Historic Landscape Characterisation

Penmon - Area 7 Llangoed PRN 33477


Quillets in Llangoed

Key historic landscape features and processes

  • A populous township in the hand of the Bishop of Bangor in the middle ages.
  • The survival of the outlines of sinuous quillets of arable ploughlands.
  • The development of a large roadside village at a ford during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Other than Beaumaris, Llangoed is the largest concentration of population in the study area. It is bounded on the north by the limestone ridge near Tros y Marian; on the south and east by the Afon Brenhin and the boundaries of Llanfaes and Trecastell/Aberlleiniog, respectively, and on the west side by Penhwnllys.


Llangoed was, in the middle ages, one of the several townships in the hand of the Bishop of Bangor. It was one of the most populous of the Bishop's holding on Anglesey, second only to the Episcopal township of Conysiog in the cantref of Aberffraw. There were forty-seven tenant families at Llangoed in 1306 in eleven gwelyau, or related family groups. Each tenant had access to a parcel of land. Some held their land on an individual basis, others worked the combined arable land, jointly. On average each family worked six or seven acres of ploughland. The tenants paid rent to the Bishop at the Bishop's regional maerdref or manor. In the commote of Dindaethwy, this was at Treffos, managed by a steward in the absence of the Bishop. Some of the rent was paid in cash at the major seasonal festivals, All Saints on the first of November and the Apostles Philip and James on the first of May. Other rents were paid in kind. Attendance at the Bishop's court and military service was necessary, when required. Renders of grain - wheat, oats and oat malt - were delivered. Agricultural works, mowing in Autumn for three days were also required and each tenant gave a hen at Christmas.

Some of the medieval tenements of Llangoed might have clustered together in small hamlets but these would have been nothing like the appearance of the village which was to develop during the early nineteenth century. In the mid-nineteenth century there was still an impression of dispersed settlement, with an increasing accumulation of houses in the southern part of the character area on either side of the bridge over the Afon Lleiniog at Pont y Rhyd. St Cawrdaf's church stood central to the parish but at the northern boundary of the present character area. The church provides indications of an early origin. There is a decorated incised cross of twelfth-century date and a fourteenth-century font. The church was rebuilt in the 1880s leaving only the sixteenth-century north transept intact.

There is clear evidence for the enclosure of arable quillets in open fields on the west side of Llangoed village and, with the evidence of early nineteenth-century maps, along the west side of the present road which runs from south to north through the village. Some of the earliest houses were established on these agricultural strips. One tenement, perpendicular to the road was named Ty'n Llain (Quillet House), two others, Ty Newydd. Three houses in the small cluster are described as Ty Pridd (earthern houses). There are less than a dozen occupied properties recorded in the 1840s Tithe map south of the river. Fifty years later there were fifty or sixty premises on the west side of the road, a police station near the bridge, a smithy near the river, which had been there in the early nineteenth century, two Non-conformist chapels and a second smithy at the south end of the village.

The original two-storey late Victorian terraces, broken into short lengths, to accommodate the slope down to the river, have survived at the core of the village. Others have been rebuilt or extended. During the twentieth century new housing has engulfed the entire area on the east side of the road up to the banks of the Afon Brenhin and has extended southwards on the west side in more recent estates of terraced housing, adding in total, two hundred properties to the housing stock.

A distinctive characteristic of the expansion of settlement at Llangoed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is the provision of long narrow back plots utilising the pattern of enclosed former arable fields.

Historic Landscape Character

Llangoed was well settled in the middle ages and was one of the most populous townships in the hand of the Bishop of Bangor. Records survive of the numbers, associations, rents and rents-in-kind that operated in the early fourteenth century. Notwithstanding the devastating impact of the Black Death in the mid-fourteenth century, the density of population is unlikely to have increased significantly until the middle of the nineteenth century. The pattern of settlement, however, was about to change dramatically.

Llangoed in the nineteenth century is a roadside village at a crossing of the Lleiniog stream. A water corn mill, powered by the stream stood 900m to the north-west. Despite the rapid increase in population and the expansion of housing at Llangoed it is still possible to identify the sinuous quillets of former arable fields, enclosed and parcelled by hedges and banks, beyond the limits of the village in the pattern of the village's layout.

The ancient church stood at the northern end of the character area, as the ground rises to the limestone ridge. A Calvinistic Methodist chapel had already been built opposite in the early 19th century. Gradually, at about the turn of the century, the west side of the road, north of the church became occupied by terraced houses. Similarly the area below the limestone quarries at Mariandyrus began to fill in with cottages around earlier houses including the 17th century Eirianallt. Agricultural labourers, nevertheless, remained the majority occupation during the mid 19th century. There were millers (a watermill stood on the Lleiniog stream at Nant Heilyn) blacksmiths, maltsters and the ubiquitous tailors, dressmakers and shoemakers. Additionally, there was a sailor, shopkeeper, publican, slater, weaver (a cottage industry), a sawyer, joiner, carpenter and, not unexpectedly, stonemasons. There was also a schoolmaster.

A number of large properties occupy the rising ground to the north-east of the village, including Haulfre with its distinctive nineteenth-century estate stables and Plas yn Llangoed, which claims an early seventeenth-century origin but which was remodelled in the early nineteenth century.

Tros y Gors, close to the Afon Lleiniog on its south side, has also been rebuilt and modernised in the more recent period. However, components of a jettied wing of an earlier, and probably sixteenth-century, house has survived through incorporation within the later fabric. Collar beam trusses and chamfered beams have been recorded.



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