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Map ReferenceSH74SW
Grid ReferenceSH7201043890
Unitary (Local) AuthorityGwynedd
Old CountyMerioneth
PeriodPost Medieval
Cae Canol Mawr is a small sub-Medieval farmhouse, probably early 17th century. It is of rubble construction on a boulder plinth and with slate-coped rubble gable parapets. It is one-and-a-half storeys with a slate roof and single large stack to the right gable end. There is an off-centre entrance (to the right) with a recessed modern door. To the left, stepped-down and set back, is an adjoining 19th century service addition, and a later 19th century catslide outshut to the rear of this.

RCAHMW, 2009.


Cae-canol-mawr is an upland farmhouse built on a platformed site with boulder footings about 1000 feet above OD. The early house survives with an added bakehouse at the upper end, and service lean-tos (ruined) at the rear. A (horse-)gin at the rear (allegedly worked by two dogs) seems to have been used for churning with a drive into the dairy. The house is of two-unit Snowdonian type with end chimneys and inside cross-passage. The house originally had a fully-screened cross-passage between twin outer rooms and an upper-end hall. The two-door partition to the outer rooms partly survives; the partition to the hall has been lost but mortices in the head-beam show it was of post-and-panel type with a large central doorway (cf. Brynyrodyn). The large end fireplace is substantial with a timber beam; there is no evidence for a fireplace stair. The hall/kitchen is at present open to the roof and the fenestration suggests this was probably so originally. The tall four-light hall window with plain mullions flanking the fireplace survives and is an early feature retaining a hoodmould externally, and the head of the window is set markedly above the probable ceiling level. The roof-trusses survice. Truss I (over the hall) is an open collar-beam truss with raking struts removed. The partition truss (2) was originally a closed truss although some of the studs have been removed. There were originally two tiers of cusped windbraces rising from the trusses. Several features suggest that this is an early type of Snowdonian house: the downslope siting, the strong suggestion that the hall was open to the roof, and (3) the cusped windbraces. R.F. Suggett/RCAHMW/October 2011.

The tree-ring dating of Cae-canol-mawr was commissioned by the North-west Wales Dendrochronological Project in partnership with RCAHMW, and established that Cae-canol-mawr was built using timber felled in 1531/2.. The Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory reported:

Two principal rafters were found to have been derived from the same tree. In all four roof timbers and a fireplace lintel were dated. One roof timber retained complete sapwood and was felled in spring 1530, whilst the fireplace lintel was from a tree felled in winter 1531/32. Construction is therefore likely to have been completed in 1532, or within a year or two after this date.

R.F. Suggett/RCAHMW/18 October 2011

application/pdfRCAHMW Dendrochronology Project Collection
application/pdfRCAHMW Dendrochronology Project Collection
application/pdfDHHS - Discovering the Historic Houses of Snowdonia Collection
application/pdfRCAHMW Dendrochronology Project Collection
application/pdfDHHS - Discovering the Historic Houses of Snowdonia Collection