The Farmers Arms, Brynamman


This feature on the Jones family of the Farmers Arms in Brynamman was contributed by Mrs Jean Williams whose husband descends from this family. (Nov 2004)

The hotel itself is mentioned in George Borrow's book Wild Wales, Its People, Language and Scenery . Now included here

It is situated in Lower Brynamman, thus within Llangiwg parish, GLA, but only a short distance from the CMN border where the main part of Brynamman village lies.
See the Notes at the end of the page for some more history of the place


Farmers Arms

                                        The Farmers Arms



The 1841 census shows Williams Jones, and his wife Margaret, as Innkeeper at The Farmers Arms, aged 40 and 39 respectively.

William Jones was the son of John Jones of Tirhen, and a cousin of the well known John Jones, Brynbrain.
He was born in Llangadog, CMN about 1801. Margaret Jones (nee Williams) was also born in Llangadog.
It would appear they were married in Llangadog on 14th February 1829. (to be checked).

Some time between 1841 and 1851 William Jones died, and his wife Margaret became the Innkeeper and she is shown on the 1851 census as a widow. She died between 1851 and 1861.

On the 1851 census we see the appearance of an Old Farmers Arms as well, this one has a William Davies shown as the publican. The properties are adjacent on the census returns.

On the 1861 census their unmarried son John Jones is shown as Victualler, also there are his sister Margaret and brother William. Also his married sister Mary and husband Thomas Evans, and their son William aged 7 years.

Between 1861 and 1871 John Jones married Ann Jones of Bettws (*see below), CMN, daughter of David and Sage Jones (nee Rees), of The Plough and Harrow, Bettws.

On the 1871 census the place is now called New Farmers, John Jones is shown as the Inn Keeper, wife Ann ; Margaret his unmarried sister is still living there.
Some time after this date Margaret married Joseph Rees, a well known Railway Contractor, and as Mrs Rees (*see below) she became the proprietor of The Raven Hotel, Garnant.
This Margaret Jones (aged 12) is allegedly one of the daughters of the house who met George Borrow in 1854, he describes two daughters of the proprietor as 'buxom wenches' in his book Wild Wales, (see the extract elsewhere on this site).
There is a photograph of her (entry 65) in The Amman Valley Long Ago (Dyffryn Aman 'Slawer Dydd) by David A Evans & Huw Walters ; Gomer 1987.

John Jones died 11th August 1880 at the Farmers Arms, he was aged 42 years, and is buried in the graveyard at Gibea Chapel, Brynamman.
He left a wife and young family, the youngest son William was only 1 year old, he and another daughter, Catherine Lizzie, both died as children and are buried with their parents.
Daughter Margaret Sage Jones later became Mrs. Hargreaves.
Son David Jones married Mary Jane ? , they had a butchers shop in Brynamman. There is a photograph of Mrs David Jones and her daughter Sinfi Williams outside the butcher's shop in Brynamman, (entry 26) in The Amman Valley Long Ago (Dyffryn Aman 'Slawer Dydd) by David A Evans & Huw Walters ; Gomer 1987.
Daughter Mary Anne married John Williams (*see below), they removed to Pembroke Dock - she died at the age of 26 years, also leaving a young family.

On the 1881 and 1891 censuses, the widow Ann Jones is shown as Innkeeper at The Farmers Arms together with her children and several servants.
She died on June 19th 1903 age 64 years and is also buried at Gibea

Mary Anne Jones who married John Williams had 6 children, three died in infancy and three survived.
They went to live in Pembroke Dock where they kept The Commercial Hotel, Queen Street.
She died 15th November 1901 and is buried in Brynamman.
The surviving children were William John Williams, Annie May Williams - known as Nancy, and Harold Douglas Williams.
John Williams later became proprietor of The Bird In Hand, Lewis Street, Pembroke Dock and died in Pembroke Dock in 1923 and is buried in Llanion Cemetery. Pembroke Dock.

*Marriage entry.

St. Mary's Church, Swansea. 11th October 1893.
John Williams Age 24 of Lower Brynamman. Father Benjamin Williams (decd)
Mary Ann Jones Age 18. Farmers Arms Brynamman. Living at Gore House, Goat Street, Swansea. Father John Williams (decd)
Witnesses; Williams Hargreaves and Margaret Sage Hargreaves.

*Obituary Notice

28th March 1931. The Swansea Voice.
Death of Cwmamman's Oldest Licensee. Mrs Margaret Rees, Garnant.

Mrs. Margaret Rees (89) widow of the late Joseph Rees. She held the licence of The Raven Hotel for over 50 years. Born at The New Farmers Arms, Brynamman, where she met George Borrow, who mentions her in his book "Wild Wales". Her father William Jones was the son of John Jones,Tirhen, and a cousin of the well know John Jones of Bryn-brain, while her mother was a sister of Watcyn Wyn's father.

*Ann Jones, wife of John Jones

Ann Jones, born 5th April 1839 at Penycoed Parish of Bettws was the daughter of David Jones and Sage Jones nee Rees.

David Jones, born Llandebie. He was a carpenter and kept an Inn named the Plough and Harrow, Bettws. He died June 1873, buried June 28th 1873 at Bettws, the address given at the time of death is the Farmers Arms, Brynamman.

Sage Jones, daughter of David Rees. bpt July 1803 ?. She died December 1872 and was buried 18th December 1872 at Bettws.

David Jones and Sage Rees were married at Bettws Church on11th January 1828. Witnessed by John Hopkin and John Owen

Notes from The History of Brynamman by Enoch Rees 1883 & 1896 (English translation by Ivor Griffiths)

  • p6. 1840; This was the year that the new 'Farmers Arms' was built; the third house in the district to have a slate roof
  • p8. 1860;  In March of this year a philanthropic society was established in the 'Farmers Arms'.........
  • p9. 1869;  ..... in this year the Baptists started a cause and began to hold meetings in the 'clubroom' of the Farmers Arms...............
  • p11. It is individual persons who give direction and character to every society and place ......... one of this class was the late John Jones, Brynbrain, he can truly be called the father of the place ................... there are also other persons - tradesmen etc who helped to raise the place .............. in this class stand William Jones of the Farmers and Jeffrey Watkins - men with "go" in the old days.
  • p4. 1823; This was the year that the Farmers (Old) was built, the first public house in the neighbourhood, if it could be called a neighbourhood at that time. Before this, the place to have a drop of beer was with Evan Williams, the blacksmith............
  • p5. 1836/7; The The Ivorites Club was established in the old 'Farmers' ... it has now moved to the new 'Farmers'
  • p20. 1894/5; 'Old Farmers' rebuilt, a new sign put up -  'Brynamman Hotel' - the new building is extensive and convenient for the stations, it was never called 'Old Farmers' again.