History in Structure

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Castell Bach

A Grade II Listed Building in Aberwheeler, Denbighshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2077 / 53°12'27"N

Longitude: -3.3326 / 3°19'57"W

OS Eastings: 311096

OS Northings: 368681

OS Grid: SJ110686

Mapcode National: GBR 6R.1T4P

Mapcode Global: WH76W.SM7R

Entry Name: Castell Bach

Location: Reached by an unclassified narrow lane 1 km north-east from Dre-goch Ganol on the B5429.

County: Denbighshire

Community: Aberwheeler

Locality: Dre-goch

Traditional County: Denbighshire

Listing Date: 20 May 2002

Last Amended: 20 May 2002

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Building Class: Agriculture and Subsistence

Source ID: 26644

History

A house with chimney backing onto the original entry, a type ('outside cross passage') common in the C17, especially when originally built in storeyed form, as appears here.

The house was described c.1970 as having a timber-framed partition forming the other side of the cross passage incorporating two doors with four-centred heads; the downhill unit was therefore divided longitudinally. The uphill unit is also divided longitudinally, and now comprises bathroom and kitchen. Smith (1988) notes Castell Bach as an early North Wales instance of a plan-type later very common in South Wales. (For the early presence of this type in Denbighshire, compare Bryngwylan, Llanfair Talhaearn, dated 1589.)

Castell bach is now two dwellings, one comprising the middle and east units of the original house, the other comprising the west unit and a later wing extending north. The latter dwelling also includes as a detached part the old shippon to the east and its later north porch.

Exterior

A two-storey house of three units plus later additions, sited downslope, in local uncoursed limestone masonry with slate roof. Large stone chimney stack between lower and middle units. A single storey modern lean-to at the south side covers the position of one doorway to the cross passage; the other doorway is within a later north wing of outbuildings now occupied as a second house. Against the east (uphill) gable wall is a later unit also in uncoursed stone and with slate roof, described as a former shippon, not communicating with the main part of the house; this has a modern porch on its north side. Glazed porch also to doorway of the central unit on the south side.
The elevations to north and south excluding the additional unit at east are of three windows, corresponding to the three units; modern windows in small openings; the present main doorway is a secondary insertion. Modern windows and dormer in the additional unit at east.

Interior

The central unit (the hall) is now entered directly from the south side by a main doorway protected by a small lightly constructed porch; vertical boarded door with four-pane overlight. The hall retains its large chimney, chamfered main beam and flat-laid chamfered joists. Similar joists visible in the kitchen (but others apparently boxed in behind a modern ceiling in the bathroom). Upstairs, in the wall between the central and east units, a large strongly cambered tie beam is apparent (behind wallpaper).
The present stairs position is within the hall against the north side; a previous stairs position is indicated within the kitchen against the south side.

Reasons for Listing

A small farmhouse of c.1600 retaining vernacular features of considerable interest.

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