by  • July 1, 2013 • Bridell, Farm, House, Modern, Pembrokeshire, Period, Post-Medieval, Site Type • 8 Comments


    The present name means ‘White House’, and the old name meant ‘Hobgoblin’s End’. Reference was made in 1615 and 1626 to “Plas Pant pecka”. Both names were recorded in 1779. In 1786 James Bowen, who became the Mayor of Cardigan that year, owned Tygwyn. Tygwyn devolved to Thomas Bowen of Pantyderi. In 1786-90 James Bowen leased Tygwyn to Mary James, widow. In 1791-1803 he leased it to Thomas Hassall. In 1805 William Lewis probably mortgaged Tygwyn to Thomas Gwynne.

    On 10th April 1813 an advertisement in the ‘Cambrian‘ included the following:

    “…Also, a capital new-built DWELLING-HOUSE,, and extensive farm-buildings, with 200 Acres of Meadow, Pasture, and Arable Land, called TYGWYN, situate in the parish of Bridell, in a pleasant vale, within three miles of Cardigan, in the occupation of Thomas Hassall, Esq, under a lease for three lives, at the low yearly rent of £75, and £1 3d. redeemed land-tax…”


    Thomas James of Plas Lawrence, Monington, wrote his will on 17th December 1815, leaving Tygwyn to his daughter, Mary Davies, and her husband, William Henry Davies. In 1832 probate was made of the will of Mary Hassall, late of Ty Gwyn. In 1838 William Henry Davies was the owner, and occupied Tygwyn from about that time until at least 1861. He and his wife, Mary Davies, also held property in Monington parish. On 1st May 1838 Vaughan James, son of William Henry Davies & Mary Davies, was baptised at St. Mary’s Church, Cardigan. On 27th May 1840 Marian Augusta Davies, daughter of the same couple, was also baptised at St. Mary’s Church, Cardigan. In 1841 the occupiers here were: William Henry Davies, 50; Mary Davies, 50, his wife; Elizabeth Davies, 20, their daughter; Frances Davies, 16, daughter; Margaret Davies, 14, daughter; William Davies, 12, son; Frederick Davies, 9, son; Mary Davies, 6, daughter; Simon Davies, 4, son; Vaughan Davies, 3, son; and Maria Davies, 1, daughter; plus 11 servants. On 28th November 1844 Tygwyn was confirmed to the aforementioned couple.

    In 1851 Tygwyn was the home of the following persons: William Henry Davies, 53; Mary Davies, 51, his wife; Elizabeth Davies, 28, their daughter; Frances Davies, 27, daughter; Margaret Davies, 25, daughter; William Davies, 21, son; Frederick Davies, 18, son; Mary E Davies, 16, daughter; Vaughan Davies, 15, daughter; Mariam Davies, 10, daughter; Frances Jones, 51, sister-in-law; Martha Richards, 22, house servant; Ann Lloyd, 29, ditto; Charlotte Griffiths, 27, ditto; John Bowen, 16, farm servant; Benjamin Williams, 27, ditto; Dan Davies, 24, ditto; David Francis, 17, stable boy; and William Williams, 14, errand boy. In June 1856 Simmond Davies, son of William Henry Davies, died. In 1861 the following persons lived here: William Henry Davies, 64, on half army pay; Mary Davies, 62, soldier’s wife; William H. Davies, 32, their son; Elizabeth Davies, 39, their daughter; Frances James, 42, relative, landed proprietor; Rachel Jones, 23, house servant and cook; Anne Lewis, 30, servant; David Williams, 11, servant; and Maria Thomas, 15, servant. On 26th May 1865 the property was advertised for sale by auction. On 18th January 1866 Margaret Davies, daughter of William Henry Davies & Mary Davies of Tygwyn married Robert Parkinson of Chorley. On 4th April 1868 Mary Davies of Tygwyn was buried at Bridell Church, having died aged 65. In 1868 the estate was advertised for sale. By 1869 Tygwyn was part of J. W. Bowen’s Plasybridell estate, and he had outbuildings erected here that year. In 1869 William Henry Davies of Tygwyn died.

