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Ysgwrn;Yr Ysgwrn Farmhouse; home of Hedd Wynn

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Map ReferenceSH73SW
Grid ReferenceSH7229334668
Unitary (Local) AuthorityGwynedd
Old CountyMerioneth
PeriodPost Medieval

A two-storey farmhouse constructed in 1830 with a contemporary linear farm building adjoining it to the left, all built of coursed squared stone with slate roof. There are chimneys in the right gable end and between the farmhouse and adjoining building. There are three second-storey windows and two first-storey windows flanking the central doorway, all are sixteen-light sash windows but those in the ground floor are slightly larger. There are also two small first-storey windows to the rear. The openings all have deep stone lintels. There is a further outshot to the rear containing a small bedchamber. In front of the farmhouse, a forecourt is enclosed by a rubble wall and steps and a path to the doorway are flanked by further stone walls and gateposts. Adjoining the farmhouse are a stable and cart shed (NPRN 41758).

Inside, the house has stone-flagged floors and a pegged roof. The kitchen/hall contains a broad fireplace with a mantle shelf, brick-arched flue and cast-iron range. The pantry is partitioned off with vertical slate slabs. During renovation in 2016, twenty-six layers of wallpaper were discovered in the kitchen, illustrating the evolution of the decoration of the farmhouse.

Yr Ysgwrn is best known as the home of the poet Ellis Humphrey Evans (Hedd Wynn) (1887?1917) who famously won the chair for his poem `Yr Arwr' at the national eisteddfod at Birkenhead on 6 September 1917 having tragically died on 31 July at the battle of Pilkem Ridge. After this was revealed the chair was draped in a black sheet, thus the eisteddfod is commonly referred to as `Eisteddfod y Gadair Ddu'. Hedd Wyn's bardic chairs are housed at Yr Ysgwrn.

The Snowdonia Park Authority purchased the farmhouse in March 2012 and it has been converted into a museum, with a small visitor centre sited to the north at SH 721 348. In the process of this conversion, extensive restoration work was carried out on the house, particularly from 2016. It was opened to the public on 6 July 2017.

(Sources: Cadw Listed Buildings Database; GAT Regional Historic Environment Record (PRN 12503); Dictionary of Welsh Biography, s.v. Evans, Ellis Humphrey (Hedd Wyn); Yr Ysgwrn website)
A.N. Coward, RCAHMW, 07.11.2018