Trellyffaint Farm and Nevern Area

(Pembrokeshire, Wales)

Trellyffaint Farm with Preseli Hills in background

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My Picton ancestors lived in the Nevern and Newport area of Pembrokeshire locations between the 1300's through the 1600"s. Nevern and Newport are less than two or three miles apart. This Nevern area and Trellyffaint Farm page is an to attempt to understand what my Picton ancestors viewed, felt, and experienced in this area.

I first drove to St Brynach church at Nevern Church and attended the church service there.

Next I visited the Trellyffaint Farm near Nevern. An ancestor named Owen Picton born about 1500 once lived at Trellyffaint Farm. His grandson also named Owen Picton lived at this farm in the early 1600's. Newport lists this Owen Picton of Trellyffaint as mayor in 1621. At least four generations of Picton's have lived at Trellyffaint Farm. I think the originial house still exists and is the current house in remodelled form. The house walls are 2 and a half feet thick made of rock, clay and horse hair material. They have an old two holer outhouse with rock walls two feet thick, with slate roof and the slate held in place by wooden pegs (this building is now used to store the lawn mower). The old animal barns have narrow slits instead of windows like you see on castles. Trellyffaint Farm has been called that for at least 800 years because a medieval Welsh historian and geographer named Gerald of Wales back 800 years reported that Trellyffaint ("Toad's Hall") was so named because a Welsh chieftain named Seisyll Esgairhir (means Longshanks) was bothered by toads, died, was placed in branches of a tree and his body was devoured by toads. There is also a report of a marble frog made in Italy on display at Trellyffaint in the 1600's. The last time this marble frog was known to exist was in the early 1900's when it was on display in the town of Haverfordwest and has not been seen since. Various spellings of Trellyffaint are Trellyfen, Trellifen, Trellyffain, Trellyfan, Trellyfant and Trellyffant all meaning "Toad's Hall". Llyfan or Llyfant is the Welsh word for a toad. Also at Trellyffaint is an old burial chamber approximately 5,500 years old.

Another website for a picture of the Trellyffaint burial chamber is:

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/ article.php?sid=5904
Please click on above line to go to another Trellyffaint Burial Chamber website

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Within several miles of this area are about a half dozen other 5,500 years old chambers which I went to see plus a 2,500 year old iron age fort. The most famous burial chamber is Pentre Ifan:

http://www.stonepages.com/ wales/pentreifan.html
Please click on above line to go to a Pentre Ifan website

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Website for a 2,500 year old iron age fort named Castell Henllys:

http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/Castell-Henllys-Iron-Age-Fort/
Please click on above line to go to a Castell Henllys website

St Brynach Church

St Brynach church at Nevern Church with an attached Norman tower built about the 12th or 13th century. St Brynach founded a church on this spot. St Brynach a friend of St David, died in about 570 AD. One Sunday I attended St Brynach Church service at Nevern. I am sure that my ancestor Owen Picton attended services in this church sometimes during the early 1600's since I think this was the only church at Nevern at the time. In the church there is old writing on stone 1500 years old that reads from right to left which is the opposite direction to ours. They have an old Celtic cross carved out of stone which is over a thousand years old. There is another old church at Newport that is not as old but is also attached to an old 1200 AD Norman tower.

St Brynach Church History at Nevern Church
540 AD to Present

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St Brynach church at Nevern Church with a Norman tower

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St Brynach church at Nevern Church

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Over a 1,000 year old Celtic Cross at St Brynach Church at Nevern Church

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Over a 1,000 year old Celtic Cross at St Brynach Church at Nevern Church

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Reproduction of an old Celtic Cross as an example showing how the cross would have been painted a 1000 years ago. This cross is on display at an Irish Cuturial Center in Ireland.

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Mounting steps for a buggy outside the gate at St Brynach Church at Nevern

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Inside of St Brynach Church at Nevern

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Ogham writing - picture taken 2006
found in both Wales and Ireland

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Ogham writing - picture taken 2006

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Latin Cross

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Latin Cross carved on a stone on a sill inside St Brynach Church at Nevern. The cross arms are two cord twists interlaced at the crossing in characteristic Irish fashion. The stone is from the early part of the ninth century.

