Lan-isaf (alias Pen-mount) (see Garthgynydd Map 1 for 1841 Tithe map & fields and location on Google maps)

In 1841 Lan Isha was a 38 acre farm on the hillside of the Bargoed Taff valley, the farmhouse being above where today Bedlinog Cemetery stands. The farm is shown on the modern OS map as Pen-Mount, an alternate name that dates back to at least 1823 where, as Pen y Mount, it is found on the land tax return. The name Lan Isha is first documented in about 1790, between 1750 and 1790 it being known simply as Tir y Lan. The only other named reference to the farm comes in the 16th century where it was called Tir y Garth Gynyd, that is Farm (or land) of "Garthgynydd"  a somewhat uninformative name for farms in the Hamlet of Garthgynydd that today applies to a quite different farm, and was also used of "Bedlinog isaf".

In the 1540 Senghennydd Manor survey “Lan isaf” has been identified as a property owned by William Dyo Thomas who paid an annual rent to the lord of the Manor of 42 pence, with a further 7 pence every other year as cymortha, the latter being shown as payable by William dyo and llewes dyo. There is also a deed of 1543 that suggests that they had only recently acquired the property. When a property changed hands a series of deeds would be produced. There would be the Bargain and Sale deed itself, probably a Bond to guarantee peaceful possession and maybe one or two Quitclaims. The Quitclaim was a document in which the seller or his relatives would acknowledge that they had no claim on the property. Among the Llancaiach estate deeds is found the following Quitclaim

Quitclaim, 12 Sep. 1543

Jn. ap Rosser ap Madoke of Gelligaer, and w. Margt. verch David ap Phelip, Gronow Watkyn of Eglwysyarle (co. Brecon), brewer, and w. Gwenllian verch David ap P., to Wm. Dio Thomas and Lewis Dyo T., both of Gelligaer

A tenement and lands called Teer garthe kened lately of phelip Rs ap phelip, a close called Kay Jevan lln. ap Rs, and a close called Kay Ruv green; in Gelligaer      [1 parchment]

Witnesses: dio ap Rs ap hoell phillip howell ap Rs and howell ap jevan ap howell

The suggestion here would be that Margaret and Gwenllian were the granddaughters of Phillip Rees ap Phillip and that the properties had recently been sold to William and Lewis Dio Thomas. “Lan isaf” was a part of the Llancaiach estate in the early 17th century which would account for the deed being in the archive.

In a comprehensive 1545 tax return for Gelligaer we find that “William dyo Thomas” paid 2 pence, as did “llen dyo Thomas”, this was a tax specifically on goods not land  and indicates they had no great wealth apart from their land. In the survey of 1570 the property is shown as “Lewis dyo and William dyo hold a tenement formerly William dyo Thomas paying 42 pence”. A somewhat strange entry, but presumably William dyo (1570) and William dyo Thomas (1540) are one and the same and he and his brother jointly owned the property. There is a deed of 1566 that relates to the property which is catalogued as

Conveyance in Trust, 20 Sep.1566

Wm David Thomas of Gelligaer, husbandman, to Jevan Morris and Lewis Richard of Gelligaer in trust for Wm. David Thomas, wife Susan Rosser and their children

Lands and tenements called Tear y Karth Kynyd, and a moiety of land called Y Wayne groen; all in lordship of Senghenydd Supra; in Gelligaer.

This would appear to be the nuptial settlement of William Dyo Thomas and his wife Susan Rosser, the trustee Jevan Morris was the owner of “Brithdir uchaf” in Brithdir Hamlet. Trustees are often related to the couple but no relationship is known. The next deed of the property is a bond of 1580 catalogued as

Bond in £100 for quiet enjoyment, 16 June 1580

David Lewys of Gelligaer, yeoman and others

Lands called Tyr garth Kynyd, in Gelligaer.

