Pikes Farm: The history of a Farmhouse in Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire


1490 - 2013




Pikes Farm


The history of a farm house in

Michaelchurch Escley






This document was commenced some ten years ago. My wife and I ventured to the Herefordshire Records Office shortly after moving in, met Sue Hubbard, looked at the Tithe Map – and were hooked.


Many local friends and residents have greatly assisted in research and provided information and when the local Ewyas Lacy Study Group was formed, access to records increased enormously.


Much of the understanding of the historic context and construction sequence of Pikes Farm has come from Houses & History in the March of Wales : Radnorshire 1400-1800 by Richard Suggett of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales published in 2005 1 . This excellent publication explains and illustrates the vernacular architecture of the area so well and I am indebted to him and the Commission for consent to use extracts in this document.


I am also very appreciative of the time given by the late Jim Tonkin and his wife Muriel in visiting the property and confirming their opinions leading to an entry in the Woolhope Transactions 2 .  


In summer 2006, dendrochronology work was undertaken on the property and two others nearby by Michael Worthington of the Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory. This has led to some precise dating which has formed a secure platform on which to build the history of the property.


I am also enormously grateful for the tremendous input from Dewi Bowen Williams BA. His scholarly work in finding the Dudley 1566 Survey at Longleat and the Jenkyn Madye will at Kew as well as his transcripts of those and many other documents, has played a major part in interpreting the history of Pikes Farm.


Finally I am indebted to local friends particularly fellow members of the Ewyas Lacy Study Group and not least to my wife who has supported my growing interest in vernacular architecture over the last ten years.



Tony Gray

Pikes Farm








The Escley Valley


The Property





Documentary Evidence

The Manor of Ewyas Lacy

Pikes Farm Freeholders

Pikes Farm Long Leaseholders and Occupiers


Various Other Matters

Jane Jenkins

The Allens

The Name

The Shooting


Historic Summary and Thoughts





        One: Dendrocronology Data

        Two: Manor & Freehold Ownership

        Three: Long Leaseholds & Occupiers











Pikes Farm, the Daily Telegraph’s “Wreck of the Week” sold at auction July 1998

See the end of this document for a modern photograph!


Pikes Farm is located at the northern upper end of the Escley Valley on the 350m [1150 ft] contour, occupying a prominent south facing site with far reaching views to the Black Hill, Cat’s Back and Hatterrall Hill. It is a Grade 11 Listed building described as forming “ a surprisingly complete example of a developed longhouse incorporating animals, service area and a bending of the traditional plan.”


The late Jim Tonkin and his wife Muriel kindly visited the property twice and their entry is included in the Woolhope Transactions 2 . Based on their advice plus dendrochronology dating and an understanding of the building’s original construction following repair and refurbishment in 1999, Pikes Farm almost certainly started life by the 1490’s at the latest, as a cruck-framed peasant hall house. These properties were defined by Richard Suggett as “dwellings with single-bayed halls that were the homes of the poorer free tenants of the lordship ” and part of the “ substantial investment in professionally-built, cruck-framed hall houses between 1430 and 1550 1 .


Dendrochronology dating also confirms that substantial but typical alterations were made to the hall house in the middle of the C16 th – the first chimney in the property was constructed in the cross passage circa 1546 and then a major two storey extension was built probably in 1561. In plan and layout, the property remains very much as it was when this work was finished.

The majority of land in the area, was part of the Manor of Ewyas Lacy held by the de Lacy family and divided between two daughters in the C13th. The land which later formed Pikes Farm was within that moiety of the Manor held in later years by the Abergavenny estate although the situation was complicated by the fact that the freehold interest held from Abergavenny was, by the second half of the C16th, vested in the Lord of the other moiety of the Manor, Robert Hopton.


This ancient freehold probably emerged from a holding of one of de Lacy’s free tenants but just when the freeholder gave up occupancy and let the property is not known. However, it is quite possible that a long lease was granted out of the freehold from the late 1400’s which would correspond with the estimated construction date of the hall house of around 1490. This was probably the first substantial stone building on the land. Long leases were “frequently employed in the thirteenth century to create leases at economic rents…the long lease for years might well endure beyond a tenant’s life and provide the economic basis for a family…”. 3


The property was then let on a succession of long leases. The first of these appearing in documentary evidence was for 99 years from 1584 granted by Robert Hopton to William Prees Maddy and comprising a messuage and 38 acres at a rent of 10 shillings. Another 99yr lease was granted in 1674 at which time Walter Pikes Gent. was the tenant/occupier – giving his name to a previously un-named property.


