Farmers and Fields in Nineteenth Century Wales: the case of Llanrhystud


R J Moore-Colyer, National Library of Wales journal, 1989, Summer. Volume XXVI/1

Extracted onto the pages of GENUKI with the kind permission of the National Library of Wales

This is a complete extract of this article by Bill Griffith-Jones, March 2003

For a variety of reasons the historiography of rural Wales is littered with broad, and frequently vague generalisations with respect both to the ownership and occupation of land and to the economic and social relationships between those for whom the land either directly or indirectly provided a source of livelihood. An outsider reviewing the corpus of published work could hardly fail to conclude that the countryside of nineteenth-century Wales was overwhelmingly dominated by a landowning class under whose direction (enlightened or otherwise) generations of tenants farmed in conditions of tenuous security. While such a conclusion would be broadly correct it must, nevertheless, be borne in mind that many, if not most, studies of land ownership and tenure have drawn heavily upon estate archives which by their very nature provide few glimpses of the extent of freehold occupation. For parishes predominantly owned by one or two rentiers whose agents and lawyers maintained a continuum of detailed records it is a relatively simple matter, by studying rentals, leases and other estate material, to draw together a comprehensive account of change and continuity of occupation over a lengthy timespan. Such, indeed, is the case in the Cardiganshire parishes to the north of the Ystwyth where the vast majority of the land remained, until the late nineteenth century, under the direct control of the great houses of Gogerddan, Nanteos, Trawsgoed and Hafod. In the southern parishes, however, estates were more modest in scale and though the owners of Castle Hill, Mynachty, Ty Glyn and Llanllyr, among others, held sway over a considerable acreage, the overall pattern of land ownership was complicated by the existence of numerous freehold properties. The situation is typified by the parish of Llanrhystud, subject of the present essay.

Bounded to the east by the Mynydd Bach and to the west by Cardigan Bay, Llanrhystud overlies rocks of the Silurian series through which the Wyre and Wyre Fach have cut the two steepsided valleys dominating the parish. Rising steeply from the raised beach to the south of the village, the majority of the land occupies elevations of between 400 and 500 feet with a gradual increase in height towards the Mynydd Bach. In common with other coastal parishes in this part of Wales, soils are predominantly acidic due to a combination of high rainfall and acid parent rock and allied to generally poor drainage characteristics and the ravages of salt-laden winds sweeping in from Cardigan Bay, this imposes limitations to agricultural potential. Although the land of more southerly aspect is capable of supporting arable crops, pastoral farming continues to prevail and has been the principal source of farm income for the past five hundred years.

The Tithe Apportionment, drawn up in 1839, reveals that no more than 46 per cent of the total land area of Llanrhystud was in the hands of 'significant' gentry owners among whom J. P. L. Phillips of Mabws (1978 acres), David Saunders Davies of Pentre in Pembrokeshire (805 acres) and John Hughes of Alltlwyd (503 acres) were the more important. Between them these men held 59 farms whereas the remaining gentry, Lord Carrington, the Earl of Lisburne, the Rev. James Hughes and James Morice of Wallog and Llanrhystud owned 11 holdings embracing 422 acres. Of the remaining 4600 acres, the bulk was in the freehold ownership of small proprietors some working their own land, others farming one or two holdings and letting the remainder while the rest, like the Parry brothers of the Aberystwyth law firm, who together owned 6 farms totalling 596 acres, were mere rentiers. Overall, of the 52 small owners, 21 solely farmed their own holdings, a further 8 worked and let land and the residue, some living in Llanrhystud and others further afield, drew their rents (See Appendix II).