Trellyffaint Farm House.

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When remodeling the old house at Trellyffaint they found between 50 to 60 layers of paint in places on the outside of the house. If you figure that the house was painted every 10 years, that is an old house. They said a nearby farm house was recently remodeled and they found a very old straw roof under the tin roof.

http://www.welsh- cottages.co.uk/?propref=239
Please click on above line to go to a website to stay at Trellyffaint

I did not stay here. I do not know what it is like. The people were helpful and nice.

George Owen of Henllys in the 1600s writes this about Owen Picton here at Trellyffaint: "The coat of the Pictons is gules three pikes naiant argent." I understand it partly means 3 fish swimming vertically.
Gules means: The tincture red, indicated in seals and engraved figures of escutcheons by being parallel vertical.
Pikes means fish or spearhead.
Naiant means applied to a fish depicted horizontally swimming
Argent means lustrous gray; covered with or tinged with the color of silver; "silvery hair", silverish, silvery, or having no hue.

Brian Picton Swann reported the following on Owen Picton born about 1500 "Owen Picton married, as his first wife, Jenet [Rees], daughter of Rees ap David ap Howell of Penybenglog in Meline. He married, as his second wife, Elizabeth ------- (his wife in 1556). His mother-in-law by his first marriage, Dyddgu, was the daughter and sole heiress of David ap Gwilym of Penybenglog (see Article on the descent of that property by Francis Jones in Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1938). She died in 1538. Her husband was a great-grandson of Howell ap Jankyn of Nevern, and it may be that Jenet, wife of Owen Picton, brought with her in marriage the Trellyffaint property, which afterwards served as the principal residence of this branch of the Picton family. George Owen of Henllys wrote that "Trellyffaint is the Mansion House of Owen Picton (i.e. the grandson of Owen Picton of whom we treat [see (13)]), as it hath been to three or four of his ancestors before, but in ancient time (these were) the lands of Hywel ap Jenkin of Nevern".

Brian Picton Swann also reported the following on Owen Picton born about 1500 "He was a Merchant of Newport in 1566-1567, and was the owner of the only ship recorded as trading out of Newport in the Welsh Port Books. On 18 July 1566 the vessel 'Le Saviour' of Newport sailed to Bristol (under Captain John Roberts, with a crew of three) with cargo comprising 1 pack of fardel [bundle] of frieses [coarse woollen cloth with a nap on one side] and 11,000 slate stones for Owen Picton. On 16 August the same vessel sailed from Bristol to Newport (under Captain Henry Roberts) with iron, tar, pitch, alum, white salt, soap, linen etc.; on 12 September 1567 it sailed (under Henry Roberts) with a similar cargo; and on 31 July 1567 it sailed (again under Captain Henry Roberts) with six tons of coal - the merchant in each case being Owen Picton of Newport, who "useth comonly to trade to Ireland, North Wales and up Severne afishinge" [E. A. Lewis, Welsh Port Books, 1550-1603, Cymmrodorion, 1926]."

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Old Trellyffaint Farm home with two and half foot thick walls

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Remodeling work being done inside the house at Trellyffaint Farm. -

View from Trellyffaint Farm home of Preseli Hills

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Court yard next to the house at Trellyffaint Farm. Notice that the old barn on the left has a slit for a window.

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Trellyffaint-Farm barn with slits for windows

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Two hole outhouse with 2 foot thick rock walls at Trellyffaint Farm

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Slate on Outhouse at Trellyffaint Farm

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Each slate is hung on the roof by having a wooden peg placed in a hole drilled in each slate.

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Old slate removed from a barn roof at Trellyffaint Farm

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Each slate is hung on the roof by having a wooden peg placed in a hole drilled in each slate.