Examination of the document shows the others to be “david ap hoell dyo, husbandman; Lewys dyo pryse, gent” and the bond which starts with a paragraph in Latin continues 

“the condition of the above written obligation ys suche that yf the above bounden david [lewys] and Katheryne his wyf and the heirs of the said David and Katheryne and theire assignes and every of them doe and shall from tyme to tyme and at all tymes hereafter peacablie and quietly permytte and suffer the covenanted Lewys David Thomas and his assignes for and durringe all the natural lyfe of the said Lewys to have & hould occupie & enjoye as well all that tenement of lands with thappertenances called tyr garth kynyd lyeinge in Kelligare abovesaid  all messuage barn  & meadowes leases[?]  and pastures thereunto belonging as allso three medowes whereof one is called y wayne gron another called gwayn Blaen Lwyna & the third called gwayne y wern dwyne issa withoute any lette or interuption That the above written obligation to be voyde and hadde for nought and otherwyse the same to stande and continue in full force effect and power”

It appears to be related to another settlement, and suggests David Lewis is the son of Lewis David Thomas. There is no mention of William David Thomas and it seems likely that he had died without children and the whole property had come to his brother. In a tax assessment of 1581 a Lewis dio Thomas paid 60 pence in tax for an income from goods of £3 a year, a large figure. It is not known how this income might have been generated. It should also be added that there was another Dio Thomas in the parish so we can’t be certain it is the same person. In a tax assessment of 1589 Lewis dd Thomas paid 16 pence on lands worth £1 a year. If this is the same person it would suggest he owned more than just “Lan isaf”, the name does not occur in subsequent assessments.

In 1604 the family began to sell the property. Lewis David Lewis, who is presumed to be the son of the David Lewis of the 1580 deed, sold to Edward Prichard of Llancaiach

“… one close of meadowe nowe in the handes of John y Gwayth is called Gwayne vedlinog and four closes residue of the said premisses nowe in the handes of Rosser Rees Jevan is called Kaye Kydyn and as the said four closes called Kaye Kydyn doe lie there together between the lands of the said Edward Prichard, Edward Rees Griffith and the common called Graig Ryne on all or some parts and sides thereof and as the said meadowe called Gwayne vedlinog doth there lye betweene the landes of the said Edward Prichard, the lands of John Lewis dio griffith and the common there on all or some partes and sides thereof; By the name or names of ffowr acres of lands three acres of meadowe and three acres of pasture….”

They continued to sell the property bit by bit over the next 20 years. Generally it was sold to the Prichard family of Llancaiach. However in early 1622 they sold the farm house to Sir William Lewis of Gilfachfargoed as shown by the following deed

Bargain and Sale for £4, 11 January 1621/2;

Lewis David Lewis of Gelligaer, yeoman to Sir William Lewis of Kilvach bargoed;

A mansion house and appurtenances in Gelligaer.

The families at Llancaiach and Gilfachfargoed were feuding with each other at this time, and there can be little doubt that the purchase of the farm house was part of this feud. Eighteen months later Sir William Lewis sold it to David Prichard but with a 25% price rise

Bargain and Sale for £5, 7 October 1623;

Sir William Lewis of Kilvach bargoed to David Prichard of Lancayach, esquire;

A mansion house, appurtenances and lands, in occupation of Owen Thomas Howell, in Gelligaer.

Shortly after, the sale of the final part of “Lan isaf” was recorded. However the deeds reveal that David Prichard bought the “reversion” of some of the lands. By a marriage settlement some of the lands would automatically go to Ann Morgan the wife of Lewis David Lewis on his death, and they would remain hers during her lifetime. Only on her death would the property revert to Lewis David Lewis’ heir or in this case to David Prichard who had bought the reversion. This is reflected in the Senghennydd Manor survey of 1630, which says “David Prichard esquire for part of one tenement in the tenure of Rice John Jenkine and Morgan Rice and Anne Morgan widow for thother part pay 42 pence”, the cymortha payment reads “David Prichard and Anne Morgan widow for a tenement in the tenure of Morgan Rees John pay 7 pence”. Quite evidently Lewis David Lewis died sometime between October 1623 and the compiling of the survey. Ann Morgan’s interest in the property was still acknowledged, but on her death ownership of the whole property would have passed to David Prichard.

