Thursday, 31 May 2018

The People of my (Medieval) Parish

I woke very early again today (4 a.m.) so I decided to put the extra hours to good use and have made a start on the Heritage Statement necessary for the planning permission for the relocating of our driveway across the area which used to be the paddock, but is now very overgrown garden.

I looked out all the old notes I had made when researching our house and its history in the 1990s, which coincided with my degree course, so I had lots of access to old records when I was backwards and forwards to Uni and the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.  I will need to go there again (and I need to renew my readers' ticket again) and look up several old maps I had jotted down details of.

Hmm - I've lost some plantings down the years, though the Potentilla is still there and doing well, and the Elecampane loves it and is now in several different places around the garden.  We need to keep the grass down now but it's difficult as we sold the ride-on mower many years ago when we got the horses and grazed this for a while.  Now it's back to garden we have to keep it that way.  But I digress, here are a couple of characters associated with this area, some with this actual house.

Llewellyn Voethus (the Luxurious) lived here in the 14th C.  He had a daughter named Jonet, who married Nicholas ab Philip and their only son was Griffith ab Nicholas, who married 3 times and was "possessed of great property".  Also it did him little good as he was killed at the battle of Mortimer Cross in 1461.

My favourite extract from the Dosparth III - Genealogy of Llwyth Elystan Glodrydd from this ode to David ab Thomas ab Grufydd ab Nicholas:

"David with the crop-tailed horse."  A neighbour of his had a young horse, of which David, who seems to have been an excellent judge of horse, had so high an opinion, that he gave him 24 cows, with pasture for themfor one year, which being considered a most extravagent price, exposed him to the ridicule of his acquaintances.  As soon as he had completed his purchase, he cut off the horse'sears, slit his nostrils and cropped his tail; after which he branded the skin all over with a hot iron, impressing numberless hideous and fantastic forms.  (POOR HORSE!)  Sometime subsequently, an opportunity was afforded him of showing his enemies, who had greatly amused themselves with his singular whim, of what metal his cropped horse was composed.  Being beset and closely pursued, as he approached the river, and perceiving his danger, he clapped spurs to his steed, and leaped across the stream to the opposite bank and then turned round and tauntingly derided his pursuers for riding such cows, on which they dared not follow him.  This is related as a most extraordinary feat - a leap on horseback which will never be leaped again."  (

Taken from Rev. T Ree's Topographical etc of South Wales:  

. . . . . "And he also tells him how richly caparisoned his charger would then be - (when he is knighted) - with gold trappings, and a gold petrel, and the saddle also, as well as the bridle, ornamented with gold."

Times are a bit quieter around here now . . . unless you lived anywhere near Nant-y-Ffin where there was an illegal rave last weekend, with a thousand or more people attending, and folk 5 miles away couldn't sleep for the racket of the "music".


  1. Such an interesting post. It must be fascinating to live in such an old property and be able to research the lives of those that have lived there in the past. Did feel sorry for that poor horse though!

    1. Thank you RR. I have another one to share - specific to this property, which I think you will enjoy.

      I felt very sorry for the horse too - I bet he was pretty nasty-tempered after being tortured like that.

  2. What a truly fabulous old house. Fascinating history - but oh, that poor horse. How wonderful to have access to the old documents - the very idea makes my fingers tingle with glee.

  3. Hi Elaine. I've not been near many old documents in a while (apart from typing up a neighbour's g. grandfather's experiences of the Siege of Ladysmith, stirring stuff that was). It does my brain good to get a workout again though an I can't wait to get up to the big Library at Aber.