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approximately 5,500 years old Trellyffaint burial chamber in distance with the Preseli Hills in the background

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approximately 5,500 years old Trellyffaint burial chamber with the Preseli Hills in the background

Picture 1
Please click on above line to go to someone elses picture of Trellyffaint Burial Mound

Picture 2 and additional information
Please click on above line to go to someone elses picture of Trellyffaint Burial Mound

A book I have "Neolithic Sites of Cardinganshire, Carmarthenshire & Pembrokeshire" by George Children and George Nash, published by Logaston Press 1997 and revised in 2002 with and ISBN 1 873827 99 7 is a very good book on the burial mounds in the Newport area. The book store in Newport sells this book. The book has pictures, explains the mounds and has directions to them. I used this book to find many of the mounds in the Newport area and I enjoyed it. It even helped me locate Trellyffaint. You must talk to the owner at Trellyffaint Farm to locate the burial mound. There is another burial mound that the book talks about which is less than a mile away. There is also a burial mound in the middle of Newport. I went to these last two without any help.

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approximately 5,500 years old Trellyffaint burial chamber with the Preseli Hills in the background

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approximately 5,500 years old Trellyffaint burial chamber with the Preseli Hills in the background

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approximately 5,500 years old Trellyffaint burial chamber with the Preseli Hills in the background

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approximately 5,500 years old Trellyffaint burial chamber with many cup marks on top of the stone. No one knows why

http://stones.non- prophet.org/archive/Ancient/000300/1023499907010c9e.html"
Please click on above line to go to a list of cup mark sites

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Old Standing Stone

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Old standing stone near the Trellyffaint burial chamber with myself (Owen Picton) standing next to it. Many feel that the standing stone is placed as it is so to be in conjunction for unknown reasons with the burial chamber. The standing stone is about maybe 100 yards or 100 meters from the burial chamber.

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Old Standing Stone

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Another view of the standing stone near the Trellyffaint burial chamber with the Preseli Hills in the background. Notice how smooth the stone is. It was worn that way by animals rubbing on the stone. On my trip I did not see any other stones worn this smooth. So the animals had to rub on this a long time.

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Pentre Ifan burial chamber located a few miles from Trellyffaint Farm

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Pentre Ifan burial chamber with the Irish Sea in the background

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Pentre Ifan burial chamber - taken 2015
Kathryn Picton, Owen Picton and Martha Picton

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Sign for the Pentre Ifan burial chamber located a few miles from Trellyffaint Farm

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Pentre Ifan burial chamber located a few miles from Trellyffaint Farm

Notice that one can see the Preseli Hills, Dinas Head and the sea from this spot.



Nevern Castle - taken 2015
Philip Picton lived at Newport, Pembrokeshire which is about 4 miles away from Nevern Castle
when they both existed at the same time.

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Nevern Castle - taken 2015

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Nevern Castle - taken 2015

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Nevern Castle - taken 2015

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Nevern Castle - taken 2015

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Nevern Castle - taken 2015

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St Dogfael's Church, Meline located a few miles from Trellyffaint Farm

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St Dogfael's Church, Meline located a few miles from Trellyffaint Farm

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St Dogfael's Church, Meline located next to Castle-Henllys an old iron age fort

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Llech-y-Tribedd burial chamber within less than a mile from Trellyffaint Farm

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Llech-y-Tribedd burial chamber within less than a mile from Trellyffaint Farm

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Llech-y-Tribedd burial chamber within less than a mile from Trellyffaint Farm

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Road over the Preseli Hills

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Notice the cattle guard on the road. The Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire are often called mountains. This highway runs over the top of the Preseli Hills. This is where I drove over the Preseli Hills. At one place you drove over a cattle guard and continue up over over the Preseli Mountains. There is a warning sign for both cattle and horses wandering freely on this open range. It is just rough ground covered with grass plus very rocky in places and on the peak (there are no trees but they say there are some old oaks that only grow 2 or 3 feet high). This was the end of February. We had some snow a couple of days before but it melted as it hit the ground except on the Preseli Hills which were still white. When I got to the top, it was snow covered with a lot of families taking there children sledding. Another day I drove over the top and it was all foggy at the top.

Road across the Preseli Hills. Notice no fences.

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Owen Picton
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Last Modified October 2017
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