Whitechurch Area and Ty'rBwlch Farm

Sign on the lane to Ty'rBwlch Farm

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1839 Tithe Map for Whitechurch including Ty'rBwlch Farm

This Ty'rBwlch Farm and Whitechurch Area page is an to attempt to understand what my Picton ancestors viewed, felt, and experienced in this area for the time period during the 1700's. I drove around and visited both the TyrBwlch Farm and Whitechurch Area. TyrBwlch Farm is on the side of the Preseli Hills. I would estimate that TyrBwlch Farm is between 10 to 13 miles from Trellyffaint Farm and are within view of each other on a clear day.

John Picton and his son Thomas Picton are some of the Pictons known to have lived at TyrBwlch Farm during the 1700s. John Picton was born 4 Feb 1713/14 in the Whitechurch parish and died about 1793. Thomas Picton was baptized 2 Dec 1749 in the Whitechurch parish and died 12 Mar 1836. It should be noted that Thomas Picton of TyrBwlch Farm in Whitechurch parish in Pembrokeshire had a son named John Picton of Maesgwyn Farm, a son named Jacob Picton of Llanboidy and Monk Hill, and a nephew named Thomas Picton of TyrBwlch Farm who went to America in the late 1700s.

A little bit of irony is that TyrBwlch Farm is now within a National Park, so it is against the law to pick a flower from the yard of TyrBwlch Farm.

I first located Eglwswrw, Pembrokeshire, Wales on a map. I do not know what Eglwswrw means but the word Eglwswen in the Welsh language means Whitechurch. I then drove to the Eglwswrw area and stayed at a Bed and Breakfast several miles East of Eglwswrw. The owners of the Bed and Breakfast were new to the area and had not heard of these locations but looked at a map. They found Whitechurch and TyrBwlch Farm on the map. The map showed a church in the Whitechurch area about 2 miles away. I then drove to this church in the Whitechurch area and found an old Anglican Church which is the Whitechurch Parish Church.

http://www.genuki.org.uk/b ig/wal/PEM/Whitechurch/
Please click on above line to go to a website with a Whitechurch parish article

Whitechurch Parish Church

I found an old Anglican Church at Whitechurch (Eglwswen) which had been the parish church of Whitechurch. The church is now closed. The church is believed to have had church services starting as far back as about 900 AD. The previous building being built in 1591 and the current one built during the late 1800s. The church has recently been sold. I wonder what happens to the large grave yard which I think contains mostly unmarked graves. I also wonder if any of my Picton ancestors are buried here I think that it is most likely that some were. Outside the church was a sign pointing to Penygroes a mile down the road. I drove down the road and found Penygroes Chapel.

Whitechurch Parish Church

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Stone marker at the Whitechurch Parish Church showing when the previous building was built.

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Penygroes sign at Whitechurch Parish Church

Penygroes is a mile down the road.

Sign on the front of Penygroes Chapel

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Penygroes Chapel

Some of the Pictons ancestors were baptized here. The Preseli Hill you see in the distance directly behind Penygroes Chapel was the location of an old Iron age fort. While standing in front of Penygroes Chapel I stopped a man driving by and asked him if he knew of any Picton's in the area. He was a retired chemistry professor for a university in London but lived just down the road and he was originally from this area. His hobby was genealogy in a big way. He had an aunt who was a Picton. He helped me contact her. The road to TryBwlch Farm was not in very good shape. So he took me by 4 wheel drive over to TryBwlch Farm less than a mile away. This is where both Thomas Picton and his father John Picton lived during the 1700s.

Preseli Hills
Please click on above line to go to a History and map with Penygroes on it website

Penygroes Chapel

The side of the hill on the right side of the picture directly below the rocks in the sky line is where TryBwlch Farm is located.

Penygroes Chapel Cemetery

The members of Penygroes Chapel have become tired of mowing around the tombstones so they removed the tombstones and lined them up in rows touching each other and also placing them back to back. Now it is easy for them to mow the cemetery but I do not like it.

A tombstone at the Penygroes Chapel Cemetery

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Sign on the lane to TyrBwlch Farm

On going to TyrBwlch Farm. Go to Penygroes Chapel then take the road toward the Preseli Hills. You come to this big farm place near the end of the road. In the middle of the farm place turn right onto a narrow road. The road may be bad enough that you may wish to walk it (I drove with my rented car). You go down this road maybe three fourths of a mile to TyrBwlch Farm (along the way you will see the TyrBwlch sign that I have a picture of). Expect to get your shoes wet if hiking around TyrBwlch Farm, at least you would at the time of year I was there.

