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History

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Hengoed Farm is an early 15th Century Cruck Hall House of classic plan and construction.

It has been dendrochronologically dated as having been constructed between 1438 and 1447. Records indicate that the site has been occupied as residence since at least the early 14th century.

The Medieval Hall was only discovered to be such in 2005, when it was visited and assessed by the Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic monuments in Wales. For over one hundred years it had been (and still is )used as an agricultural building, the main residence having shifted across the farmyard quadrangle to the site of the present farm house. The significance of the building lies in its internal timber framed structure, which is remarkably complete. It forms part of a quartet of original stone farm buildings comprising the cart (or coach house )/shippon/pig sty – now the holiday Cottage – a Bakery/Brew-house and hen house (now a wood and feed store).

The present Hall-House was constructed in the period of relative prosperity which followed the conclusion of Owain Glyndwr’s rebellion. It is one of the oldest timber-framed buildings in Wales, and compliments Nantclwyd y dre in Ruthin built around the same time.

And of course Owain Glyndwr’s rebellion against the English Crown started in Ruthin, which was razed by his forces then rebuilt in the early 1400’s after the rebellion’s conclusion, leaving us with a fine legacy of medieval architecture.

Features

“Hengoed” has the classic three unit plan described by Peter Smith in Houses of the Welsh Countryside (RCAHMW 1988 ch. 4 published HMSO). A central open Hall of 2 bays is set between storeyed upper (parlour) and lower (service) ends.

The timber framework of the building retains the full compliment of 5 cruck trusses defining the 4 bays of the Hall-House. The dimensions of the Hall are impressive, particularly the massive arch-braced central truss. A significant feature is the sheer size of the timbers used to construct all 5 Cruck trusses, as well as the quality of the carpentry employed ( per Richard Suggett RCAHMW). In addition to an original wall plate, some purlins and windbraces, and the floor and wall plates under one wall have survived, as have the original padstones upon which the Cruck Trusses were set.

It was due to the fact that the use of the building changed from dwelling to agriculture in the 19th Century that so much of the internal structure has survived intact.

This is an important building representing the hey day of Cruck construction in medieval Wales. The Oak timbers used in the construction of the Cruck trusses were far larger than was usually the case, being 500 years old at felling, and making the timber at the time of construction the oldest recorded in any building in the British Isles ( per Richard Suggett RCAHMW and Welsh Dendrochronological Project Phase Nine).

Hengoed is now a Grade 11* Listed Building.