Meanwhile back in 1612 the family had taken a lease on Gwerne Dwyne in Ysgwyddgwyn hamlet as shown in this deed

20 Sep 10 James (46 Scot) [1612].

Earl of Pemboke to Lewis David Lewis of Kelligare, yeoman, Anne Morgan his wife and David Lewis ap David their son.

4 acres of meadow now in tenure of the said Lewis; rent 4s., 2 capons, heriot of best beaste – patent hold land, Lewis David Lewis signs by mark.

Ann Morgan is shown as still holding this land in the 1630 survey. David Prichard died in 1630 and sometime during the following 10 years his son Edward Prichard sold the property. This is known because the Will of Morgan David who owned the property that was to become the farm "Garth-gynydd" mentioned it in his will written in December 1640

Item I geve devise and bequeath unto William Thomas my grandchild all the messuage lands, except gwaune blaen [lwyne], and tenement with all and singular theire appurtenance in as large and ample maner as I hadd and purchased the same of Edward Prichard esquire and to his heires and assignes for ever under and upon the condition and provisoes hereafter expressed .....

Although the property itself is not named we know that Morgan David’s grandchild is the son of his daughter and Thomas William Evan who owned farmland in Brithdir Hamlet. In the Manor survey of 1670 “Lan isaf” is shown as being owned by William Thomas William. Only one other Prichard owned property in Gelligaer changes ownership and that can be identified as "Coly isaf". William Thomas William’s brother Morgan Thomas William inherited "Garth-gynydd". In a court case of 1677 involving John Jacob of the neighbouring farm "Clwyd Trawscae" one of the witnesses is a William Thomas William aged 48 who from the evidence was a yeoman living in Garthgynydd hamlet. In his evidence he says

“that about 15 years last past and after sevrall of the inhabitants of the Parish did bargain with the [Rector] for the tithe offering and duties due to the [Rector] from the parcel of Garthgynyd in the said Parish for three years. And that they were to pay for the same for three years the sum of £11 4s. 0d. of money yearly. And that this Witness, the Defendant John Jacob and others the inhabitants of the said Parish did [pay] the said tithes at the same rate for nine years longer or thereabout. And this Witness verily believeth that the [Rector] was paid by the said inhabitants who held the said tithe and offering yearly accordingly of which inhabitants this Witness was one and the reason of his belief is because he paid his portion”

A William Thomas William is also shown as owning "Lan uchaf" but he also owned that in 1630 so is unlikely to be aged 48. So the witness is likely the owner of “Lan isaf”, who was born about 1620 and had inherited the property from his grandfather when he was 20. His grandmother Jane Morgan in her will written in December 1663 said “I give to the five children of my grandchildren William Thomas 5 yearling beasts at May following my decease”. William Thomas is shown as paying for 1 hearth in the hearth tax returns of 1671 and 1672, but after that nothing is known of the farm or family until 1750.

