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Pentre-Bach and attached outbuildings

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llantarnam, Torfaen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6229 / 51°37'22"N

Longitude: -3.0334 / 3°2'0"W

OS Eastings: 328554

OS Northings: 192075

OS Grid: ST285920

Mapcode National: GBR J4.8TZS

Mapcode Global: VH7B5.CGPP

Entry Name: Pentre-Bach and attached outbuildings

Listing Date: 6 June 1962

Last Amended: 30 September 2003

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3126

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Reached via a track N off Pentre Lane on the W side of Llantarnam.

County: Torfaen

Town: Cwmbran

Community: Llantarnam

Community: Llantarnam

Locality: Pentre-Bach

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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Pont-hir

History

Farmhouse with very large attached barn, the farmhouse an important later C16 gentry house of the Morgans, owners of Llantarnam Abbey from 1554 and the barn a conversion of a large brick C17 mansion. The house was a grange of Llantarnam Abbey once known as Cefn y Fyrnach. The RCAHMW report dates the phases as the house of c. 1555-80, the rubble stone base of the brick range uncertain date, the rubble stone stable at the end of the brick range of c. 1625-50 and the brick range of c. 1650-60 with the porches and other wings added shortly after, the whole converted to a barn in the mid C18. The house had a 4-bay open hall with probably a 3-bay inner room beyond and a 2-bay cross-passage with 3-bay outer room beyond. The hall was ceiled in the late C16 and the two plaster ceilings are of c. 1600. The barn is now in very poor condition with large parts of the roofs lost.

Exterior

Farmhouse and barn across upper end. Farmhouse is pebbledashed with C20 concrete tiles (replacing slates) and only one remaining chimney, a rendered short square stack at right end close to join with barn. Two storeys, long range with continuous roof and varied windows. Roughly in centre a slight projection in first floor wallface may mark a lost storeyed porch as there is an outward facing Tudor-arched blocked stone fireplace with inserted window, over and slightly right of broad ashlar segmental-pointed doorway, chamfered and stopped with half glazed door. To left of projection is late medieval or C16 buttress with plinth and two set-offs, clad in C20 roughcast. To right of this is fine 4-light stone mullion window under eaves, hollow-moulded with Tudor-arched lights and sunk spandrels over a large rectangular window of four lights with top lights, C20 but perhaps replacing mullion and transom window. Further left is another similar mullion window of 2-lights, under eaves with broken hoodmould, over another big rectangular window with 32-pane glazing. Further left is doorway with board door with strap hinges, and left again is casement-pair window in Tudor-arched stone surround. The left corner is rebated in, and left gable end is rendered with C20 first floor window and very small ground floor windows. To right of centre projection are 4 similar mullioned 2-light windows, one to first floor centre right, two to ground floor left and one to ground floor right. Large C20 metal window over the two left windows. Iron saddle bars and stanchions remain in 2-light and 4-light to first floor left and one light of 2-light to first floor right.
Rear is rendered and partly whitewashed with two big chimney gables. Left gable has raised chimney breast but chimney removed. To right is first floor blocked single light with hoodmould, small C20 window further right at mid height. Ground floor has centre Tudor-arched doorway with recessed C20 door. C20 window to right, against chimney breast. Big rendered gabled porch to right of chimney breast with flat-headed large doorway, segmental-arched head to broad door with strap hinges within. Centre section has raised chimney breast with very tall rendered stack and added lean-to with one window over. Second chimney gable has chimney breast stepped back to right, and with dripcourses and rendered stack. Windowless section to extreme right has first floor hoodmould over blocked window to right of chimney breast.
Barn is slightly taller than house with higher eaves and ridge, of red brick, English bond, on rubble stone plinth, formerly whitewashed with concrete tiles to roofs and raised gables. Rear return to house has large blocked rectangular opening with timber lintel at mid height. Gable end has 3 loops one over the other, and marks of lost window to ground floor. Continuous brickwork to side of left gable of main front, with one loop. Main front is very long with projecting gable to left and porch gable to right of centre but was never E-plan as range to right has right end built over an earlier stone outbuilding in line. Left gable is all rubble stone (probably rebuilt) to front and side return, windowless to front, return with low door with oak lintel. Large range between this and porch projection has 2 large corbelled brick chimney breasts each on 3 stone corbels, suggesting that main rooms were over an unheated ground floor, one chimney breast is in angle to left gable, the other is towards right. Marks of three blocked upper windows, 2 between chimneys, one to right, all with vent loops in blocking brickwork. First floor probably has similar blocked windows, vent loop in left one and right one but centre removed for large cambered headed barn door with brick arch. Main roof has been removed behind porch projection and to whole of right range. Porch has high rubble stone ground floor with segmental-arched entrance, first floor and second floor inserted plain rectangular window in blocked larger openings. Doorway has massive broad segmental arched stone surround with red brick voussoirs. Left and right returns are windowless. Roofless range to right has had walling of top floor removed. Two large corbelled chimney breasts similar to those on left range. Bay to left of first chimney breast has inserted first floor cambered-headed first floor opening in blocked earlier opening. Two more blocked first floor windows between chimney breasts, the right one with another similar inserted opening. Ground floor has small window under longer timber lintel to left, door to right of first chimney breast, window to left of second chimney breast and door under second chimney breast, all with timber lintels.
Stable: To right walling overlaps a lower earlier rubble stone stable range with tin roof, one C17 ovolo-moulded 2-light mullion window, a door and a vent loop to front. End gable is stepped back irregularly indicating rebuilding, and has loft door. Windowless rear wall.
Rear of barn is rubble stone, two-storey, with gabled wing to left, mostly roofless with C20 sliding doors in end gable and one oak truss. Rear of porch gable has remains of projecting rubble stone gable, and rear of roofed section to right has blocked hoodmoulded window above, blocked wide window below and door with cambered brick head in angle to rear of house.

