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Llanyrafon

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llanyrafon, Torfaen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6458 / 51°38'44"N

Longitude: -3.0083 / 3°0'29"W

OS Eastings: 330328

OS Northings: 194587

OS Grid: ST303945

Mapcode National: GBR J5.7G0S

Mapcode Global: VH79Z.SWZR

Entry Name: Llanyrafon

Listing Date: 4 March 1952

Last Amended: 29 August 2003

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3140

Building Class: Domestic

County: Torfaen

Town: Cwmbran

Community: Llanyrafon

Community: Llanyrafon

Built-Up Area: Cwmbran

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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History

C17 gentry house owned by the Griffith family to 1892 when sold with 1000 acres. Walter Griffith, attorney died 1629-30, his grandson Charles was steward of the manor of Edlogan and married Mary Morgan, his son, also Charles, was also steward and died in 1766, and his son William was the last to live there, moving to Gloucestershire, where he was in practise as a solicitor and died 1831. His son Charles died without children and the estate passed to William's daughter, Florence, who died in 1886. The estate was sold to Richard Leybourne, whose son built a new house nearby, to which was removed the stair from Llanyrafon, his house, now the Commodore hotel, much altered. The stair was open-well with turned newels and balusters, moulded rail and string, C17. The house was boarded up in 1978, partially restored in 1980s as a museum but boarded up again in 2003 with interior inaccessible. The RCAHMW assumed a sequence from a cruck-framed hall house on the site of the E range, possibly timber-framed, altered to a stone house in later C16 with post-and-panel partition and gable chimney, then the addition of the main house probably in early C17 (see c1605 fireplace date) with porch, ground floor hall and first floor room heated by a lateral chimney. Then addition of rear detached kitchen behind E range, and the addition of the wing to W also C17, finally the alteration of windows of main house, C18. But there are uncertainties, the porch partly covers a mullion window, the staircase detail looks later C17, the apparent insertion of chimneys into the earliest E range looks early C19 and the extensive brickwork around windows looks C19 rather than C18. There is a possibility of two phases in the main block a 2-storey early C17 original raised a storey when the stair was inserted and the porch raised at the same time.

Exterior

Gentry house, rendered rubble stone with slate roofs and large stone chimneys. A complex plan of roughly T-shaped three-storey main house with S porch crosswing answered by a rear N wing and lower 2-storey ranges each side, that to right (E) with lean-to kitchen to rear and parallel outbuilding (bakehouse) behind. All windows boarded in at time of inspection, most lintels cemented, possibly former timber lintels replaced in concrete.
Main house has small stone right end stack (actually serving lower E range) and porch crosswing to right with overhanging eaves (coped gable 1951) and stone ball finial. Apex small square blank window or panel over horizontal attic window (casement pair 1951), with no sill. First floor eroded sandstone 3-light mullion window with recessed chamfered square-headed lights and ground floor plain square-headed door. Return to right has similar stone-mullion 3-light window to first floor, blocked opening below and brickwork in wall indicating line of inserted flue. Return to left has another similar first floor stone mullion window of 2 lights with dripstone, wall to left is angled back to expose a main-range window indicating that the porch is added. Ground floor square window, with no sill. Main range to left has large brick-framed cambered-headed window each floor to left, and window in former door with cemented lintel in angle to porch to right. Window in angle above is small 3-light stone mullion window, 2 lights blocked, third revealed by splay in porch side wall. Cemented lintel. (The large windows to right and the door had 12-pane sash windows).
Left (W) lower range of 2 storeys with stone W end stack, one window each floor to extreme right (survey drawings show upper window blank and set further left), two square windows to first floor left over C19 boarded door and window (door was in added brick porch, survey drawings show casement pair window to right of door, now blocked). Cemented lintels, no sills. (There was an added brick stack on front wallface).
Right E range of two storeys, two-window range (wooden casements each floor) with cemented lintels and no sills to ground floor. Unusual small 5-sided stone chimney on E gable end.
Rear of main range has massive lateral chimney in angle to rear left wing with corbelling at eaves level on right on 2 corbels over slightly less projecting masonry corbelled on 2 corbels from first floor sill level (a first floor chimney). Chimneybreast is stepped in on left in 3 big steps to big rectangular stone shaft capped in brick. To right is one-window range of large windows with cemented lintels and brick sides. To left is big rear wing with one window each floor in W side wall, the upper one horizontal with cemented lintel, set to right, the lower one square in former door. N gable end has overhanging eaves, hoodmoulded attic window to right of centre, first floor window also slightly right of centre with cemented lintel and 2 windows to ground floor, small one to left, larger to right with cemented lintel and brickwork above. Big external chimneybreast on E side-wall with tall sheer stack. Loft window in main range E gable end with cemented lintel.
E wing has external chimneybreast on E gable end with two flat set offs and the 5-sided chimney. Tiny loft light to left, small 2-light oak mullion window with diamond mullion to first floor right and blocked door to ground floor right. Lean-to to rear obscured by parallel gabled outbuilding, former bakehouse with broad roof oversailing rear wall with curve of bread oven.
W wing has N rear wall continuous with main house, large window to first floor left, small stair light right of centre and ground floor door and window, with brick sides and cemented lintels, window with brickwork below. Lean-to outbuilding on end wall with door to rear and door and window to S front with cemented lintels . Big end wall external chimneybreast set slightly right of apex, with one step to left side and nogged brick cap. Loft window with cemented lintel.