The freehold interest was sold with their moiety of the Manor by successors of the Hoptons to the Jeffreys around 1693 and within 100 years the estate was starting to be broken up. The Pikes Farm freehold changed hands several times over the next two centuries leading to our acquisition in 1998.


The Escley Valley


The Escley valley, at the northern end of the parish, generally lies above the 300m contour with high points of 434m on the Vagar Hill and 485m on Cefn Hill. The valley head is closed by a forestry plantation leading on to Cusop Hill. The headwaters of the Escley Brook rise on the Cefn Hill and the valley runs south east until joining the Monnow at Longtown.


The area has an ancient history. It is, or was, the location of three of Herefordshire’s seven prehistoric standing stones, flint workings were found at the time the forestry was planted and Neolithic and Bronze age finds have been made 4 .   


The high ground of the Cefn and Vagar Hill commons provided the north/south communications routes in the past – the Cefn Road [Abergavenny to Hay] on Cefn Hill and a similar route on Vagar Hill [possibly Ewyas Harold to Clifford]. These routes correspond with the Parish boundaries. A link between the two ran past Pikes Farm, over the brook to Llanrosser and up to Lane Head and the Cefn. An old route up the lower slopes of the valley from the centre of Michaelchurch Escley probably ran via The Quakers and Newhouse across the brook to Old House and the Vagar Hill [now a bridle path] with a branch via Tyn y Gwynt, Pikes Farm and Grigland to the Vagar Hill. The current road up the valley is shown on the Tithe Map of 1843 as petering out above Llanrosser. Ty Ucha, Caeiron, New House and Grigland probably all took access from the commons on the Cefn and Vagar Hills.


Pikes Farm itself occupies an elevated position on a band of rock which locally runs from Tyn y Gwynt through to Grigland and Pennsylvania and has clearly been worked for many years for building, flag and tile stone and is still quarried today. The commons have also obviously been a major source of stone over a long period of time.


The older farms in the upper valley sit well above the valley bottom, generally between 350 – 400 m. These locations would not flood, had access to/from the commons and had a good spring fed water supply. The occupier of Pikes Farm had direct access to Vagar Hill and as highlighted in Richard Suggett’s book, commons like the Cefn and Vagar Hills, although not extensive, will have provided valuable grazing back-up to all farms at the head of the valley as they still do today.


Pikes Farm in the Northern Escley valley

The Property




Pikes Farm comprises three main buildings – an L-shaped house and two barns. The house comprises two main elements – an original four-bay “peasant hall house/long house” ranged north-south across the contour and a two storey extension ranged east-west, together forming the L shape. The barns comprise a low eaves dry stone walled beast house and a larger lime mortared stone walled wain house. To the north of the wain house a long stone foundation wall has been uncovered indicating a possible previous building location. To the front of the main house is a small lime mortar stone stable with cobbled floor and over the stream is the old loo building.



Pikes Farm - comprising Beast House, Wain House,

the Farmhouse, stable and to far right, the old loo.


Dendrochronology investigation has suggested phased main construction dates on the farmhouse of 1490’s, c1546 and 1561.


The beast house includes a pitching eye in its northern gable, now physically obstructed by the wain house, suggesting it was constructed first. Two re-used cruck blades forming lintels to the entrance to the beast house are dated 1540-70. Jim Tonkin ascribes a date range of 1570-1600 to the wain house where practically all roof timbers are re-used timbers.


It is probable therefore that the beast house existed alongside the hall/long house in the late C15 th with the wain house being added at the time of the two storey extension to the house in the second half of the C16 th . The whole development would however appear to have been in place by the end of C16 th .



The beast house and the wain house


A potential construction timescale for the property based on all available information, might be as follows:


By 1490’s

4 bay cruck-framed hall house built probably under thatched roof, with stone or timber walling and first floor under-roof area in rear bay.

Beast house built, dry stone walled under thatched roof


Chimney and stone dividing wall added to make traditional long house; spiral stair to hall first floor possibly added now.


