Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Newton House  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
Between the road and the River Usk; reached via drive to Golf Course.  


Broad Class

Probably essentially built in 1582 by John Games of the prominent Breconshire family. Dafydd ap Llewelyn, was the first of the family to take the name David Gam, "Squinty David". He is said to have been knighted as he lay dying on the battlefield of Agincourt having saved the life of Henry V, and was the inspiration for Fluellin in Shakespeare's play. David Gam himself was the great-great grandson of Einion Sais who had fought with Edward III at Crecy and Poitiers and bought land to the west of Brecon. The first of the Games family recorded as "of Newton" was the first John Games, MP for the county in 1545. His son Edward was MP for the town of Brecon in 1542 and 1545, and High Sherrif in 1558. Edward's son Sir John was Sherrif of the county 3 times, and he rebuilt the house around 1582 recording his ancestry as far back as Sir David Gam on a fireplace lintel dated 1582, bearing an elaborate achievement of arms. He died in 1614, and an inventory from that date is of interest in recording details of the house and furniture. In 1698 the house was described as "surrounded like a castle with inward and outward Courts both enclosed with strong embattled walls". At the end of the C17, the house passed, through marriage of a female heir, to Thomas Walker. The house appears to have been modernised at this time with a new staircase, alterations to the screen, new doorcases, and the remodelling of the roof into its present pyramidal form. Walker also rebuilt the farm buildings - the barn bears a datestone of 1697, and acquired a large collection of paintings, including works by Tintoretto and Rubens. The house was sold in 1725 after the Walkers' daughter married into the Hensol family. The house was bought by the Rev Thomas Davies, who passed the house to his nephew, Richard Davies, whose descendants still own Newton. The house was let from about 1880 to 2000 to four successive members of the Evans family. By 1851, the house was recorded as being "in a state of neglect".  

Large square-plan house; three storeys plus attics, stone (mainly rendered); pyramidal slate roof with group of 6 large chimney stacks. The rendered entrance front faces S. Two gables, that to R advanced; on ground floor, exposed stone doorway to porch has 4-centred head with floral spandrels; similar doorway within has stops with tulips emerging from vases; stone benches; door with smaller door to its centre. Wooden mullion and transom window to R. At attic level, 3-light stone mullion and transom window; at second floor level, partially blocked 4-light window, at first floor level, 3-light wooden mullion and transom window. Gable to L has attic window as R gable, but blocked. To Second floor a 4-light mullion and transom window, and smaller similar window to its R; on ground floor, 2-light mullion and transom window. West elevation has 3-light mullioned window to upper level, and five light wooden window to ground floor; smaller windows (one blocked) to L. North elevation has 2 gables. That to R has at attic level, pointed window of 2 lights; towards R, 4 staircase windows each of 2 lights; a 2-light window to each floor set towards L. Left gable has attic window as R gable, Stone window of 2 pointed lights at second floor level, and a 2-light window to first and ground floors. The E elevation has 2 gables with, to R, a large projecting chimney with 4 diamond-set stone stacks. To L, gable with single diamond-set stack, small 2-light attic window, and at second floor level, a larger 2-light window. At first floor level, 2 mullion and transom windows, also evidence of blocked openings. On ground floor, a pointed-arched doorway, with 2-light window to L.  

Unusual square plan with double-height great hall to S, and staircase hall, parlour, and kitchen to N; above the hall a great chamber. Entry through S porch to former screens passage; now entrance hall with service room to R of porch. Great hall to L, exposed beams on corbels; stone flagged floor with slightly raised dais. On N wall large fireplace has lintel with inscription "John Games mab ag etyfedd hena Edward Games ap John ap Morgan ap Evan ap Morgan ap Davydd Gam 1582" ("John Games son and eldest heir of Edward Games, son of John, son of Morgan, son of Evan, son of Morgan, son of Davydd Gam, 1582"). Above an elaborate heraldic achievement "Ar Dduw y gyd Games" ("All depends on God, Games"). At E end of hall, a wooden screen with pedimented doorcase of circa 1700 with double-leaf doors, screen has a lower zone of square panels above which is zone of rectangular divisions with window with turned balusters [ the screen was originally a gallery on columns filled in with the panelling and pedimented doorcase]. At NW end of hall, a staircase hall with wooden stair of circa 1700 with turned balusters. From staircase hall a blocked doorway with 3-centred head gave access to parlour which has a fireplace of circa 1700 with bolection moulding; cornices. Also on ground floor, kitchen with broad stone arch to fireplace, and original serving hatch. Above the great hall (ie at Second floor level), the great chamber retains (against wall) pendants indicating former decorated plaster ceiling; C16 stone fireplace with remains of plaster decoration over; flanking windows fine moulded plasterwork of roses and fleurs-de-lys.  

Reason for designation
Graded I as important C16 house retaining historic character including screen, fine plasterwork, and carved inscription. Group Value with adjacent listed agricultural buildings.  

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