Interior

Interior of house not available for inspection, report and photographs at RCAHMW show 4-room and cross-passage plan. Kitchen to right of entry has altered fireplace, broad chamfered beams with diagonal stops. Hall to left of passage has plastered wall to passage, (with indications that it concealed a post-and-panel partition), altered rear wall fireplace and ceiling with ribbed pattern between plain-stopped beams. At the left end inserted modern stair, but floor rises here, possibly for earlier stair. Beyond are 2 service rooms, a dairy (modernised) and storeroom with chamfered beams and reed-moulding to plaster between. First floor similar plan with upper end small room reached by modern stair, possibly on site of original corner stair, as doorway from landing is chamfered with plain stop. One chamfered and stopped beam. Adjoining chamber has chamfered beam with diagonal stops and plaster with octagon subdivided into star with lozenges. Blocked Tudor-arched door on front wall into former porch room. Narrow room over cross passage which has window in porch room fireplace. Post and panel partition through to next room, doorway with shaped head. Floor level over hall is about 3 feet higher and room has chamfered beams with plain stops. Modern landing beyond and 2 bedrooms each with chamfered beam and diagonal stops. Remains of winding stair in corner with blocked single light window. Roof of 13 bays with 3 rows of through purlins, trusses with notched lap-joints. Three trusses had arched braces and hollow-chamfers
Barn has confusing interior with much alteration. Left two trusses carried on beam across opening into left projection. Then roof is longer to rear than front with 2 purlins to rear, one to front, and some floor beams, 2 older, others replaced. Front wall has blocked Tudor-arched fireplace to right and another with big stone slab lintel in raised chimney breast to left, open fireplace with slab lintel to second floor left. A spine wall parallel and closer to rear wall rises full-height to right of main entry, rubble to first floor brick above, but parallel back wall is rubble stone. Roofless right range has remnants of rooms. in right door is room with five chamfered beams with stepped curved stops. Tudor-arched fireplace at first floor above. A rear gable has attic fireplace with purple stone slab lintel and Tudor-arched stone door to ground floor.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II* as a C16 house with surviving c. 1600 plaster ceilings and the barn the remnant of a major C17 gentry house.

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