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Cefn Mably

A Grade II Listed Building in Rudry, Caerphilly

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Latitude: 51.55 / 51°32'59"N

Longitude: -3.1213 / 3°7'16"W

OS Eastings: 322348

OS Northings: 184049

OS Grid: ST223840

Mapcode National: GBR J0.FHLM

Mapcode Global: VH6F1.V98M

Plus Code: 9C3RGVXH+XF

Entry Name: Cefn Mably

Listing Date: 16 November 1987

Last Amended: 5 March 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 13570

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Approximately 1.8km WSW of Michaelston-y-Fedw Church, on high ground overlooking River Rhymney and reached by private drive W of minor road between Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry.

County: Caerphilly

Community: Rudry (Rhydri)

Community: Rudry

Locality: Cefn Mably

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Probably established in the C15 by David Kemeys, but the earliest part of the present building dates from the late C16, built by Edward Kemeys, sheriff of Glamorgan, and consisted of a hall with cross passage to service rooms, and a parlour in a cross wing. The house was probably approached from the NE where a C16 gatehouse is incorporated into the later service block. The present gallery wing W of the parlour was added probably by Nicholas Kemeys in the early C17. It linked the parlour to the chapel, which is unusual in having a N-S orientation. In the 2nd half of the C17 the service end on the E was also extended, creating or perhaps remodelling the present courtyard. After 1709, when Sir Charles Kemeys came of age, the house was extensively remodelled in the then fashionable Queen-Anne style, with further remodelling in the late C18. The chapel was re-ordered in Gothic style in 1875 (dated by a plaque in the porch), while the service ranges are principally the result of late C19 remodelling by E S Hall.

In the mid C18 the house passed to Sir Charles Kemeys Tynte and became subsidiary to the family's other residence at Halswell in Somerset. In 1920 the house was sold to Lord Tredegar and in 1924 was opened as a tuberculosis hospital, when further alterations were made. After closure of the hospital c1980 the building has remained empty and was badly damaged by a fire in 1994, when the eastern half of the house was gutted, subsequent to which the house has suffered vandalism.


The main block faces S and has a C16 hall with a parlour cross wing to its L, beyond which is a lower gallery terminating at the L end in a chapel projecting forward. To the R of the hall is the service block ranged around a central courtyard. Of rubble sandstone with limestone dressings, fragments of stone-tile roofs (mostly now missing) with projecting eaves. The hall and service block have exposed steel trusses.

The hall is 3-bay, the bay to L advanced and formerly under a hipped roof, with a sash window in segmental-headed architrave to the upper storey added early C18, while the other bays have similar openings but the windows are now destroyed. Contemporary attic dormers are also now destroyed. The 2-bay parlour has similar sash windows and architraves. The gallery has late C19 fenestration, with 3 mullioned windows under relieving arches in the lower storey, and a 4th window to L converted to a door for the hospital, and five 3-light mullioned windows in the upper storey. An earlier advanced bay at the L end of the gallery retains C16 4-light mullioned windows to the S gable end below a stone end stack.

The chapel has a 3-light Perpendicular S window to the chancel (the liturgical E end) and diagonal buttresses. On the ridge between nave and chancel is a gabled bellcote for a single bell. The porch is on the W side and is overgrown. In the E wall is a 3-light square-headed Perpendicular window.

The parlour and the S range of the service block have tall red-brick stacks. The doorway to the original cross passage is now knocked out and blocked up. The 2-storey service range E of the hall is of 7 bays with a brick string course between the storeys, and has openings with brick jambs but the windows are all now missing. Its end wall is 2-bay, to the R of which the E wing of the service block is set back and is of 5 bays with mullioned windows, the upper storey windows under gablets, and 2 paired stone stacks. The N wing of the service block has a central gateway to the courtyard under a Tudor arch (now boarded up), flanked by cross windows with 2 blocked windows further L and late C19 cross windows to the upper storey under gablets. The E wing of the service block is higher, with cross windows in its gable end and W return wall.

Behind the hall is a lower 2-storey projection, to R of which is a stair projection with mullioned windows.


Not inspected at the time of survey, but most early features appear to have been destroyed in the 1994 fire.

Reasons for Listing

Included, notwithstanding fire damage, as one of the most important country mansions in Glamorgan.

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