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Sign and lane to TyrBwlch Farm

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Lane to TyrBwlch Farm

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TyrBwlch Farm

The man on the right lives at TyrBwlch farm and has owned it for 10 years. He has no connection to the Picton's but says some Pictons show up once in a while. The house he lives in he thinks is about 150 years old. The man thinks the rock building across from the house is the original house because it has windows. It has thick rock walls and the building appears to be older. He says a week before I visited, some fox hunters had a fox hunt on the Preseli Hills around TyrBwlch Farm. He makes Welsh bagpipes and his website is at the TyrBwlch Farm.

http://www.pibydd.fsnet.co.uk
Click on the previous line to go to bagpipe website at TyrBwlch Farm

One more thing, TyrBwlch farm, Penygroes Chapel, the place where the blue stones come from and the old Iron age fort are all within a National Park. There are laws for the park for things you can not do such as pick flowers. So now it is against the law to pick a flower out of the yard at TyrBwlch Farm or Penygroes Chapel.

TyrBwlch Farm building across from the house may be the original house

Ty'rBwlch Farm is on the 1839 Tithe Map for Whitechurch. In 1839, I think it shows three buildings. Two buildings are parallel to each other with another smaller building further to the right. These buildings seem to exist today. On the map, the building to the left does not go as far to the bottom (leaving a little space) when comparing it to the building in the center. The space where there is no building is where the current house is today. The man who lives at TyrBwlch Farm thinks this center current rock building across from the house is the original house because it has windows compared to the other out buildings that have only slits. It has thick rock walls and the building appears to be older. There is a small stream that runs by the buildings just to the left of the buildings. Some of the area to the left bottom is very swampy.

Window in the rock building across from the house at TyrBwlch Farm

It is believed to be the original house because it has windows not slits for windows. Old barns have slits for windows.

Coracle Boat

The man living at TyrBwlch Farm was building an old ancient Welsh boat called a coracle. It is made of willows and long ago people would stretch hide over the boat. Now I think it is a man made material streched over the boat frame. It is basket shaped. People like to float sideways down rivers and fish. Legend has it that a monk a thousand years ago escaping from Ireland floated from Ireland to Wales in 24 hours in one of these boats.

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Barn with a slit for a window at TyrBwlch Farm

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Small Stream at TyrBwlch Farm

There is a small stream maybe a foot wide running next to the house at TyrBwlch Farm. There is also a wet marshy area just above the house. When I walked thru the wet grass in this marshy area, my shoes dried with a white coating over them.

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TyrBwlch Farm view of blue stones mine for Stonehenge

One of the most amazing things is that just over the fence from TyrBwlch Farm and about a 10 to 20 minute walk up to the top of the ridge is where the blue stones for Stonehenge were mined 5,000 years ago. The area above the fence is the Preseli Hills and the commons (what I would call open range with no trees or fences but with rocks in some places). Ty'rBwlch Farm is the last cultivated bit of land before the commons start - i.e. land too poor in quality to grow any useful crops. Maybe a half hour walk to the left is the top of a very very tall hill which is an old iron and bronze age fort. Some call the Preseli Hills, the Preseli Mountains. TyrBwlch Farm is on the side of the Preseli Hills.

A strange coincidence, remember Picton Castle is in the upper reaches of Milford Haven (Daugleddau). No one knows for sure but some believe that the stones for Stonehenge were moved from the rocky quarry in the picture above to the upper reaches of Milford Haven (Daugleddau) and then taken by boat across to the Bristol Channel and eventually to Stonehenge. A stone believed for Stonehenge has been found at the bottom of the Bristol Channel. This is all 5000 years ago.

They say in the past that air force jets would fly very low over the Preseli Hills for low level training because it is an open area and no one lives on the Hills. I talked to the man about climbing the Preseli Mountains behind the farm. He said it is difficult climbing if you do not have a path. He suggested the best way to climb to the peak behind TyrBwlch Farm is to go to the near by town and take a road around to the back side, it is an easier walk from there. I drove around to the back side but could not find a walk path.

They say a while back someone tired to duplicate the effort of building Stonehenge by taking a stone the third the size of the stones at Stonehenge and have 60 men move it, They were able to move the stone only a very short distance.

Viewing Echo Rock from TyrBwlch Farm

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Fake Stone Ring at TyrBwlch Farm

Fake stone ring at TyrBwlch Farm built by the man who lives at TyrBwlch Farm. Notice Echo Rock in the background.

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Maesgwyn Farm Sign

Sign at end of the lane to Maesgwyn Farm at Whitechurch area where John Picton the son of Thomas Picton of TyrBwlch Farm lived.

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Sign at end of lane to Maesgwyn Farm

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Old house at Maesgwyn Farm

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Remains of an old sink in the old house at Maesgwyn Farm

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Remains of an old kitchen in the old house at Maesgwyn Farm

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Last Modified November 2009
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