Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Wern-ddu Farmhouse  


Unitary Authority
Llantilio Pertholey  
Street Side
Off the south side of Skenfrith road about 500m east of Maindiff Court Hospital.  


Broad Class

This house appears to originate in the early C17, but to have been extensively remodelled in the late C17 so that it is difficult to asses its original form. In the early C19 the house was extended at one end and given Georgian features on the main elevation, and this character survives although the sash windows were replaced in the 1970's. The house is said by Bradney to be a Herbert family seat and to be older in origin than the C17, he says "The house of Wern-ddu, though in its origins one of the oldest in the county, has suffered so much by continual alterations that it shows but little of its antiquity".  

Rendered and painted, presumably over rubble stone, roof of concrete interlocking tiles on the front and Welsh slates on the rear (stone slate roof when listed). The house has a main range of two storeys and garret with two storey lean-to's behind which are separated by a three storey stair tower projecting from the main range. Entrance elevation : This has five bays of which the left hand four date probably from the early C17 and the fifth one on the right was added in the early C19. This means that it was probably a three room house with cross passage leading through to the stair tower in the early C17, the first room on the left being the parlour, the second room the hall and this still has a larger window than the others, and a service room beyond the cross passage. The hall and the Great Room above have a lateral stack on the rear wall, the end rooms both have stacks external to the house which may have been added in the late C17. All the front windows are 6 over 6 sashes, except for the hall window which is 8 over 8. Panelled door with rectangular overlight divided in three by slim mullions. Steeply pitched roof with red brick ridge stack at either end of the original house, the rght hand one now encased within the building by the hipped end bay added in the early C19. Left gable end has an external stack with offset and a single storey extension with door and tall red brick stack. The house has a 3-light window with elliptical head on the ground floor and a smaller one with three shaped heads in the garret. The right gable end is half hipped and has a tripartite sash window on each floor; 8 over 8 sashes with sidelights of 2 over 2, except for the top floor which is 4 over 8 and 2 over 2. Rear elevation : This is complicated because the rear outshuts were probably added in the late C17 or were heightened then, although the stair tower is probably early C17. From the left the rear of the added early C19 bay is blind except for a small window. The next bay projects in line with the stair tower. Two small 2-light casements on the ground floor and a larger one above. Lean-to roof. Above this a small 2-light dormer with sloping roof and slated cheeks in the main roof slope. Large cemented stack outside the rear wall of the main range, red brick top with moulded cap. The next bay is taller and gabled and contains the staircase. Late C17 2-light window with mullion and two transoms, each pane is further divided in four. Above this is a 2-light small paned casement in the gable. The gable ridge rises to a small higher gable where the staircase enters the attic. The fourth bay is wider and is the kitchen with a large end stack. Part glazed door. 2-light casement on each floor. The upper floor obscures the window in the rear wall of the main range which survives in the bedroom.  

Not all the rooms were available for inspection at resurvey (June 1997). The C17 hall, now the sitting room, to the left of the entrance hall, has transverse ceiling beams with ovolo mouldings and bar-and-lambs'-tongue stops. The inner room to the left has a fine compartmented ceiling 5 x 3 with roll moulded ribs. The panels are not plastered nor do they appear to have ever been, but are filled with the smoothed undersides of the oak floorboards above. The kitchen has a fairly recently inserted ceiling and was previously open to the roof. The room above the compartmented ceiling, which was probably a part of the Great Room, retains a 4-light oak ovolo mullioned window in the rear wall, once in the outside wall of the main range, now covered by the rear addition. The open-well staircase is very fine and dates from c1675. It has a moulded open string with plastered soffit. Heavy square newel posts with moulded caps and pendants; heavy moulded rail and fretted splat balusters. It goes only to the firsr floor and the attic stair has been altered. Good oak door at the top of the stairs. There is a recess below the late C17 stairwindow which was an early C17 window, showing that the stair tower is original to the house and that the staircase has been replaced. The attic floor was not seen, but is said to have a principal rafter roof as would be expected.  

Reason for designation
Graded II* as a well preserved C17 house with some good features, an unusual ceiling and an exceptionally fine staircase.  

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