It has been amply demonstrated by Habbakuk, Mingay and others that in England the period between the Restoration and the mid 18th century witnessed a steady decline in the numbers both of small gentry and peasant freeholders as large magnates sought by various means to extend and consolidate their territory. Such a decline, however, was less pronounced in Wales where the temptation to sell out to neighbours with territorial and social ambitions was offset by a deep personal attachment to the land leavened by fierce pride in lineage and a sense of belonging to an unbroken continuum of occupation of hereditary property. 1  Even though a series of inclement seasons might precipitate acute financial difficulties, the freeholder, secure in the knowledge of his local social standing, seems to have had the capacity to withstand economic adversity by retrenchment and careful husbandry. If his economic status was often below that of his tenant-farming neighbour, the freeholder enjoyed considerable prestige within the community, especially in a parish like Llanrhystud where no single landowning family dominated. It is significant in this respect that eight owners of modest freehold properties, all of whom occupied important positions in parish administration, are designated 'gentleman' in the Llanrhystud Vestry Book of 1773.   2

According to James Caird, of the half million or so farms in England and Wales in 1851 some 70 per cent contained less than 50 acres, many of these lying in the Principality. 3 This contention is reinforced by the evidence of Welsh estate records. Typically, over half the farms on the Hengwrt (Meirioneth) estate were below 10 acres in the 1790s, with 70-80 per cent of the Hawarden (Flint) and Gwynsaney (Denbigh) holdings occupying less than 50 acres, a similar proportion of farms in early 19th-century Glamorgan embracing fewer than 100 acres. 4  In hilly areas of the country farm size tended to vary according to whether a parish contained a number of large upland holdings associated with extensive sheepwalks. Thus, a recent survey of 763 farms (112,000 acres) in late 18th and early 19th-century Cardiganshire indicated that rather more than half the total number of farms occupied less than 100 acres with the smaller, more compact, estates in the lower-lying areas containing a higher proportion of small units. Thus, at Cilgwyn, Llanllyr and Neuadd Trefawr in the south of the county some 60 per cent of holdings were below 100 acres in size as compared with 37 per cent at Nanteos, Gogerddan and Trawsgoed, estates in the northern parishes with substantial areas of hill and upland. 5 The low average size of farms in Wales as a whole --- and more particularly in the northern and western counties --- may be in part attributed to the higher proportion of 'part-time' holdings which, however important they may have been to their occupiers, would have contributed only modestly to agricultural output. These small units, farmed by innkeepers, drovers, smiths, wheelwrights, labourers and a multitude of miscellaneous craftsmen, provided a useful subsistence base, besides which their occupiers were available for harvest labour on those larger farms where they had accumulated a 'harvest debt' for various cultivation and husbandry tasks carried out during the course of the year.  6

The parish of Llanrhystud conforms to the general rule and where farms of less than 5 acres are ignored, on the assumption that they were non-viable in themselves, the 158 remaining units averaged 48.6 acres in 1839. Moreover, if the 6 farms in excess of 160 acres are excluded, mean acreage plummets to 36 while 84 per cent and 63 per cent of the remainder were respectively less than 100 and less than 50 acres in size. 7  Where all holdings are considered, it is clear that the size of farms on gentry-owned 'estates' was significantly higher than those in freehold ownership and occupation (Table 1).


Farm Size in Llanrhystud, 1839

                                                               % of total   Total number    Average

                                                                 acreage      of holdings       acreage

Gentry owners                                               46             70                52.00

Freeholders (non-occupying)                        40             79                40.00

Freeholders (owner-occupying)                    14             21                34.40