In a Senghennydd Manor list of those paying the lords rent in Garthgynydd hamlet in 1757 a property called Tir y lan is shown as owned by Joan Lewis and Wenlien Morgan of Lisvane with the tenant being Edmund Rees and paying 48 pence. This is slightly more than the 42 pence paid in 1670, but exactly why there had been this increase is not known. Earlier lists of 1747 and 1749 which do not include the owner or farm-name show that Edmund Rees had been the tenant at least since 1747. It is not known who Joan Lewis or Wenllian Morgan were. In a list of freeholders (those who owned land in the manor) for the years 1747 to 1751 there is a note at the end which reads “Thomas Wm Morgan of Lisvane freehold in Kellygare  Dead Q[uery] who is his heir”. This might relate to “Lan isaf”. In 1765 the owners are shown as Joan Lewis Wenllian Morgan of lysvane and Mr Thos Lewis. Mr Thomas Lewis was the owner of "Bedlinog uchaf"  and it was he who eventually came to own Lan isaf, but there are no deeds or other information as to how this came about. In a land tax assessment of 1767 the property was shown as Teer y Lan owned by Thos Lewis & Wm Amos, again there is no evidence as to who William Amos might have been. By the late 1780s the property was owned by Lewis Edwards of Bedlinog uchaf, the successor to Thomas Lewis and the property remained in the ownership of this family at least into late Victorian times.

Edmund Rees remained as tenant until 1783. From an Edwards family settlement of 1805 we know that he had a lease on the property from 1774.

Tyr y Lan Issa (33 acres) leased 6 January 1774 to and for the lives of Edmund Rees, yeoman, Margaret his wife and David his son of whom David & Margaret still live, yearly rents £7 5s.

Although the lease was still in operation in 1805 there is no evidence that David Rees or his mother Margaret occupied the farm. From 1784 until his death in 1800, taxes on the farm were paid by Lewis Evans who owned the neighbouring farm Twyn-giden. His wife Amy kept on the farm until her own death in 1804. After this Thomas Jones was the tenant from 1805 to 1816, William Davies from 1816-1826, and Edward William from 1827 till the tithe return of 1841. Nothing is known of these tenants. In Land Tax returns the property was called Lan Isha until 1822, after which it is more commonly called Pen y Mount, but in the tithe schedule it was called Lan Isha.

Today Bedlinog Cemetery is on land formerly part of this farm. The site of the little Salem chapel now used as a cemetery work shed is marked on the tithe map of 1841 but it must have been in use 100 years earlier as a description of the Garthgynydd hamlet boundaries dating from 1750 reads “.... then along the way westward to Funnon Cluide Trauska then to nant y garth opposite Craig vargod Meeting house then along nant y Garth to Bargod river”. The small chapel was called Craig fargoed in the 1830s. In the 1841 tithe schedule opposite the meeting house is shown a “Public House & Garden”, today this is long gone – it must have stood on what is today a car park to the Cemetery.

Data Sources

1543 Deed : Glamorgan Archive Dynevor DD344

1540 Senghenydd Manor Survey : National Archive SC6/HENVIII/7493

1545 Tax : National Archive E179/221/238

1566 Deed : Glamorgan Archive Dynevor DD345

1570 Senghenydd Manor Survey : National Library of Wales Bute S1 & S2

1580 Deed : Glamorgan Archive Dynevor DD346

1604-1606 Deeds : Glamorgan Archive Dynevor DD349-352

1612-1624 Deeds : Glamorgan Archive Dynevor DD357-370

1630 Senghenydd Manor Survey : National Library of Wales Bute M37/39

1641 Will : National Library of Wales LL1641-22

1660 Tax : National Archive E179/264/47

1665 Will : National Library of Wales LL1665-38

1670 Senghenydd Manor Survey : National Library of Wales Bute M37/41 & S11

1671-72 Hearth Tax : National Archive E179/221/194 & 296

1746-51 Senghennydd Manor Suit Roll : National Library of Wales Bute M37/198

1750 Hamlet Boundary : Glamorgan Archive P2/1

1772 Lease detail : National Library of Wales Bute D127/4

1747-1840 Senghennydd Manor Rentals : National Library of Wales Bute R6/2-5 & 32

1763-68 Land Taxes : National Library of Wales Tredegar 85/2230++

1771-1809 Local Taxes : National Library of Wales Bute G11

1783-1831 Land Taxes : Glamorgan Record Office Q/D/LTA/CAE

1841 Tithe Schedule : Glamorgan Record Office P/1/2/13

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