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Gelmast Farm including attached dairy and cowhouse, cartshed and stable, and yard wall.

A Grade II Listed Building in Pontarfynach, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.3648 / 52°21'53"N

Longitude: -3.798 / 3°47'52"W

OS Eastings: 277669

OS Northings: 275600

OS Grid: SN776756

Mapcode National: GBR 94.S3K6

Mapcode Global: VH5C5.4T0K

Entry Name: Gelmast Farm including attached dairy and cowhouse, cartshed and stable, and yard wall.

Listing Date: 19 February 1998

Last Amended: 16 March 2005

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 19379

Building Class: Agriculture and Subsistence

Location: Between Cwmystwyth and Devil's Bridge, to NE of B4574, about 1.2km E of The Arch, best approached from track near bridge over Nant Peiran.

County: Ceredigion

Town: Aberystwyth

Community: Pontarfynach

Community: Pontarfynach

Locality: Cwmystwyth

Traditional County: Cardiganshire

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Farmhouse and buildings, part of a small farm complex built c. 1806-7, as New Farm, for Thomas Johnes of Hafod, replacing the Home Farm nearer the house which was demolished c. 1806-7. Altered in later C19.
The farm was approached by a (disused) drive from the Jubilee arch built 1809-10 and is referred to in the sale catalogue of 1832 as 'formerly Mr Johnes' experimental farm'. It then had 270 acres (109hs) with an annual value of £61/15/0d (£61.45). Marked as The New Farm, farmed by John Howell on 1847 Tithe map. It was named Gelmast (said to be a corruption of 'gallant mast') by 1881, when a Capt. Rowlands was resident.
New Farm was probably intended to showcase Johnes' ideas on grassland management, stock, and dairying, and to supply milk, butter and cheese to the district, including the lead-mining area. The buildings relate mainly to the dairying (though Malkin in 1807 refers to a sheep-farming enterprise). The crown surveyor in 1845 noted that 'Mr Johnes built a farmhouse and office with a Dutch shed'.
The farm was unusual in having a formerly-detached dairy and large cowshed for abut 20 cows. There have been later alterations: the house has C19 stucco and windows, the blocks to E and W are probably altered (though both appear on the 1841 Tithe map): the service range to E is probably added in early C19, as it seems built across the front of the once-detached pyramid-roofed dairy. The open-bay cartshed to W was probably 'the Dutch shed', and the small lofted building further W was possibly a lofted stable (loft floor since removed).
The W side of the court has a detached barn, listed separately.


Farmstead with house, agricultural buildings and walls round rectangular yard. Two-storey farmhouse has three-bay main house, with service range to R. House of painted stucco with slate eaves and large rendered chimneys to ends. Rear outshut. Late C19 4-pane horned sashes, the central upper window is not quite aligned with door. Late C19 door with glazed upper panels and small overlight. To R, set slightly back, slightly lower two storey double-fronted service range (possibly raised from single-storey), with left of centre C20 door and two 6-pane horned sash windows to each floor (wider on R), C20 brick chimney to R.
Projecting from the rear of this block is the dairy (formerly freestanding) with hipped (formerly pyramidal) slate roof; a pair of large 12-pane casements (one missing 2004) windows to E and a small 12-pane casement to N, with signs of blocked openings. Rear of house has two doors and a window each end in outshut.
Attached to W (left) of house, a 3-bay dutch-barn or cartshed with stone piers, corrugated roof and doors, and beyond a plain rubble stone block, possibly once a lofted stable, with slate roof and blocked door to front. Broad door and loft door in L gable.
Attached to E (R) of house, at right angles to service range, a long cowhouse in rubble with slate roof, hipped to NE corner, gable to S partially rebuilt in brick. Window, door, window and small window to front. At S end of cowshed, at right angles, rubble wall which drops in height and terminates in gatepier to W, partially enclosing S side of yard with wall attached to barn (listed with barn).


House has central stair passage; wooden stair with stick balusters. Room to L has Victorian style fireplace; service rooms to rear in outshut. Kitchen range has wooden stair against rear wall. Main block of house has, on upper floor, one beam with run-out stops, and rough beams (boxed-in); Victorian iron fireplace in W wall. Matchboard partitions in Kitchen block. Main (W) section of house and outshut have pegged roof trusses, E (kitchen range) has bolted later trusses. Dairy has plastered ceiling, and slate-slab work surfaces; slate paved floor; roof structure is intact with central A-frame truss supporting structure of former pyramidal roof. Cowhouse has 9 bays of pegged trusses; remains of wooden feed passage partition to W. Cartshed to W of house has modern roof trusses, and end building has one later bolted roof truss. No loft floor.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a farmstead of c1806-7 whose form and plan preserve Thomas Johnes's experimental New Farm.

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