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Cefn Caer Farmhouse, Pennal; Cefn-Caer

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Map ReferenceSH70SW
Grid ReferenceSH7042000140
Unitary (Local) AuthorityGwynedd
Old CountyMerioneth
PeriodPost Medieval
Cefn Caer Farmhouse, Pennal, is a remarkably well-preserved sub-medieval house of gentry status. The house contains good and sophisticated 16th century detail internally, including two medieval roof trusses over the hall consisting of arch-braced collar beams with cusped raking struts forming a quatrefoil and flanking trefoils in the apex. There is also a medieval screen with traces of swirls of foliage, circular motifs and scroll-work, and two birds.

Built of local limewashed stone, including stone retrieved from the Roman fort (see below), the house has slate roofs and is one storey and attic. The main house consists of 3 bays, the upper, right bay extended forward as a gable, and the building continues to the right beyond the former gable stack by a further two bays in line, probably at one time farm buildings. The entrance is in the centre bay; a narrow stone doorcase with 3-centre arched head, and stone hood on brackets over.

The house stands just within the defences of a Roman fort, and evidence from excavation suggests a building of some substance existed on the site prior to the erection of the present 3-bay hall house, which has been dated by dendrochronology to 1525-6, (roof construction). It was probably a dwelling of an important functionary. In c1600 it was settled by Robert Vaughan the historian and bardic patron, and the house underwent repairs and probably alterations in the period 1658-1660, a date also derived from tree rings, and at which time it appears the hall was ceiled over and the large fireplace with a side oven added. There were various later alterations and additions to each end in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Reference: Cadw listed buildings database.
RACHMW, 2009.