The smallness of the freehold farm probably had its origin in the process of gavelkind whose effects would have been particularly marked in lowland coastal areas where restricted opportunities for assarting imposed a limit to the extension of holdings. 8   Despite the legal and customary specification of gavelkind in the years preceding the Acts of Union it is probable that the extent of enforcement depended more upon prevailing demographic factors than any desire to uphold the strict measures of the law. 9   Accordingly legal requirements might have been conveniently ignored until such time that rapid local population growth necessitated the division of available land resources among increasing numbers of people. Undeniably, however, subdivision of holdings took place on a large scale and continued to do so notwithstanding the formal abolition of gavelkind following the union with England. Indeed, the practice of dividing a farm into 'shares' according to the provisions of the will of a particular individual continued into the late 18th century so that a man might find himself holding part of a farm from one owner and part from another, frequently under different terms. 10  This inevitably led to fragmentation and a confused and often bewildering state of intermixture of holdings, bringing in its wake a host of management and husbandry complexities. By the 18th century this situation was gradually being improved by the process of land exchange as exemplified by the agreement reached in 1767 by James Lloyd of Mabws and John Edwards of Gloucester. In this case Lloyd granted to Edwards the holdings of Pencarreg, Penlan and Danyreglwys on the north bank of the River Wyre in exchange for all lands held by the latter to the south of the river, provided that Edwards' tenants ground their corn at Lloyd's mill of Felinfawr. 11  Again, in 1788, two freeholders, Richard Morris of Treflys and James Richards of Llanrhystud arranged to consolidate their respective properties by negotiating an arrangement whereby Richards took Cefn yr esgair, Hafod y clas and Lluestygarn in exchange for Llaingwarllyncam, Llain Crugysaeson and 'a summerhouse' (hafod?) on Mynydd Llyn Eiddwen. 12  In the case of Llanrhystud rationalisation of farm boundaries proceeded apace in the last two decades of the 18th century although intermixture, associated with awkwardly-shaped fields, continued to remain a feature of some holdings in Victorian times, albeit a less significant obstacle to progress than in former years.

By the 19th century, a farm of 30 to 35 acres in south-west Wales, worked by a single pair of horses with a basic set of cultivation equipment, was considered sufficient to support a man and his wife without the need for a supplementary income. 13   A large family, on the other hand, could hardly be sustained on a holding of this size unless some members took up by-employment and/or resorted to seasonal migration to the harvest fields of the English border counties or the mines and factories of Glamorgan. Moreover, on such a farm, where normally less than a third of the acreage would be under arable cultivation, farm equipment would tend to be underutilised. Accordingly, despite limitations of capital and management expertise, farmers were keen to expand their scale of operations in such a manner as to spread the inevitable 'fixed' costs of a limited acreage. They were thereby enabled to respond to advanced market conditions by increasing output with a modest increase in recurrent costs. Hence the enthusiasm for securing the tenancy of an adjacent or nearby holding which inevitably helped to the fuel the omnipresent problem of land hunger besides creating friction in the community as men competed for scarce tenancies and bid rents both beyond their pockets and out of proportion to the productive potential of the land. If the acquisition of further acres by multiple occupation promoted security (and, incidentally, reduced the pressure on family members to emigrate), it had the additional effect of reducing the total number of holdings available to farmers' sons and others keen to begin farming. 14  The Tithe Apportionment for the parish of Llanrhystud provides numerous illustrations of multiple occupation of both small and larger farms. In 1839 Richard Evans rented both Blaenperis (32 acres) and Gwarolchfa (56 acres) from Elizabeth Gibbs; Lewis Davies held Blaenyesgair (32 acres) in addition to Esgair Fawr (47 acres); while David Jones of Gilfachafel (182 acres) tenanted adjoining Fachwen (58 acres) and John Jones of Llettygrigiau uchaf (53 acres) also occupied the adjacent farm of Ffynonwen (74 acres).

Throughout the 19th century the absence of security of tenure and, prior to 1883, of legally enforceable tenant right prompted fierce debate in rural circles the length and breadth of England and Wales. Yet, despite the strenuous efforts of Radical polemicists to exploit the security of tenure issue so as to drive a wedge between landowners and tenants, local custom tended, in most areas, to ensure family succession to tenanted holdings. 15  This feature was emphasised by the Welsh Land Commissioners after considering the evidence of men like Major G. P. Hughes of Alltlwyd who by the 1890s owned some 1100 acres in the Llanrhystud area of which a considerable proportion had been in continued occupation by tenants' families, 'from their great-grandfather's time'. 16   Hughes' contention is largely substantiated in the case of Llanrhystud by evidence from a variety of sources including the Census Enumerator's Books, the Tithe Apportionment and the assessments for Poor Rate as set down in the Llanrhystud Vestry Books, covering a period of almost a century commencing in the 1770s. 17  In any consideration of continuity of occupation of farms in a Welsh context one is confronted with the usual problem of the limited range of Welsh surnames such that there is no absolute guarantee that the John Jones who succeeds David Jones to a given holding is, in fact, a blood relative. Indeed, with no less than 54 per cent of the names set out in the Vestry Books being either Jones, Davies or Evans, this must be taken as an important caveat in considering Table II compiled from the 57 holdings in Llanrhystud for which this source yields a continuous record from 1773 to 1863.