Major two storey extension built with chimney and spiral stair

Late 1500’s

Wain house built

C17-19 th

Long house roof raised; part roof alignment altered; some “improvement” works.


Refurbishment undertaken



A mill building also formed part of the property in the past, fed by a leet and holding pond still visible today and located at the bottom of Cae Philo adjoining the Escley Brook. It appears to have been working well in 1604 but “grown to decay” by 1700 3 . The currently remaining walls suggest a small, two storey building comparable to Little Mill further down the valley at Lower House.




A dendrochronology investigation was undertaken by Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory in 2006 on three properties in the area including Pikes Farm.  We were also extremely pleased that, at the same time, Richard Suggett was also able to visit the properties.


The other two properties retain cruck frames and were dated 1535-1545.  


The dendrochronology data which emerged for Pikes Farm [see Appendix One] fits remarkably well with the conclusions being reached based on on-site and documentary evidence and give a potential construction timescale of the buildings falling between 1490’s and 1560’s.


The main dating is as follows:


Current room

Timber & position

Felling season & dates


window mullion & cill

after 1472 & 1496


door lintel/post

range up to 1492


plank & muntin wall

after 1431 & after 1494


chimney lintel



ceiling timbers

latest 1566


extension ceiling beams

summer 1561

main bedroom

extension roof truss


now front door

window frame

winter 1590/91 & latest 1598


It is interesting that there are only some 15 years between the hall house becoming a long house with the insertion of the chimney circa 1546 and the major extension being added in 1561.


The ceiling beams and joists in the kitchen were found to be of red oak – oak affected by a fungus which turns the wood red but does not impare its strength. The dendro work also concluded that the two beams sampled were from the same tree and that all the beams and the joists were almost certainly from the same very substantial oak tree.


Appendix One also shows the number of tree rings found in each sample. This suggests that both the chimney lintel to go into the hall and the “red” oak tree later to form the ceiling beams of the extension, were saplings around 1420-1430!




Pre 1540’s


Fig 1 provides an illustration of what the earliest phase of  Pikes Farm most probably looked like as a cruck framed hall house. This and Figs 2 & 3 are taken from Richard Suggett’s book 1 and relate to a property called Nannerth-ganol, Radnorshire.



Fig 1 A typical floor plan of an original hall house


Whatever the original walling material, stone or timber, the four-bay layout would have been comparable and remains very evident at Pikes Farm today. The outer bay was still a cowhouse in 1998, the cross passage had an entrance at both sides with part of its width taken by the inserted chimney and stairs, the hall had a “broken” paved floor but was open to the sky and the inner bay construction suggests use as a parlour cum dairy possibly with a first floor since first construction.


Generally the basic building seems to compare well with Nannerth-ganol but Pikes Farm had a wide window at ground floor in the gable wall to the inner bay [Parlour/dairy] but no evidence remains of any windows east and west to this inner bay due to subsequent works.


Although no cruck frame timber remains from the original hall house, one now stone-filled cruck location is visible in the hall and the original lower, steep cruck roof line is still visible with its cruck purlin positions, in the subsequent chimney wall [see photo under 1540’s].


Construction would have comprised five pairs of crucks under a probably thatched roof [evidenced by the steep slope]. The external walls may have been timber framed or stone. The crucks had measured centres of approx 14ft and width and cruck height were comparable at around 19ft. The cross passage would have been divided from the hall by a timber-framed partition with a probably central, entrance into the hall. Within the hall, double height post and panelling may have formed the dais end, with two doors into the rear service rooms/parlour.




Infilled cruck frame position between hall and cross passage

with pad stone.


Two storey post and panelling is currently located between the original hall and dairy and the extension [see below]. It has shown dates of after 1431 and after 1494. The panelling includes two door openings. It is understood such two storey panelling is unusual. Perhaps it is not unreasonable to think that it was originally at the dais end of the hall house, two storeys high and with two openings to service rooms in the inner bay. In addition to this, the only double mullioned window in the property which was in the inner bay on the north gable end has been dated as after 1472 for the mullion and after 1496 for the cill which is still in place and the dates for the “new” door lintel and post between the cross passage and hall and mentioned below suggest dates up to the 1490’s




One of two doors in two storey panelling. The initials RD have not been identified


None of these dates can be taken too precisely but may collectively reasonably be taken to support a build date for the hall house of around the 1490’s or before.




