The name means ‘Fern House’. In 1861 the following persons may have lived here: Judith Owens, 27, grocer; Eliza Owens, 5, her daughter; and Betsy Davies, 4, her niece. In 1871 the following persons lived here: John Edwards, 48, Master Mariner; and Mary Edwards, 49, his wife. The present building is dated “5th October 1877” and was built or extensively renovated that year for Stephen Evans of Pembroke House, next door. Captain John Edwards, first captain of Cardigan’s S. S. “Seaflower” lived here. In 1881 the following persons lived here at Fern House: David Jones, 36, cordwainer; Elizabeth Jones, 44, his wife, house keeper; and John B. Evans, 24, lodger, Curate of St. Dogmaels.
In 1885 David Thomas Emyr James was born here, the son of David James & Anne James nee’ Lloyd. In December 1888 Sarah Jane James was born here, the daughter of David & Anne James. In the late 1880’s-1915 Captain David James, master of large ships out of Liverpool, lived here. In 1891-1936 Mrs. Annie James lived here. In 1891-1913 Sarah James lived here. In 1891-1914 David T. Emyr James lived here. In 1891 the following persons lived here: David James, 36, mariner; Annie James, 30, his wife; D. T. Emyr James, 6, their son; and Sarah Jane James, daughter. All were born in the parish and spoke Welsh. On 8th September 1892 John Lloyd James was born here, the son of David & Annie James. On 17th May 1896 a son was born to Mr. & Mrs. David James. On 3rd April 1899 Willie James, son of David James, died aged 5.
In 1901 the following persons lived here: Annie James, 40, wife; Sarah Jane James, 12, her daughter; John Lloyd James, 8, son; and Catherine L. Griffiths, 16 months, niece (b. Wellingborough). Except where noted otherwise, all were bilingual and born in the parish. In May 1909 David James of Tyrhedyn was the Secretary of Bethsaida Baptist Chapel, High street. In 1911 the following persons lived here: David James, 56, master mariner; Annie James, 49, his wife; Sarah Jane James, 22, their daughter; and Catherine Joan Griffith, 11, niece, scholar (b. Wellingborough). On 11th February 1914 Mr. D. E. Evans, son of Cardigan chemist Evan Ceredig Evans, married Miss Sarah Jane James, daughter of Captain & Mrs. David James of Tyrhedyn. On 25th June 1915 the death was reported of Captain David James of Tyrhedyn.
On 21st July 1916 Sarah Jane Evans, wife of Mr. D. E. Evans and only daughter of the late Captain David James of Tyrhedyn, died aged 27. On 25th January 1917 Lieutenant D. T. Emyr James, son of the late Captain David James and Mrs. James of Tyrhedyn, a member of the Royal Naval Reserve, was killed when H. M. S. ‘Laurentic’ was sunk by a mine off the Irish coast. He was 32. On 25th January 1918 Lance-Corporal J. Lloyd James of Tyrhedyn was awarded a Military Medal for gallantry on the field of battle. In July 1918 he was seriously incapacitated after being gassed. On 17th October 1936 Annie James, widow of Captain David James, died aged 75.
In 1938-39 John L. James, Kitty Griffiths and Dewi Griffiths lived here. In 1939 Maggie Lloyd also lived here. On October 16th 1939 John Richards of Tyrhedyn was buried at St. Dogmaels, having died at Cardigan Hospital aged 73. In December 1939 Miss Eilwyn James lived here, the daughter of John Lloyd James and his wife, Dorothy James, who was raised by Kitty Griffiths while her parents were engaged in war work. In 1943 Miss James lived here. In 1944 the following persons lived here: John Lloyd James; Kitty Griffiths; Dewi Griffiths and Maggie Lloyd. In May 1945 John Lloyd James of Tyrhedyn was home on leave from the forces. In 1947-93 Miss Kitty Griffiths lived here. On 17th January 1947 Miss Margaret Lloyd of Abigail House died here, aged 76, at the home of her nieces and nephew – Miss Kitty Griffiths, Miss Eilwyn James and Dewi A. Griffiths. In 1973 Dewi A. Griffiths of Tyrhedyn died aged 76. The house became a listed building in 1993. In 1993 Catherine Jane “Kitty” Griffiths died aged 94. The 6 bedroom property was advertised for sale in March 2002 and. January 2009.
The house was described by CADW in 1993:
“…Dated 1877, but possibly slightly earlier. House in brown rubble stone banded in blue slate with banded E end stack. Three storeys, double-fronted with paired bracket eaves and sash windows with marginal glazing bars. Small upper windows have painted brick cambered heads and painted slate sills, large first floor windows have recessed painted stone voussoirs to cambered heads and painted slate sills. Ground floor has flat-topped canted bay to left with similar sash to front and narrow side lights. Centre door with two arched panels and overlight in pilastered doorcase with console brackets to flat corniced hood. Similar sash to right with recessed painted stone voussoirs. Painted slate plinth. E end attic wall has plaque recording pine end as belonging to Stephen Evans, dated 5 October 1877.
Apparently built after Pembroke House, adjoining, though with similar doorcase and eaves detail.
Front area enclosed by spearhead iron railings on dwarf slate-coped wall…”
Census Returns 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901; 1911
Accounts – Rebuilding Blaenywaun Chapel, St. Dogmaels 1891
Cardigan Observer 1892
Occupiers List of Voters – St. Dogmaels 1894
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1906; 1914; 1926
Programme – Cymanfa Cerddorol, Bethania, Cardigan 20/05/1914
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1896; 1899; 1902; 1909; 1913-18; 1932; 1935-36; 1939; 1943; 1945; 1947; 1951; 2002
St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Burials 1885-1952
Blaenwaun Chapel Annual Report 1938; 1939; 1944
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Importance – St. Dogmaels, Julian Orbach, CADW
Monumental Inscriptions, St. Dogmaels Cemetery
The Phone Book 2003.
Sale Particulars – Tyrhedyn, J J Morris January 2009
Monumental Inscriptions, Blaenwaun Chapel cemetery
© Glen K Johnson 22/06/2013.