Continuity of Occupation of Holdings in Llanrhystud

                 Year                Per cent of holdings occupied by persons
                                         of the same name as the previous occupier

         1773-1863                                     14

         1802-1863                                     21

         1822-1863                                     15

         1831-1863                                     14

         1838-1863                                     15

         1832-1863                                     21


Apart from an apparent change between 1773 and 1802, perhaps reflecting the falling-in of long-term life leases on some rented farms, and a change of similar magnitude from 1838 to 1852, there was a more-or-less uniform rate of turnover of occupation with 14 per cent of holdings being continuously occupied by the same family from 1773 to 1863, two of these being freehold units. The general tendency towards family succession is further amplified by a random sample of 26 farms, drawn from among those for which the Vestry Books and Census Enumerator's Book provide a full record. If farms like Penforfawr and Penycastell were respectively occupied by four and three different families over the period 1773-1881, some 14 holdings (54 per cent) remained in the tenancy of the same families.

Whereas the normal procedure was for a tenancy to pass from a father to his eldest son, this was by no means always the case and as Appendix I reveals, widows, maiden sisters and sons-in-law regularly succeeded. Several examples serve to illustrate this point. With the death of her husband in his eighties, Mary Jones had taken over Glancarrog by 1871 where she lived with her unmarried daughter, married daughter and son-in-law, stepbrother and two grandsons. At nearby Gilfachafel, the widow Jones, whose husband had farmed the place for almost fifty years, took over around 1850 and was still in harness at the age of 87 in 1881, being assisted by two unmarried sons and two grandchildren.

Elsewhere a farmer might 'retire' and in the absence of a surviving son pass over the tenancy to his son-in-law or, if he were unmarried, to his brother-in-law or some other relative. Ystrad Teilo, one of the larger holdings in the parish and originally the home of the Lloyds before their removal to Mabws in the seventeenth century, was occupied between 1802 and the mid-1820s by one John Evans. He was succeeded in the tenancy by William Sinnett whose widow Margaret farmed the holding following his death in the 1840s. By 1861 the Sinnetts' 43 year old unmarried son James occupied Ystrad Teilo, sharing the house with his sister, her husband John Jones and their two sons. Ten years later his sister died and although Sinnett continued to live at Ystrad Teilo with John Jones and his four children, the tenancy had passed to the latter with whom it remained in 1881. Tregynon Isaf, after sixty years or more of occupation by the Jones family had come to the 35 year old Thomas Jones by 1861. With Thomas's death some time later his widow married David Jones who, in 1871 was tenant of Tregynon Isaf sharing his home with his wife and their daughter, four step-children (by Thomas Jones) and his unmarried cousin John Jones. David became a widower in the late 1870s and in 1881 his household comprised his son and daughter, a remaining stepdaughter and the tenacious cousin John who remained a bachelor. While most farm households had several, if not numerous children, in those cases where no offspring were born lodgers might be taken in as a means of supplementing income and providing occasional help on the farm. David Davies of Ffynon Howell, for example, having no children by his wife, was able to lodge Margaret and James Prees 'from Ireland' in 1851 and twenty years later to provide bed and board for Lewis Thomas, teacher in the British School and the Rev. Robert Roberts, Calvinistic Methodist Minister.