    In 1871-1901 William Williams lived here. In 1871 the following persons lived here: William Williams, 32, farming 200 acres; Margaret Williams, 30, his wife; Walter Williams, 8, their son; Elenor Williams, 5, daughter; Phoebe Williams, 4, daughter; ? B Williams, 2, son; Margaret Williams, 1 month, daughter; and servants – Daniel Morris, 27; Joseph Bowen, 19; Anne Thomas, 18; Anne Jenkins, 16; and Mary A. Nicholas, 15. On 17th March 1873 Eliza Dora Williams, daughter of William & Margaret Williams, died aged 1. On May 3rd 1874 her brother, Benjamin Thomas Williams, died aged 1. On 14th June 1874 Walter Havard Williams, their brother, died aged 12. On 25th June 1874 Margaret Anne Williams, daughter of William Williams, died aged 3. On 6th February 1877 a ploughing match was held here. In 1885-1901 William Williams was a Guardian of the Poor. In 1891 the following persons lived here: William Williams, 51, farmer; Margaret Williams, 49, his wife; Eleanor Williams, 25, daughter; Phoebe Williams, 24, daughter; Joseph Williams, 21, son; William Williams, 14, son; Adeline Williams, 13, daughter; Margaret Williams, 11, daughter; Isabel Williams, 7, daughter; and Eynon H. Williams, 6, son. On 8th June 1895 Maggie Williams, daughter of William & Margaret Williams, died aged 16. On 18th June 1897 the 200 acre property was advertised to let. On 12th April 1900 Titus Morgan of Pontgarreg married Miss Eleanor Williams, elder daughter of William Williams of Tygwyn. In May 1900 the 205 acre property was advertised to let as William Williams was intending to leave. In 1901 the following persons lived here: William Williams, 62, farmer (b. St. Dogmaels); Margaret Williams, 60, his wife (b. Nevern); Joseph Williams, 33, their son (b. Tremain); Adeline Williams, 23, daughter (b. Bridell); Lizzie Williams, 17, daughter (b. Bridell); Willie Thomas, servant (b. Bayvil); and Johny Jones, 15, servant (b. Bridell). The household was Welsh-speaking. In 1901 William Williams was elected a Rural District Councillor. In 1903 Tygwyn still belonged to J. W. Bowen.

    In May 1904 the house was described in sale particulars as “…large and commodious and of residential character…” The lands then comprised 196 acres, 1 rod and 3 perches. It was then occupied by William Williams for £210 per annum. In July 1905 tenders were sought for building new stables and outbuildings here. In 1907 the following persons lived here: David Davies, Mrs. Davies, John Davies, David Evan Davies and William Davies. On 18th August 1910 William Davies, 32, of Tygwyn, married Elizabeth Thomas, 34, of Plas Whitchurch. In September 1916 Corporal David Evan Davies, son of Mr. & Mrs. Davies of Tygwyn, was killed. Lance-Corporal Tom Albert Davies of Tygwyn also served in the forces. On 20th October 1920 there was a sale of crops held here for Mr. Davies, who was retiring.

    About 1922 Benjamin Williams became the farmer until 1942. In January 1931 David George Williams and James Picton Williams lived here. On 30th October 1934 James Picton Williams, younger son of Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin Williams, married Miss Maggie Hughes of Maesyfelin. On 3rd March 1942 Benjamin Williams died aged 75 leaving a widow, Elizabeth Williams. On 28th December 1943 Miss Doreen Lewis of Tygwyn married John Higgon Francis of Llandissilio. On 15th February 1945 there was a clear-out sale here. In May 1945 Mr. & Mrs. David Williams lived here.

    In 1950-53 Tom G. James lived here. In 1952 Capt. T. Davies lived here. In 1955 W. G. James & Son were the farmers. In October 1956 D. Keri Evans lived here. In September 1958 Tygwyn was advertised for sale with 158 acres, described as a 7-bedroom house. On 17th October 1958 there was a clear-out sale here.

