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Former Farmhouse and Buildings at Llanbrynean Farm

A Grade II Listed Building in Llanfrynach, Powys

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.9189 / 51°55'8"N

Longitude: -3.3452 / 3°20'42"W

OS Eastings: 307583

OS Northings: 225340

OS Grid: SO075253

Mapcode National: GBR YR.P6VT

Mapcode Global: VH6C5.Y1X9

Entry Name: Former Farmhouse and Buildings at Llanbrynean Farm

Listing Date: 24 March 2016

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 87711

Location: On the bend of a minor road approximately 500m SE of Llanfrynach.

County: Powys

Town: Brecon

Community: Llanfrynach

Community: Llanfrynach

Traditional County: Brecknockshire

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Brecon

History

The house is dated 1883 and it is shown in its current form with the adjacent farm buildings on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map of 1887.

The Tithe map of 1840 shows a different alignment of the road from Llanfrynach, directed east from the existing fork just south of the bridge over Nant Menasgin to the small farm 300m NW of Llanfrynach (this line still survives as a field boundary) and then rejoining further east. This farm is marked as ‘Homestead Yard & Buildings’, tenanted by Thomas Smith and owned by Henry Allen. The current lane to Llanbrynean is not shown on the Tithe map and no buildings are on the site. The copse and water course adjacent to the current house are shown on the Tithe map.

A slate plaque inscribed ‘JOHN BULLOCK LLOYD ESQ 1767’ is built into an internal wall of the northern range. It is probable that this is John Bullock Lloyd High Sheriff of Breconshire in 1760, he was born John Bullock but on marriage to Sarah Lloyd took the name Lloyd. Their daughter Sarah Anne married Henry Allen, owner of the farm shown on the Tithe and living at Caerau nearby.

The house and farm complex at Llanbrynean was built as a model farmstead by David Morgan, born to tenant farmers in the Brecon area but a self made businessman who established a retail empire in the South Wales area. His business developed into the David Morgan department Store in Cardiff. He acquired the Llanbrynean estate in 1874 and built the farm for his brother William and his family. The farm buildings were built to incorporate specific functions and supplied with innovative fittings and belt driven machinery driven by a water turbine.

The middle of the C19 saw the development of ‘Example’ or ‘Demonstration’ farmsteads, intended as showpiece farms to demonstrate improved ‘modern’ farming practices with purpose built farm ranges incorporating new ideas on stock rearing and machinery. Morgan undoubtedly intended to use his wealth from his retail business to establish a modern farm to impress and perhaps to establish himself amongst the landed gentry of his homeland. His initials and date appear on a date stone on the gable of the house along with animal and farming implement reliefs, suggestive of the establishment of a strong agricultural identity for his family and the farmstead.

On the death of William Morgan in 1929 the farm remained in the family until 1947. It was tenanted from 1956 by the Harpur family (a fire in 1958 burnt through much of the south and south-western corner of the farm buildings) until its sale in 2013 to its current owners the Hall School, Wimbledon.

Exterior

The site comprises farmhouse on the eastern side, with enclosing range of farm buildings attached to south west corner and set to the rear and side of the house. Buildings constructed in random rubble stone with slate roofs, timber casement and metal windows. Generally two storeys, arranged cowshed to the south, then threshing barn to the west then cartshed and stables to the north.

Cowshed - On the south side of the farmyard, largely open plan lofted milking parlour. Long, mainly stone elevation facing the yard with four windows evenly arranged, the two central windows grouped closer together, with louvered upper part with three vertical lights below, except that to the left fully glazed. Rear elevation with two boarded loft doors, three doorways below with two inserted wide windows in between. Roof covering renewed. Connected to farmhouse on its NE corner by an open fronted single storey shed. Attached to SE corner single storey lean-to pig sty and pitched hen house and store range.

Threshing Barn - Range in two parts, higher upslope to left, in part altered but retains Bull Pen and power room. Roof continues ridge of cowshed range and with open arcade front with pentice roof of five bays, wide central entrance bay flanked by dwarf walled partly open bays and separated by stop chamfered stone pillars. Pitched cobbled walkway behind with timber ladder to first floor, external elevation behind with wide central door, sliding boarded shutters set in metal tracks to left and small pane window to right. Boarded doors at both ends of the walkway. Lower part to right, threshing barn with two threshing floors on opposing axis, main E-W and secondary N-S. Full height gabled barn entrance to yard, low eaves continuing the line of the pentice, ventilation slit to left of barn door, metal small pane casement to right, then boarded horizontally sliding opening and boarded door to extreme right.

Rear elevation of upper section with altered opening in southern corner, two small pane metal windows to left, two windows to right, one boarded. Lower section with tall barn doors set on metal rails and with slight projecting canopy, upper and lower ventilation slits to right, further ventilation slits to right with modern leant to structure attached. Further barn doors to northern elevation.

Cartshed and stables - Yard elevation returns stepped down from the barn range but again of two storeys with cartshed to left and stables to right. Cartshed of three bays, with three segmental cart openings to the ground floor and windows above, doorway to left giving access to loft. Stables to right with two boarded doors, narrow window inbetween with boarded loading door above, echoed on the rear elevation. Loft window in gable.

Farmhouse - ‘L’-plan main wing with service wing at right angles. Two storeys, attic and basement, constructed of dressed and coursed rubble stone with yellow brick dressings, slate roof and large pane sash windows, upper lights with marginal glazing.

Symmetrical and gabled 6 bay garden entrance front of the main range arranged in pairs, outer projecting bays, narrow central bay with broad open timber entrance porch set on dwarf wall. Right gable return, central projecting stack with ‘DM 1883’ date stone.

Interior

Cowshed - Lofted almost fully open space converted on the ground floor for use as milking parlour with concrete floor. Later dividing wall at eastern end separating room with stall. Partly original floor structure to first floor, roof structure replaced.

Threshing Barn - Layout altered at southern end but with cobbled floor surviving. Bull Pen survives with feeding troughs and sliding shutters to courtyard side. Mixing House, lit by small pane metal windows to the outside and accessed by the wide door in the pentice walkway, with partly stone flagged floor and remains of water turbine machinery installation to provide power for the farm buildings. Partial machinery and settings survive on the first floor. Barn accessed by main yard doors to flagged threshing floor, tall open space subdivided by internal wall creating passage, with ramp to yard side. Secondary threshing floor at northern end. Low level openings suggestive of former belt driven machinery.

Cartshed and stables - Part cobbled floor to cartshed, stairs to loft with timber partition with twin doors, leading to granary above cartshed retaining timber floor and concrete upstand. Masonry party wall to barn to west contains stone inscribed with ‘JOHN BULLOCK LLOYD ESQ 1767’, presumably reused. Stables retain full set of original fittings and partitions and flooring. Stable loft not inspected.

Farmhouse - Retains plan form with doors, linnings, cornices, skirtings and original stair and service stair intact. Inbuilt kitchen cupboards survive, as does slate bench, flag floor and other fittings in the basement

Reasons for Listing

Included, notwithstanding the loss of original fabric from the fire in 1958, for its special architectural interest as an ambitious and well designed range of model farm buildings and farmhouse that has survived largely intact. It retains many of its original innovative design features and displays the care with which the layout and function of the building was planned. It is important for its historic interest as a good example of the mid Victorian desire to improve agricultural technology and practices and to display this in an active working farm.

Other nearby listed buildings

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