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Latitude: 51.5673 / 51°34'2"N
Longitude: -3.6207 / 3°37'14"W
OS Eastings: 287761
OS Northings: 186622
OS Grid: SS877866
Mapcode National: GBR HB.DHZ4
Mapcode Global: VH5H4.6V6X
Entry Name: Cefn-ydfa farmhouse and adjoining ruins.
Listing Date: 6 June 1952
Last Amended: 23 October 1998
Source ID: 11218
Building Class: Domestic
Location: The house stands on a platform site, on the NE slope of Mynnydd Baiden, and is reached by a long driveway from the A4063 between the Shwt turn and the Bridgend Paper Mills.
Town: Llangynwyd Middle
Community: Llangynwyd Lower (Llangynwyd - Isaf)
Community: Llangynwyd Lower
Traditional County: Glamorgan
The lands around Cefn-ydfa appear to have originally been a possession of Margam Abbey. There is an extant list of occupants from c.1450.
The original core of the farmhouse, at one time known as Cefn-y-gndfa, consists of a single bay gable-stack structure with a rear service wing, all of c.1600. This was extended to the W c.1625 by a 2-bay structure, further extended by another bay incorporating an axial double-sided stack, perhaps replacing an earlier gable stack, in the early-mid C18. At the same time the house was greatly enlarged to the E as a gentry house, built by Anthony Maddocks Jnr, son of Anthony Maddocks of Cwm Risca, farm about 2 mls away. He was a well-connected lawyer of a family of renowned lawyers who claimed descent from Prince Madog of Wales. Anthony jnr, also a lawyer, came into the property by marriage to the reluctant Ann Thomas (1704-1727), heiress of the property, who had already formed an attachment to a local tiler-plasterer, Will Hopcyn, who was an attractive local rhymster and bard. Ann, who was unable to forego her passion, was for a time imprisoned in the basement of the house, smuggling out love notes on sycamore leaves. Later, Wil heard that Maddocks was dead and returned from exile, finding Ann on her deathbed. He composed one of the most renowned of Welsh love songs 'Bugeilo'r gwenith gwyn' as a result. The facts of the story have at times been disputed, but the story of the 'maid of Cefn-ydfa' has become famous in folklore, generating numerous books and a film. The house was occupied in the early C19 by William Jones, first company secretary of the Duffryn Llynvi and Porthcawl Railway when the house became for a while the company office. It was partially demolished in the 1850s. Recent alterations.
The present house is of stone, rendered, with a slate roof. Two storeys, 4 bays. Wide oak front door set near the centre, formerly the mid C17 service hall. Four bays of irregularly placed mid C20 small-paned oak casement windows to both floors under timber lintels. A kitchen outshut is attached to the rear, late C19 or C20. Gable stacks, and a primary off-centre stack. The C18 house developed to the E now survives only as as low walls, terminating in a substantial partly-walled bay of the former E end, displaying internal fireplace and openings. It formerly was of 2 storeys with attics, five bays, and lit by 5 gabled dormers.
The present house has large widely spaced chamfered cross beams, without end stops. The fireplace to the secondary end bay has been altered, and includes two side ovens from the period when it served as a kitchen. Segmental rubble arch over. This bay was opened into the main central bay c.1974. This has a stone axial fireplace, with the stair on its north side, and chamfered ceiling beams and subsidiary joists with pyramid stops, not now visible. The room was originally sub-divided to form an inner room. Recently introduced C19 Carrara marble fireplace.
Included as a building retaining early-mid C17 fabric, but largely for its powerful historical and romantic associations.
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