Interior

Interior inaccessible but described from RCAHM survey. Porch is plastered within. Large oak inner doorway with chamfered jambs and slightly arched head, heavy oak door. Entrance hall has one high chamfered beam and C20 stairs inserted when those to rear were removed. C20 partition to left, to room with 3 more high chamfered beams. Fine stone fireplace on back wall with double wave mouldings to the jambs and flat bressumer. This fireplace is reset as opening continued above. Relieving beam in wall. Earlier E wing has 2-room plan, divided by partition: W room has flagstone floors and deep-chamfered beams with bar stops, the W beam chamfered on E side only, W end deep fireplace in coursed stone, added later, the head segmental arched with voussoirs on an iron bar. Behind the frame of the W entrance door is a slot that may once have held a cruck beam. In the N wall is a blocked doorway with modern door adjoining. Fine C16 to C17 post-and-panel partition between rooms with 2 original Tudor-arched doorways, the S one enlarged for barrels, and chamfered and stopped posts. The E room was a hall and store but possibly originally a heated parlour. Centre beam and beam over fireplace.
The rear N wing of the main house was apparently only accessible from outside. Ground floor C19 fireplace and possibly C18 round-headed china cupboard with the rear-face of a truncated cruck visible behind. The kitchen behind the E wing has a brick partition wall in front of a large kitchen and oven complex spanned by a massive beam with wave-moulded stops. Winding stone stairs to a missing attic floor.
The W range has 3 beams and a fouth over W fireplace. Small inserted stairs and ground floor divided into three by partitions.
The first floors echo the ground floors, in the main range high beamed ceilings, the left room with fine rear-wall Tudor-arched moulded fireplace with elaborate vase stops with fleurs-de-lys. On the face of the head are a series of open lozenges around a central motif, the lozenges enclosing eroded relief letters ? ? M 160?, possibly WGM 1602 or 8 or 9. Room over porch has a blocked fireplace in the N wall with chamfered bressumer with concave stop. Blocked window in chamber over the entrance lobby. N wing room without especial features. In the W chamber of the E wing there is a small version of the inserted fireplace below. The feet of tie-beam trusses are visible, the tie-beams cut. The W range wall to the main range appears inserted suggesting that it was originally part of a continuous range, two ceiling beams.
The roof of the main house has 3 collar-trusses with chamfered collars tenoned into the blades, the E truss altered for the rear N wing. The E wing has 2 trusses, originally with tie-beams, now cut. The W range has 3 trusses.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II* as an important C16 to C17 gentry house with fine suriving fireplaces and partition.

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