Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Gelli including attached cider house, farm range and barn
Approximately 500m SW of Llanvetherine, on N side of minor road that runs between Crossways and Newhouse Farm. The farmhouse and adjacent wing face a small front garden enclosed by roadside boundary wall with decorative iron railings and gates.
Gelli comprises 2 conjoined dwellings - 2 separate ranges at right angles to each other and linked at a corner. Both retain features indicative of an early C17 date, suggesting its development as a "unit-system" of 2 linked households. The range aligned E-W appears to have formed the principal dwelling and it retains exceptionally fine interior detail, both from the original period of building, and from a probably early C18 remodelling. The N-S wing retains little original architectural detail and its character suggests an ancillary relationship to the main house. Attached to the west side of the wing and aligned with main house to the W is a former cider-house - an additional storeyed building which may also have been a dwelling at one time - it is probably C18. A range of altered farm-buildings to the E link the main house with a timber-framed barn probably also of early C18 date.
Gelli has a long recorded history: in 1349 the manor of "Gelli-wig" was the property of Roger de Gunter. In the early C16 it belonged to Hugh ap Howel, yeoman. The present house may have been built by James Hughes, whose will was proved in 1646. Bradney records Thomas Hughes of Gelli as being in Blome''s list of gentry in 1673. James Hughes (his son?) was Sheriff in 1717 and died in 1725 and the early C18 remodelling at Gelli may be his work. Shortly afterwards, the house was occupied by Rev William Watkins, vicar of Llangatock Lingoed, Llantilio Pertholey and Llanvihangel Crucorney.
Main house, with attached secondary dwelling forming a N-S wing; cider house to W, and farm building range to E, the main barn aligned N-S, and roughly balancing the domestic wing. Main house is rendered over stone to the front elevation, but exposed local sandstone rubble to gable ends and rear; slate roof with gable end stacks. 2 storeyed, 2-unit plan arranged symmetrically with central entrance. Front elevation is as remodelled in the C20: recorded by Bradney in 1906 as having 12-pane sash windows, it now has 4-pane horned sashes. Central doorway retains overlight and brackets to canopy, partly concealed by a modern porch. West gable elevation retains a series of ovolo-moulded mullioned windows, and there are similar windows to the first floor rear (ground floor window C20). In the centre of the rear elevation, a full-height hipped-roofed wing may appear to be an early C18 addition, housing the staircase: it retains a mullioned and transomed window at first floor. Modern lean-to in its NE angle with the main range.
At its SW corner, the main range is linked to the N-S wing. This is also built of local rubble stone, rendered to the front elevation. Slate roof with small axial stack. Elevational detail is all C20 (out-of-character modern windows) with the exception of one 3-light ovolo-moulded mullioned window towards the left. The façade is oddly divided, and the long left-hand unit has only this single window to the ground floor (2x4-pane sashes above); doorway and flanking windows (one in earlier opening) are to the right of the stack. Stairs to first floor loft entry at gable end.
Former cider house adjoins this range to the NW: similar rubble construction, with slate roof and brick gable end stack. Altered ground-floor openings obscuring the original arrangement; but single window to first floor (itself also altered). Projecting circular bread-oven against west gable; single wood mullioned and transomed window on each floor to rear. A large hipped roofed lean-to links the cider house and the west gable wall of the main dwelling.
East of the main dwelling, a farm-building range links the house to the barn. The farm-range is rubble construction with corrugated sheet roof; near-centre arched doorway with small window to left, and loft door up steps to right. Barn at right-angles is timber-framed. The framing is exposed in the S gable apex, the truss here under-built in stone rubble; framing concealed by corrugated tin cladding on west elevation, and by a recent agricultural building to the east.
The main house combines detail from the original phase of construction (early C17) with early C18 remodelling. Ground floor layout is the result of this remodelling, and comprises wide central hall leading to staircase in rear wing, with principal rooms to either side. This entrance hall was probably created by division of the original main living room or hall, which is the left-hand room (good 2-panelled C18 door). This has 2 broad chamfered lateral beams, with a further beam abutting the chimney breast; stop-chamfered bressumer to fire-place. The most striking feature of the room, however, is the timber-framed lobby to the left of the fire-place, which formerly gave access to doorways to the wing and the rear of the cider-house. Whilst its framing suggests an early C17 date, its remarkable painted embellishment is probably contemporary with the early C18 remodelling work: In panels over the door are two mask-like portrait heads - bald males with exaggerated expressions of woe. The swags in panels to the left of the door contribute to the rather theatrical character. The rest of the structure is also enriched with marbling. To the right of the fireplace is what appears to be the remains of a mural stair, perhaps the original staircase before the C18 remodelling. To the rear, within the rear wing, a small room has an off-centre plaster roundel of C18 character: it seems likely that this was formerly the stair-well, but if so, the lower rise of the staircase must have been re-aligned.
Right hand room also has fireplace with chamfered bressumer and chamfered stone jambs: it retains a good early C18 ceiling, with deep moulded cornice. Unusual dado may be early C19 (contemporary with the 6-panelled doorway to this room). Stair-case contained within rear wing has panelled newels and turned balusters.
First floor retains early C17 arrangement remarkably intact. It comprises 3 rooms with a short rear corridor giving them all separate access from the staircase. (This corridor may have been contrived when the stair-case was added, since the rooms were originally interconnecting, and the partition between the central room and the corridor is not jointed in to the other partitions). All internal partitions are post-and-panel work, and there are shaped heads to the interconnecting doorways. Fireplace in east room has chamfered stone jambs and stop-chamfered timber bressumer, like that in the room below. In addition, 2 wall-cupboards are also of early date (though probably early C18): decorated panelled doors with butterfly hinges.
N-S wing has been largely remodelled internally and there is little evidence of its earlier arrangement; it comprises 2 large rooms divided by a chimney breast and staircase but the staircase appears modern and there is no evidence indicative of an early date for the chimney (there is however evidence externally for an additional gable end stack to the north). Both rooms have stop-chamfered ceiling beams - the right-hand room has 4 lateral beams with no evidence of sub-division.
Cider house also has stop-chamfered lateral beams; gable end fireplace with mural stair. Upper floor has 2-panel C18 door originally connecting to wing, and boarded ceiling, suggesting early existence of an attic.
Barn retains original layout with opposed entrances (that to east in full-height porch), and is 5 bays (2 either side of threshing bay which retains stone-flagged floor). 2 tiers of square-panelled framing, and braces to queen-strut trusses.
Reason for designation
Listed at II* as an intact sub-medieval group of conjoined dwellings and associated farm-buildings, the main house retaining an exceptionally well-preserved early C17 interior, remarkable for the way it was enriched in the C18, and especially for the highly unusual painted decoration of its principal room.
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