As Appendix I shows, even those farms of modest acreage in Llanrhystud employed at least one, and frequently several, male and female servants who lived either in the house or the outbuildings. Invariably young (with an average age of 16 between 1841 and 1881) these servants rarely remained on a given farm for more than a year after which they departed, in some cases to marry, and in others to seek a place of their own. In Llanrhystud, as in other Welsh parishes, many of these indoor servants were probably themselves the sons and daughters of farmers who had been obliged to serve a period of 'apprenticeship' away from their family hearths. In many cases the aspirations and frustrations of indoor servants were equally those of the sons of the farm with whom they shared work, leisure and sleeping quarters and with whom they dined in the 'boardroom'. 18   While the latter may have preferred to spend their adolescence at home rather than go into service elsewhere, the modest scale of most farm operations was such that they could expect little in the way of wages. Moreover, by the time they reached maturity and wished to marry they had little understanding of any trade outside farming with the result that they too joined the clamour for scarce tenancies or even attempted to purchase freeholds as a means of achieving long-term security. Such a man was John Davies of Nantcwnlle who bought the 25 acre holding of Brynllyn in 1873 after having tried for years to obtain a tenancy. Being unacquainted with any other work but farming and having, '. . . worked on the farm since I was a mere child', he explained to the Welsh land Commission that although he was now more 'independent', he would have preferred to rent a farm had the option been available. Like many others in his position he had been forced to borrow virtually the whole of the purchase price and despite unremitting hard work his mortgage for £650 remained unchanged in 1894.  19

There appears, in the case of Llanrhystud at least, to have been no simple correlation between farm size and the number of indoor servants employed and although there was a general tendency for the larger farm of over 100 acres to take on more servants, other factors probably determined employment patterns. Among these the availability of family members for work was of some significance. In 1841 Evan Edwards and his wife, both aged 60, were working the 43 acre Pantyrhogfaen farm and since they had two sons of 14 and 20 and three daughters ranging from 20 to 10 years old they required no indoor servants. Forty years later the same holding was under the management of 64 year old John Davies who lived with his wife and 2 female and 1 male servants. Penycastell (119 acres) provides a further example, being run by Alban Alban (78), his wife, unmarried daughter and 5 servants in 1841. By 1881, Morgan Edwards (66) tenanted the farm with the assistance of his wife, 2 sons, 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren together with a single male servant. Apart from any consideration of mutual obligations between farms, in the sense that some farming families would have long-standing arrangements involving the reciprocal exchange of younger sons and daughters, employment of indoor servants on a given farm would be largely conditioned by the type and scale of farm enterprise. In common with their fellows in other parishes in west Wales, most farmers in 18th century-Llanrhystud grew some cereal crops but since these were used almost exclusively for household or farmyard consumption, the bulk of cash income derived from the sale of pastoral products. Whether he was concerned with the rearing of store cattle and sheep for sale to drovers or with the production of milk for conversion into butter and cheese, the livestock farmer's success depended very much upon constant and careful supervision of his animals and, in the case of dairying, upon attention to the detailed minutiae of the butter and cheese-making processes. Butter had to be churned, cheeses required wrapping and turning, utensils needed to be kept scrupulously clean, and cows milked, fed, calved and husbanded in a working day which could often extend into the allotted twenty-four hours. On the pastoral farm labour was in constant demand and it is probably no coincidence that with the increasing trend towards pastoralism following the collapse in cereal prices in the 1880s indoor servants, both male and female, became increasingly dominant in west Wales. This apart, progressive migration to the south Wales valleys by married outdoor labourers during this period together with the preference by farmers to supply board and lodging rather than part with full cash wages also contributed to a situation which, of course, was precisely the reverse of that in contemporary England. The extent to which the rebuilding of existing farm houses in west Wales in the 18th and 19th centuries adequately met the apparently increased requirements for accommodation for both family and servants is presently a matter of conjecture and a problem deserving of further research. 20

