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