergyman – Church of England (born at Llansanffraid); Alice Alban, 48, his wife (born in St. Dogmaels); and Addie Evans, 29, domestic servant (born at Cilgerran). All were bilingual. On June 13th 1901 May Anne Davies, 25, of Plas Newydd, daughter of surgeon John Davies, married John Cadwaladr Rees, surgeon of Newport, Pembrokeshire. On 9th September 1902 Albert Bowen, son of the late George Bowen, died aged 52 at the British Hospital, Monte Video. Captain George Bowen jnr. died the same year. On 29th January 1909 Rev. Alban Alban died aged 65. In 1909-14 Mrs. Alice Alban (d.1918, Riverside, St. Dogmaels), widow, lived here. The Plas was advertised for sale on 24th February 1911 with 36 acres. In 1911 the following persons lived here: Alice Alban, 57, widow (b. St. Dogmaels, bilingual); and Addie Evans, 38, servant (b. Cilgerran, bilingual). Mr. J. Jones lived here in October 1911. On 30th September 1912 a sale of stock, crops and furniture was held here for Mrs. Alice alban. On 24th September 1914 there was a clearance sale of furniture and effects here for Mrs. Alice Alban.
On 4th June 1924 George Thomas Jones of Plas Newydd married Maggie J. Williams of St. Dogmaels. On 15th March 1925 Mrs. Jones of Plasnewydd died aged 76 – the widow of Mr. J. Jones of Manian Fawr. In 1924-27 George Thomas Jones was the farmer. On 22nd June 1926 Philip Jones of Plas Newydd, son of the late James Jones of Manian Fawr, married Miss Joise Evans of Carmarthen. In May 1927 the 4 bedroom property was advertised for sale with 36 acres. On 3rd July 1927 Samuel J. Jones, son of Phillip Jones of Plas Newydd, was born. On 13th October 1927 there was a clear-out sale of stock, crops, implements and furniture here for George Thomas Jones, who was leaving. In July 1929 Plas Newydd was advertised to let. In 1934-35 Mrs. Philip Jones lived here. In the 1930’s and 1940’s Philip Jones of Manian Fawr owned the property. In 1937 Mrs. Bowen-Jones lived here. In 1938-40 Philip Jones and Mrs. Jones lived here. In 1944 Philip Jones and Samuel J. Jones lived here. In 1944 Mrs. Unwin lived here. In 1945 Mrs. Wriven lived here. In November 1945 Patrick Lionel Albert Ward moved here with his family In May 1948 the 4-bedroom property was advertised for sale with 26 acres. On 13th August 1949 the property was sold by auction with 26 acres of land. In December 1949 P. L. A. Ward lived here.
On March 4th 1950 the 5 bedroom property was sold with 27 acres to John Sambrook, who built a bungalow on the site of the original house. In 1950-63 John Thomas Sambrook lived here. On June 9th 1954 John Thomas Sambrook, farmer, youngest son of William Rees Sambrook, married Margaret Endora Davies of Church House, St. Dogmaels. In 1955 John Thomas Sambrook, Nellie Sambrook and William Rees Sambrook lived here. In December 1960 the Plas was advertised for sale – described as a 3-bedroom house. On 10th August 1979 the property was advertised for sale, with reference to a cellar, hallway, lounge 14’ x 12 ‘, Sitting Room 14’ X 12’, Dining Room 13’ 6” X 11’, 4 bedrooms and a bathroom. An attached cottage had been converted into a garage and stores. In the 1980’s the new owners, excavated the cellars. The house was made a listed building in 1992.
The house was described by CADW in 1992:
“…Circa 1810, altered; pebbledashed with slate pyramid roof and apex banded stone stack. Basement and 2 storeys. Flat eaves with paired brackets. Three-window north front with later C19 plate glass sashes, slate sills, and centre door reached by flight of slate steps, rebuilt in C20. C20 door and overlight, but original doorcase in modified classical style, 2 unfluted Greek Doric half columns, triglyph frieze and big oversailing cornice. Basement lights each side. Two-window west wall with 1991 conservatory. South east lower 2-storey rear wing…”
NLW Eaton, Evans & Williams MS 49
NLW Noyadd Trefawr MSs 597-598; 1601-1602
Hearth Tax List for Pembrokeshire 1670
NLW Wilfred J Hemp MS 58
Gloucester Journal 12/10/1779
Land Tax Lists for St. Dogmaels 1786-1803
The History of Cardiganshire, Samuel Rush Meyrick 1808
An Historical Tour Through Pembrokeshire, Fenton 1811
St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Burials 1813-52
Llangoedmor Parish Registers
St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Marriages 1837-1970
St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Baptisms 1813-58; 1857-1967
Census Returns 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901; 1911
The History of Cilgerran, John Roland Phillips 1867
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1871; 1878; 1882; 1885; 1896; 1902; 1909; 1911-12; 1924-27;
1929; 1934-35; 1937-38; 1940; 1944-45; 1948-50; 1953-54; 1960; 1979; 1995
Accounts of Rebuilding Blaenywaun Chapel, St. Dogmaels 1891
Occupiers List of Voters – St. Dogmaels 30/07/1894
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1906; 1914; 1926
The History of St. Dogmaels Abbey, Emily M Pritchard 1907
Register of Electors – Cardigan 1912; 1955
Blaenwaun Chapel Annual Report 1939; 1944
History of the Cardigan Lifeboats, Donald Davies 1990
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Cardigan, Julian Orbach, CADW 1992
The Place Names of Pembrokeshire, B G Charles 1993
Pembrokeshire Houses & Their Families, Francis Jones 1996
Historic Cardiganshire Houses & Their Families, Frances Jones 2000
Monumental Inscriptions, St. Dogmaels cemetery
The Phone Book 2003.
© Glen K Johnson 22/06/2013.