With our present state of knowledge conjecture is also inevitable in considering the origins and temporal changes in field and farm shape in much of west Wales. The survival of common field patterns on the coastal plateaux, exemplified by Morfa Escob, Llan-non or the now-enclosed arable quillets to the west of Llanrhystud, are probably atypical of a general pattern wherein from medieval times holdings comprised scattered parcels of land irregularly dispersed over the fields of several townships. In all likelihood early enclosure in Llanrhystud, as elsewhere, would have concentrated upon the fertile valley bottoms and slopes of southerly or south-westerly aspect with marshy areas and the steeper hillsides being avoided until population pressure enforced the exploitation of these less promising sites. 21  Accordingly, despite the problems inherent in dating the lowland fieldbanks and enclosures, it is reasonable to surmise that the Knights Hospitallers of St. John, to whom Rhys ap Gruffydd granted Cwm Mabws in Llanrhystud together with 'totam terram de Rhystud cum villa et ecclesia et moledino etc', encountered fields and quillets which had been enclosed for centuries. 22

Whoever initially cultivated Cwm Mabws and other low-lying land in Llanrhystud --- and at whatever date --- such were geological conditions that having removed any tree cover they would have been confronted with the immediate problem of clearing a vast spread of surface stones. Even today, with the availability of heavy cultivating equipment, stones can still present a serious impediment to husbandry and the reseeding of pastures frequently necessitates the removal of large rocks which are usually deposited in cairns or as linear dumps alongside existing hedge banks. The literature of early upland settlement in England and Wales abounds with examples of prehistoric field systems wherein cairns (in some cases associated with inhumations) are by various means linked to the patchwork of enclosures, their shape often determined by the presence of large, immoveable stones which came to be incorporated into a section of walling. In such cases the regularity or otherwise of a given enclosure would depend primarily upon considerations of slope and the distance which stones had to be transported. Similar criteria might have applied on the lowland where, given a more-or-less random distribution of stones, the creation of linear dumps or crude walls would have involved no more effort than the building of cairns. Such enclosures, arising incidentally from land clearance, must have been relatively ineffective as stock-proof barriers and prior to the development of the stone/earth bank topped with a quickset hedge, they were probably reinforced with gorse bushes or even hurdles. Assuming that herdsmen were not permanently on hand to control the movements of grazing livestock, enclosures would have served the function either of protecting arable plots from the visitations of animals or of concentrating the same animals on these plots after harvest in order to provide manure for a subsequent crop. This latter practice remains common in many less developed countries where organic matter exhaustion on inherently infertile lateritic soils is often a major problem. For convenience and security the manured enclosures would normally have been in close proximity to the homestead and it might be reasonable to assume that the several very small fields clustered around the 19th century-farmstead --- as frequently indicated on Tithe maps of parishes in west Wales --- are themselves remnants of the practice. 23  Some of these enclosures support a flourishing population of nettles ( Urtica dioica), plants whose distribution is limited by the availability of soil phosphates. Since phosphates derived from human wastes are highly persistent in the soil, it might be inferred either that some fields received human, as well as animal excreta or that a nettle-infested enclosure may overlie the site of an earlier dwelling house. Excavation alone will help to prove this point, yet the frequent mention by name of many farms in Llanrhystud and elsewhere in medieval and early modern documents lends strength to the argument that present-day farmsteads of Victorian origin may in some cases represent the culmination of at least a thousand years of more-or-less continuous husbandry.

It will be virtually impossible to make entirely unequivocal statements about origins, change and continuity in land settlement in Wales until the problem is approached in a multidisciplinary manner. Only when the archaeologist, agriculturist, soil scientist and historian together confront this and kindred questions will some, if not the majority, of 'possiblies', 'probablies' and 'maybe's' disappear from the literature.

R. J. Moore-Colyer

University College of Wales,


  1 D. Howell, Landlords and Estate Management in Wales, in J. Thirsk (ed.). The Agrarian History of England and Wales, 1640-1750, Cambridge, 1985, p.p. 259-61.