    In 1959 David Alan Davies lived here. In June 1963 James Thomas Davies of Tygwyn, formerly of Tresior, Fishguard, died. On 17th May 1969 Mary Ann Davies of Tygwyn died, widow of the late James Thomas Davies. The house became a listed building in 1994.


    The house was described by CADW in 1994:

    Mid C18 large farmhouse, altered since, whitewashed rubble stone with slate roofs and four C19 brick stacks. Long two-storey four-window range with two raised bands – one over each floor. 12-pane hornless sashes with cambered heads, one-window range set well to left with ground floor window altered to two plate-glass sashes in original opening, then three-window range to right with centre door in earlier C20 roughcast porch. A service range projects to left of main house with two windows below, both partly boarded as dairy windows and one 9-pane window above, red brick end stack.

    The rear of the main house is outshut except in left bay which is slate hung with ground floor 12-pane sash. Outshut has hipped porch and big centre gable with 12-pane upper window.

    The form of the house with the double raised bands suggests the earlier to mid C18 date. Marked on 1838 Tithe map as owned by William Henry Davies. In the later C19 it was part of the estate of J. W. Bowen of Plas y Bridell, who built one of the outbuildings in 1869…”


    Land Tax List for Bridell 1786-1803

    Bridell Tithe Map 1838

    NLW Morgan & Richardson MS 2383

    Census Returns 1841; 1851; 1861; 1871; 1891; 1901

    St. Mary’s Parish Register, Cardigan

    Bridell Parish Register

    Cambrian Journal 06/06/1856; 26/01/1866

    The Welshman, 26/05/1865

    Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1874; 1897; 1900; 1904-05; 1916; 1920; 1934; 1942; 1944-45;

    1947; 1949; 1956; 1958-59; 1963; 1969; 1999

    Cardigan Observer 1877

    Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1875; 1926

    Poster – List of the Board of Guardians, Cardigan Union 28/04/1885

    Accounts – Rebuilding Blaenywaun, St Dogmaels 1891

    Poster – Election of Rural District Councillors 29/03/1901

    Abstract of Accounts – Cardigan Union 02/08/1901

    Capel Mair Annual Report 1907

    Post Office Telephone Directory 1950; 1955

    The Place Names of Pembrokeshire, B G Charles 1993

    Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Cilgerran, Julian Orbach, CADW 1994

    Historic Houses of Pembrokeshire & Their Families, Francis Jones 1996

    (c) Glen K Johnson 05/08/2014


    8 Responses to TYGWYN

    1. Gary Williams
      August 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      According to an ancestor’s journal, my ancestor Alban Harries (c.1710-1770) and his father Thomas Harries (c.1670-1730) lived in “Ty Gwyn” (or “Ty Gwym”) in the northeast of Pembrokeshire, near the borders of Cardiganshire. But, “Ty Gwyn” appears to be a very common placename; I’ve located “Ty Gwyn” Farms in Nevern, Whitechurch, Verwick and Bridell parishes and I expect there are others. The Ty Gwyn in Bridell seems to be the best geographical fit, but your history above shows no signs of the Harries family living there.

      I wonder if based on your local knowledge you could suggest to me the parish of the “Ty Gwyn” farm that best meets the following geographical description from the journal:

      “The name of the father of my grandmother Mary Harris Williams was Alban Harries, he was born in the year 1710 and died in 1770, aged 60 years. He lived in “Ty-Gwyn” (white house farm) on the borders of the north of Pembrokeshire, and the South of Cardiganshire in the County of Pembroke, South Wales. He was a wealthy farmer, and gave one thousand pounds to each of his children, on the day they married….

