Yniscedwyn Estate Papers

Scope and Content

Deeds, including deeds relating to the purchase of the Yniscedwyn estate by the Awbrey family, 1489-1738; deeds relating to the Gough estate in Gloucestershire, 1489-1945; deeds of purchases, settlements and mortgages, 1800-1945; deeds of sale of properties, 1866-1935; leases of premises in Llangiwg, Glamorgan, 1802-1933, Ystradgynlais, Brecknockshire, 1804-1939, and Cilybebyll, Glamorgan, 1858-1888; industrial records, including papers relating to Ynys-Cedwyn furnaces, 1801-1875, Ynys-Cedwyn Tin Plate Works, 1891-1925, Crane Foundry, Ystradgynlais, 1898-1922, Gurnos Brick and Tinplate Works, 1877-1920, Tirbach Brick Works, 1890-1904, and miscellaneous collieries, 1808-1927; wills, 1891-1904; estate plans, 1797-1934; Ystradgynlais National School and other educational papers, 1773-1816; surveys and plans, 1797-1934; and estate accounts and correspondence, 1799-1946.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Ynys-Cedwyn estate is centred in the Upper Swansea Valley in the parishes of Ystradgynlais Lower, Brecknockshire, and Cilybebyll and Llangiwg, Glamorgan. Its demesne lies on the east of the Twrch River where it flows into the Tawe. The Swansea Canal, running the breadth of the estate, formed the site for tinplate and brick works, some famous, some ephemeral, exploiting the mineral wealth, the stone coal and culm, limestone, iron-ore and fire-clay which lay under the stinted pasture of Allt-y-grug and Graig-arw sheepwalks. Ynys-Cedwyn or Ystradgynlais was the patrimony or acquisition of Griffith Gwyr. Descending through the female line to the Franklen family of Gower, the demesne passed to the Awbreys when Anne, daughter of Jenkin Franklyn, married William, son of Morgan Awbrey, who was of the Abercynfig or parent stock of the family, and had settled at Palleg in Ystradgynlais when disinherited by his father, William Awbrey. William's grandson, Morgan, is said to have sold the property to a namesake, Morgan Awbrey, son of Jevan Morgan Prichard. No record of this transaction survived, but Jevan Morgan Prichard purchased various tenements, including Tir Ynysgedwen, from the Herberts of Cilybebyll in 1586. The estate was extended during the seventeenth century by four generations of Morgan Awbreys. The first acquired property in Brecon and its suburbs by his marriage with Margaret Games, widow of Daniel Meredith, whose father Meredith Thomas had consolidated a considerable estate. Purchases were made in Ystradgynlais, in Llanddeusant and Llandeilo Fawr, Carmarthenshire, and in Llangiwg, Glamorgan, where Lewis Griffith John ap Lewis of Cilybebyll had bought extensively. His grandson Mathew Herbert, who had married Eleanor, daughter of Sir Edward Awbrey of Tredomen, sold to his distant cousin. Lastly, the fourth Morgan acquired Ystradgynlais properties by his marriage with Rachel, daughter of Christopher Middleton of Middleton Hall, Carmarthenshire. With Morgan's death in 1683 the male line of the Awbreys was extinguished. The estate passed to his cousin Christopher Portrey, whose mother Catherine had married Richard Portrey of Cheriton, vicar of Rhossili and Ystradgynlais, and a descendant of the Boverton family. Christopher's daughter Catherine married William Gough of Willsbury, Gloucestershire. The deeds of the Gough family of St Briavels and of the Smart family of Woolaston were incorporated in the Ynys-Cedwyn records as a result of this marriage. Ynys-Cedwyn passed to Richard Gough after the death of his uncles Richard and Christopher. By provision of a Private Act of Parliament the estate was vested in trustees in 1751, Richard Gough taking the additional name of Aubrey, a condition not apparently required of the tenant-for-life by the end of the century. Richard's nephew, Richard Douglas Gough, living in 1838, was at Ynys-cedwyn. According to the 1873 return of owners of land, Richard Douglas Gough, of Ynysgedwyn, Brecknockshire, owned an estimated 4,345 acres in Wales all (in Brecknockshire and Glamorgan), with an estimated rental of £3,036.


Arranged into the following sections: purchase of the Yniscedwyn estate by the Awbrey family, deeds Gloucestershire estate, deeds of purchases, family settlements and mortgages; deeds of sale of properties, 1866-1935; industrial records; Llangiwg leases; Ystradgynlais leases; Cilybebyll leases; probate of wills; reports and rental; surveys and plans; miscellaneous; official appointments; family documents; accounts; correspondence; and out-county

Access Information

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

It is the policy of the West Glamorgan Archive Service to withhold the names of depositors.


Compiled by Mair James for the HMC/NLW Family and Estates project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Glamorgan Record Office, Catalogue of the Records of Yniscedwyn Estate ; Clark, George, T., Limbus Patrum Morganiae et Glamorganiae, (London, 1886); James, Brian, 'The Great Landowners of Wales in 1873', National Library of Wales Journal, XIV (1965-6); Collis, Kim, The West Glamorgan Archive Service: A Guide to the Collections, (West Glamorgan Archive Service, 1998).

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at West Glamorgan Archive Service, National Library of Wales and the National Register of Archives.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at West Glamorgan Archive Service have been retained


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

Further papers relating to the Ynys-Cedwyn estate are West Glamorgan Archive Service: D/D Xcx.