  2 N.L.W. Llanrhystud Vestry Books. See also, B. Howells, 'Social and Agrarian Change in Early Modern Cardiganshire', Ceredigion, vii, 3/4, 1974/5, p.p. 260-1; H. A. Lloyd, The Gentry of South-West Wales, 1540-1640, Cardiff, 1968, p. 18.

  3 J. Caird, The Landed Interest and the Supply of Food (1851), 5th Edn., London, 1967, p. 57.

  4 C. Thomas, 'Estate Surveys as Sources of Historical Geography', N.L.W.J., xiv, 1966 p. 433; N.L.W. Glynne of Hawarden MS. 111; N.L.W. Glynne of Hawarden MS. 572; A. Griffiths, 'Agricultural Development in South Wales, 1830-1875; the case of some Glamorgan parishes', Morgannwg, xvii, 1973, pp. 29-30.

  5 R. J. Colyer, 'The Size of Farms in Early 19th Century Wales,' B.B.C.S., xxvii (2), 1976, pp. 119-126.

  6 D. Jenkins, The Agricultural Community in South-West Wales at the turn of the Twentieth Century, Cardiff, 1971, p. 43.

  7 These 6 farms include Moelifor (180 acres); Tregynon issa (180 acres); Cefn Mabws (262 acres); Ystrad Teilo (186 acres); Rhydfudr (198 acres) and Gilfachafel (182 acres).

  8 T. Jones Pierce, in J. Thirsk (Ed.), The Agrarian History of England and Wales, IV, 1500-1640, Cambridge, 1967, p.p. 360-1.

  9 M. Davies, Field Systems in South Wales, in A. R. H. Baker. and R. A. Butlin (Eds.), Studies of Field Systems in the British Isles, Cambridge, 1973, p.p. 631-639.

10 Howell, op. cit., p.p. 276-7.

11 N.L.W. Alltlwyd 23.

12 N.L.W. Trefaes 26.

13 Jenkins, op. cit., p. 43.

14 Despite, in the case of Llanrhystud, an increased number of holdings created by the Llanrhystud Mefenydd Enclosure (A.M.E. Davies, 'Enclosure in Cardiganshire, 1750-1850,' Ceredigion, viii(i), 1976, p.118.

15 R. J. Colyer, 'Some Aspects of Land Occupation in Nineteenth Century Cardiganshire,' Trans. Cymm., 1981, pp. 83-85.

16 Royal Commission on Land in Wales and Monmouthshire, Minutes of Evidence, III, 1895, p. 729.

17 N.L.W. Llanrhystud Tithe Map and Apportionment; N.L.W. Llanrhystud Vestry Books. The Census material, embracing 1841-1881 is located on microfilm in the Dyfed Records Office, Aberystwyth being: HO 107/1374, HO 107/2485, HO/RG9/9194, HO/RG10/5560, HO/RG11/5444.

18 Jenkins, op. cit., p. 100.

19 R.C.L.W.M., III 1895, pp. 594-5. Whereas tenants enjoyed some relief from the depressed agrarian conditions of the 1880s and 1890s by way of rent abatements, recent purchasers of land on mortgage (up to 80 per cent of total purchases in Cardiganshire) could do little to secure reduction in annual mortgage payments (ibid., p. 580).

20 For a discussion of both farm houses and their associated buildings see Eurwyn Wiliam, T he Historical Farm Buildings of Wales, Edinburgh, 1986.

21 C. Thomas, 'Place-name studies and Agrarian Colonisation in North Wales,' Welsh Hist. Rev., x(2), 1980, p. 62.

22 For the activities of the Knights Hospitallers see J. R. Rees, 'Slebech Commandery and the Knights of St. John,' Arch. Camb. Ser S, xiv, 1897, p. 204.

23 See C. Smith, Some Evidence of Early Upland Settlement in Wales, in D. Spratt and C. Burgess (Eds.), Upland Settlement in Britain; the Second Millenium B.C. and After; B.A.R., 143, 1985, pp. 273-8, and in same volume, C. S. Briggs, Problems of the Early Agricultural Landscape in Upland Wales as indicated by an example from the Brecon Beacons.


