The Land Tax Assessments do not differentiate between properties that are for the raising of livestock, the growing of root crops, or of cereals. Therefore our interpretation of what is meant by "farm" may not apply to any individual property. What then is a farm, and how does it differ from a small-holding or a dwelling with enough land for subsistence growing of an acreage liable to be taxed?
Cereals, most probably oats, must have been grown in sufficient quantities for Felin Arw corn mill to have been built at a point almost half way up the valley. Horses needing them when in harness.
Hay fields again a necessary item for all livestock. What, however, of root crops?
This is a subject that I feel more experienced members could help to resolve and I would appreciate their advice.
I know from my grandmother's and mother's stories that Fforchwen Farm was mainly sheep and diary. They would sell the milk directly to the village but further down the line they would leave the churns full of milk near the road and tanks would collect it to sell further afield. The farm had a thriving kitchen garden that grew loads of runner beans etc and they would sell the surplus down the road in Pontycymer. They grew potatoes and swedes also for their own consumption, but again the surplus would be sold. They would grow mint and tie it into bundles to be sold to whoever asked for it. Hay was grown for the livestock, the farm had beautiful meadows. I remember hay making (this would be in the 70s early 80s). I will get my mum to write this up a little better - she has some lovely stories of Fforchwen Farm life.
I would be interested to know of Bebs' link to Fforchwen Farm.
One branch of my family Thomas' of Llwynffynnon Farm married into the family of Fforchwen during 1860/1870. Another branch, Elias, related to the Thomas' farmed Fforchlas and their descendents the Hopkins' added Fforchwen.
This side of my family was so large I cannot begin here to tell you about them.
hi. i am very close to my grandmother who was born and lived in fforchwen. i grew up in church street, pontycymer which leads directly to the farm and so i spent my childhood at fforchwen. we are a close family and helped my great uncle tom who farmed fforchwen and my auntie meg. our family is very proud of our links to fforchwen and fforchlas, and i am happy to say that some of the farm is still in the family (safe with me!)
I thought I would reply to your last email via this site?in order to perhaps 'flush' out any other shy farming experts out there! Yes I would agree with your summation of the Garw's boundaries, being roughly the summit of Craig yr Hudal and Bettws Church. But I never let geography get in the way of a good story if I can help it. I was asked about Cefn Cedfyw Farm in passing and it piqued my interest, I have been in touch with the local history group but have had no reply as yet. I do have a paragraph from the Coytrahen Estate papers dated January 1549 Gifting farm & lands of Tir cum kedfyw in Bettws parish to William Howell, Yeoman of Llantrisant. The last mention is in 1615 when the farm and lands were sold off to provide for the wife and children of Evan Lewis of Bettws, Gent.,
Stumbled across this page as I did a quick search for my Grandmothers farm Forchwen. My grandmother was Jennet Hopkin (Hopkin not Hopkins) but unfortunately I never really knew her as she died in 1972 when I was just 2 years old. She married and moved to Llanfihangel Talyllyn near Brecon and I grew up only a few miles from there. I have a 2nd cousin Billy Harris who lives in the Bridge end area who knows lots about the family, he may be on here if not I will tell him about it. There was a BBC TV series made about the farm called the last days of Forchwen which I have on tape and recently converted to DVD filmed with Tom who I met when I was a child and Uncle Jinx who I met several times but only on occasions such as weddings or funerals so never really got to know him. If there are any long lost family members out the you can contact me direct via email@example.com
Hope this is of interest to someone, cheers Anthony David
I am the Colin who placed earlier entries on the subject of Garw Farms. I will look to see what I have on your grandmother Jennet Hopkin as she was related to my maternal grandfather. One other family of cousins also related were a Harris family who lived at Heol Llwynffynnon, Llangeinor, in the 1950s. I don't have any up-to-date contact details for them, but would like to expand on their relationship, as with you.
I have seen the BBC program about Fforchwen and you may find some photos of Tom on the Gallery Page of our Society under Pontycymmer.
Hi I have just watched the film of Tho as on YouTube... I spent a week or two with Thomas and Howell and Meghan and my mum and dad when I was younger I have a few photos in the meadow and riding the horse and of old Shep... very fond memories ... I think Tom and Meghan were cousins of my mum... but I would love to learn more.. mum told me a few stories about up the ‘big farm ‘ but I didn’t pay much attention at the time.. I would love to know more.. My grandmother was Gertrude Fox nee Davies and I think she had a twin sister... look forward to hearing from anybody Caroline