      Thomas Harries, my great-grandfather. He was the father of Alban Harries, and Alban was the father of Mary Harries ( by marriage Mary Williams) and she was the mother of Mary John, my mother. Thomas Harries was born about the year 1670 and died about the year 1730, he was a wealthy man and lived in Whitehouse in Welsh (Tygwyn) [or Tygwym] some 10 or 12 miles from Newport, Pembrokeshire, South Wales. His wife’s name was Elizabeth, I have not learned her maiden’s surname. I have no knowledge of his children, only Alban, my great-grandfather. Alban had born to him, Elizabeth, Thomas, Catherine, John, Ann, Benjamin, and Mary.”

      • glen
        August 27, 2013 at 7:34 am

        Hi Gary
        Tygwyn is a tricky one to identify as there are so many of them about, but the description given would seem to fit Bridell – bear in mind I have no information on the period in question other than knowing that the property was most certainly there and occupied. Tygwyn, Bridell, was a minor gentry house, which would certainly fit the status of a wealthy man like Thomas Harries, and the existing building is mid-18th Century. It is quite likely that the Bowen family acquired it after Thomas Harries died, if this was, indeed, his home. The only thing that bothers me is the name ‘Plas Pant Pecka’ remaining in use until the 18th Century – I’d have thought that worth mentioning in the journal. If I learn any more I will certainly let you know. Meanwhile try searching the NLW website for ‘Tygwyn’ and ‘Plas Pant Pecka’ to see if anything comes up under Bridell.



    2. Gary Williams
      August 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Thank you Glen. I’ll keep researching. But I am finding very few connections between the Harries family and the Ty Gwyn in Bridell. On the other hand, there is strong connection with the Ty Gwyn in Nevern. I am starting to suspect that the journal passages, written in 1870s and 1880s based on the memory of his mother, Mary John of Little Newcastle, gives an incorrect description of where his ancestors’ Tygwyn was located. It’s possible that his mother supplied the name “Tygwyn” and that he extrapolated the location description of “Tygwyn Farm” based on his local knowledge of the Tygwyn in Bridell. It’s a theory I’ll work on.

      Again, many thanks!

      • glen
        August 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm

        It could well be the case. I have the same problem with several other common place names – there are three properties called ‘Mount Pleasant’ in St. Dogmaels parish, for example, as well as two called ‘Gilfach’ and two called ‘Penwaun’. Cardigan has at least three buildings called ‘London House’ and three ‘Farmers’ Arms’ – it’s a researcher’s nightmare!

        Best of luck with your research!



    3. Gary Williams
      November 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Glen, I wanted to come back and thank you for directing me to the National Library of Wales website. It helped me make significant breakthoughs given that it publishes digital images of probated wills. I have found the wills of Alban and Thomas Harry/Harries and many of their ancestors and relations in Nevern parish. I’ve also found several indexed deeds related to their properties, particularly of Tygwyn Farm in Nevern. Unfortunately, the deeds are not digitized and must be viewed in person; given that I live in the US, I don’t expect to view them anytime soon. But, I was able to learn much from the index information.

      Again, thank you for your advice and your excellent blog.


    4. Rhodri
      April 20, 2014 at 10:31 am


      There may well be a connection between Ty-Gwyn, Bridell and Ty-Gwyn, in the Cilgwyn Quarter of Nevern Parish.

      Mary Hassal was originally Mary Harries although was a widow Mary Griffiths when she married Thomas Hassal. There is in my view a strong possibility that her father was John Harries baptised at Cilgwyn Church, Nevern on the 27th August 1704 and the eldest son of Thomas Harry. Alban I believe was the youngest. His brother Henry was baptised on the 17th July 1709, so your date of birth for Alban Harries may be a year or more two early.

      I would be delighted to share information with you, as I am currently working with others on the Harries Family.

    5. Andrew Rees
      January 11, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      I have a brass martingale that was won by a distant relative in a ploughing match at Bassellec in 1901. The maker of the martingale was EJ Nancekievill of Newport Wales. Would you know the name of the winner? I think a distant uncle.

      • glen
        January 11, 2015 at 8:32 pm

        Sorry Andrew – have you tried Welsh Newspapers Online – there may be a report of the event. Regards, Glen

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