Gwalrhedyn (Bracken Lair)
The approach to Gwalrhedyn is through Glangwenlais fields where it rests on the slopes of Mynydd Mallaen.
David Jones was the owner of ‘Gwalrhedin House and Land’ in the tithe of 1843 and David Williams was the tenant of this holding of 47 acres. David Jones also owns Cwmmerchon, Cwmynis , Penrhiw, and Penygroes.
The earliest record of Gwalrhedyn is in a prenuptual settlement of land in 1765: between Ann Harries of ‘Kilycwm’, and Harry Harries, Conwillgaio, gent . 1 In 1777Gwalrhedyn is the property of Harry Harries, Gent. 2 In 1777 Gwalrhedyn is leased to John Jones for forty years. There is still a carved date stone, “John Jones 1777” at Gwalrhedyn today. 3
By 1785 Gwalrhedyn is the property of Morgan Harries, Gent.4 and it is mentioned in the 1788 marriage settlement of Morgan Harries & Mary Lloyd.
It appears again in a 1797 ‘lease … exchange of properties in Killycomb and Conwil Gaiao, signatory Rees JONES of Gwalrhedin, gentleman’ 5 in 1799 ‘Rees James’, seems to have bought Gwalrhedyn, which he leaves to his widow Hester for her lifetime after which it is to go to Morgan Morgan his nephew, if he dies with no heirs, then it is to go to another nephew John Jones son of David Jones of ‘Blaen nôs’ the founder of the famous Black Ox bank of Llandovery.
By 1817 David Jones of ‘Gwalrhedin’, parish of ‘Cylycwm’, whose occupation is given as, ‘drover’ is living there. In March of that year James Jones, probably David’s son of ‘Gwalrhedyn’, aged 13 years dies. In 1820 there is a burial record in Cilycwm Church on the 29th March 1820, for David Jones, Gwalrhedyn, aged 36 years, his will mentions Cwmerchon but not Gwalrhedyn perhaps he was a tenant here or what is more likely had already assigned this property in a marriage contract or similar document previously.
In 1837, William Williams, of Gwalrhedyn, dies aged 15 years. The Williams family occupy ‘Gwalrhedy’ until the 1850’s. The 1860’s to the 1880s sees a Jones family in residence, followed by Pritchards in the 1890’s and Llewellyn’s from at least 1901 to the 1930’s.
On the 11th of July, 1877, an inquest was held at Gwalrhedyn , Cilycwm, Llandovery before the coroner relating to the death of Daniel Thomas, cattle dealer, who was found dead on the road near to Llwynberllan. The jury returned a verdict that the deceased had been accidently killed by a fall from a horse. His descendants believe to this day that he had been murdered.8
An interesting outcrop of rock in the top field adjoining the open mountain, Cae Mynydd attracted archaeologists to come and survey it thinking it was a possible archaeological feature but they concluded it was just a natural rock!
There is an unusual thin strip of Glangwenlais field running through middle of Gwalrhedyn’s large field on the tithe map, possibly Glangwenlais’s access to the mountain? There is no trace of this strip today.
1. CRO-Glasbrook 18/20 (catalogue p.91)
2. Campbell (1777) Map of Glangwenlais. Carmarthen Record Office (CAS).
3. Lease of Gwalrhedyn to John Jones (1777). (CRO Glasbrook 18/25, catalogue p. 92).
4. M. Williams (1785) Plan of Llwyn John. National Library of Wales (NLW).
5. 8/10-11, catalogue p. 37 Glasbrook (CAS)
6. 1817, March 22-4. (NLW). Glansevin 272-3.
7.1834 Will of David Jones (NLW-SD1834-65
8. Western Mail 11/7/1877
Tegwyn and Mair Davies, Glangwenlais
Aled Edwards, Llwyn Sion