Individual Farm Data

This appendix runs to thirteen pages of tables about individual farms.   For the full details please see the original article. The following is an indication of the contents of the appendix:

Sample (incomplete) of data for first farm:

Farm; Blaenperis

Date                                                                1795                 1832                   1839                     1851

  • Acreage                                                      /                       /                         32                         /
  • Tenure                                                Leasehold                /                 annual tenancy              /
  • Occupier/Head of Household(Age)  William Jones   David Jones     Richard Evans      John Williams(45)
  • Other Holdings Occupied as
           in Tithe Apportionment                       /                       /                    Gwarolchfa                 /
  • Total Acreage Owned or Occupied           /                       /                          88                          /
  • Living-in Servants and Sex                        /                       /                           /                            /
  • Living-in Family and Sex                          /                       /                       3M; 2F                      /
  • Owner of Farm                              James Lloyd                /                  Elizabeth Gibbs              /
  • Comments                               Lease for 3 Lives               /                            /                            /
  • Reference                            NLW Alltlwyd 39     Dyfed RO D/LP/760     Tithe App.            Census


Farms for which Appendix I contains data:

  • Blaenperis
  • Cnwc-Y-Barcut
  • Cornbwch
  • Ffrwd Fawr
  • Ffynonwen
  • Ffynon Howell
  • Glancarrog
  • Gilfach-Hafel
  • Glanperis
  • Garnfach
  • Hafodronwn
  • Mabws Hen
  • Moelifor
  • Pencarreg
  • Penfor Fawr
  • Penycastell
  • Pantyrhogfaen
  • Tregynon Isaf
  • Trawsnant Uchaf
  • Ysgubor Fach
  • Ystrad Teilo
  • Ty'n y Wern
  • Ty'n yr Helig
  • Ty Cam



(From J. A. Davies, 'Cardiganshire Freeholders in 1760,' Trans. Hist. Soc. West Wales, iii, 1913, p. 93).

Name                                Place of Abode          Situation of Freehold

Jenkin Jenkins (clerk)       Morva Mawr             Minister of the parish

David Williams                Tynywern                  Tynywern

Evan Evans                       Rhydlase                   Rhydlase

Griffith David                   Trual                         Trual

Morgan Evans                   Llanrhystud               Llanrhystud

Richard David                  Talwrn mawr            Talwrn mawr

John Morgan                     Aberystwyth             Llettygrigiar

Hugh Lloyd, hatter            Ffynnon Howell        Ffynnon Howell

Richard Lloyd Esq.          Fleet, London            Mabws

James Lloyd Esq.             Mabws                      Mabws

Edward Evans                  Trawsnant                 Trawsnant

William Evans                 Tyrymynich, Court     Llanrhystud

John Walker                     Llanrhystud                Llanrhystud

Watkin Lewis, clerk         Penybenglog, Pemb.  Moel Ivor

Evan Evans                      Glanrhos                    Knwck y barcut

William John Edward      Tynyclawdd               Tynyclawdd

James David Jenkin         Pen y gare                  Pen y gare

David Morrice Esq.         Langley, Bucks          Trevlis

Thomas David                  Llechwedd Llwuon   Tyhen or Tynderwen

Humphrey Evans              London                      Llettygwyn

Jenkin Rees David           Llanrhystud                Llanrhystud

James Morrice                 Llanrhystud                Goytre

Owen Morrice                 Ystrad Teilo              Ystrad Teilo

John Morrice                   Llanrhystud                Corn y bwch

William Thomas              Walton, Pemb.           Tynycwm and Pengraigfach

William John Elusdan     Llanrhystud Tyhen      Llanrhystud Tyhen

? Brigstock                      Llanwinio, Carm.       Llanrhystud village

David Morgans               Pwlly                          Rentcharge out of Pencwm
                                                                           during his mothers lifetime