History in Structure

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Cilewent Farmhouse

A Grade II Listed Building in St. Fagans (Sain Ffagan), Cardiff

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4886 / 51°29'18"N

Longitude: -3.2766 / 3°16'35"W

OS Eastings: 311458

OS Northings: 177396

OS Grid: ST114773

Mapcode National: GBR HT.KDHQ

Mapcode Global: VH6F5.5V47

Entry Name: Cilewent Farmhouse

Listing Date: 6 October 1977

Last Amended: 28 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 13859

Building Class: Education

Location: One of the re-erected buildings in the open-air collection of the Museum of Welsh Life.

County: Cardiff

Town: Cardiff

Community: St. Fagans (Sain Ffagan)

Community: St. Fagans

Locality: Museum of Welsh Life, St Fagans

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Saint Fagans

History

Long-house brought from Duffryn Claerwen, Radnorshire, a place now beneath the Claerwen reservoir and re-erected in the Museum in 1959. Probable late C15 origin, the crucks have been dendro-dated to c1470 but largely rebuilt in the early/mid C18, probably 1734 (date carved on frame of main doorway), with only the two cruck trusses in the cowhouse remaining from the earlier period. There is an indenture of 1579 concerning Cilewent which is in the Museum's possession.

The Museum Council had recommended in October 1943 that 'an open-air museum was an essential auxiliary to the National Museum of Wales.' ; 'a Wales in miniature where in the confined area of one hundred acres the visitor will be able to wander through time and space.' This vision was made reality by Lord Plymouth's gift of St. Fagans Castle and Park to the National Museum of Wales in 1946. The gardens were opened to the public in 1947 and the house in 1948 but it was recognised that 'some time must elapse before any ancient houses can be re-erected in the Park'. The purpose of the Museum was that 'from different parts of Wales, farm-houses and buildings which would otherwise fall into ruin or be destroyed will be secured for re-erection, the chosen houses will of course be architecturally, historically and socially significant of Welsh culture'. The first building thus re-erected was the Stryd Lydan barn in 1951 and the ones which are included in the list are those re-erected between that date and 1972 and are thus all more than thirty years on their present site.

Exterior

The building has stone rubble walls, the front wall being whitewashed; stone tile gabled roofs, with stone stack on northern gable end of main wing and on western gable end of rear wing. Traditional Welsh longhouse type with cow-house, stable and front wing of house with common roofline; lower rear wing to house.
From north to south, eastern elevation has firstly, unglazed mullioned opening to ground floor opening of house and gabled loft window above it, secondly, the main square-headed entrance for both house and cow-house with date '1734' on the head; thirdly, small window opening to cow-house and, fourthly, square-headed entry to stables; loft door in south gable end; there are two different types of stonework evident in this gable.
Rear elevation only with small window and another similar in north gable. Dairy with window only on north side. Large stack.
Outside in the yard there is a single storey peat house with stone tile gabled roof, also sheep pens, as being appropriate adjuncts to this farmhouse.

Interior

Inside the cow-house and stable are two cruck trusses, see History. The floor is partly of earth and partly pitched with pebbles; opening in west wall for exit of manure, feeding passage and house with stone pitched floor. Timber-framed partitions in house; front and rear ground floor rooms with stopped and chamfered ceiling beams and fireplace bressumer; staircase with small window on north-sest side of the fireplace in the front wing.

Reasons for Listing

Included as one of the first complete buildings re-erected at the Museum of Welsh Life, then the Welsh Folk Museum. This building is of considerable historic interest as one of the early exhibits, both for itself and for the way it has been displayed.

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