Around 1546 a major stone chimney with huge oak lintel, was added occupying part of the cross passage and facing into the hall creating the classical longhouse design. A first floor over the hall may have been added at this time accessed by the spiral stair however no fireplace was built at first floor. Figs 2 & 3 provide a drawing, floor plan and gable end section very comparable with Pikes Farm at this time.

Fig 2 Cutaway drawing of a typical longhouse


Fig 3 Typical ground plan of a longhouse



The c1546 hall fireplace with later bread oven,

undergoing underpinning. Spiral stair to right had collapsed; entrance from cross

passage and byre to left


The new wall associated with the chimney stretched the entire width of the building and its original single storey roof line is still clearly visible from the cross passage side of the wall. It would have been non-structural with regard to the then roof which would have continued to be supported by the cruck frame and purlins.



The c1546 chimney and wall displaying

original cruck frame roof line


A new access into the Hall from the cross passage was constructed involving a door lintel and posts dated 1487 & 1492. The chimney lintel and therefore one assumes, the dividing wall, is dated 1546 so the door lintel and posts, being much older, must be re-used timber – although there are no really clear signs of this. It is possible they may have formed the door opening in the timber framed wall that would have divided the cross passage from the hall before the chimney/wall was built.


Ceiling beams in the inner bay, have been dated 1566. This suggests that the inner bay of the hall house may not originally have had a first floor but that it was added when the conversion to a long house took place. Conversely, there is currently a small window in the north gable at first floor [as Nannerth-ganol Fig 3], the old frame being diamond mullioned. If original, it suggests this rear bay was floored in some form when the hall house was constructed.


1560’s -1600


In 1561 and certainly no later than 1580, a major two storey extension was built on to the hall/long house, this time along the contour forming an L shape as no further rearward/forward extension would be possible without major earth works. The extension comprised one large room on each floor of approx 6m square with a gable end chimney with fireplaces on both floors and a spiral stair in the chimney recess.


The extension was built of fine, lime mortared local stone with traditional diamond mullion unglazed shuttered windows with a large “inglenook” in the kitchen and a smaller fireplace in the bedroom. Window reveals and fireplace surrounds comprise “selected”, comparably sized well dressed stone. Roof timbers were pegged to purlins with, originally, a stone tile roof cladding.





Hooded drip mould and diamond mullioned window in rear extension wall

Two diamond mullions removed



Weathered lime mortared fine external stonework


Ground floor ceiling beams have a felling date of summer 1561. This is the second really significant base date. It means that the long house was subject to a very major extension only 15 years after the chimney was inserted in the hall. The two ceiling beams sampled were cut from the same tree and it may be reasonable to conclude that the five beams used [one was cut in half lengthwise to make two end beams] were all from the same tree. Each beam is approximately 30cm by 23cm.



Pyramid/diagonal stop ends and hollow chamfers on the red oak beams


The wood is red oak which is understood today to be worth some ten times “normal” oak. It might be wondered if the then owners knew what they were using. Perhaps it was seen to add to the status of the property. Perhaps such a large tree could also have provided the wood for the ceiling joists which are also red oak. The beams were chamfered with pyramid stop ends.


Only one roof truss over the extension gave a date, with this at 1550-1580. The date range fits well with the 1561 date of the ground floor beams but might suggest a slightly later construction date up to 1580. There are three roof trusses. The east end [the dated truss] and the central truss are both a simple triangle shape with no struts, braces etc. The west end truss however is completely different. It includes substantial timber struts and lath and plaster infill.



The west end truss


By 1561, the long house could still have had its originally aligned, single storey roof running at 90degrees to the new extension roof. Alternatively, although probably doubtfully, its roof may have been raised at the same time as the extension building. Whichever occurred, its ridge would, as today, have remained lower than the extension and hence the west end truss of the new extension would have been wholly or partially an external gable, hence its construction. Only when the ridge alignments were changed [as below], would it have become internal.


Whenever the long house roof was raised, the original cruck frames would have become redundant and at least their upper sections may have been removed then. Also, if not already in place, the spiral stair and a first floor may now have been inserted into the hall and the two storey panelling moved from the hall into the extension.


It is probable that the then new and still current link from the hall to the extension, was at the position of an existing east facing window at the dais end of the hall. This window frame has been dated 1591. There is a considerable difference in the nature and quality of stone used in the wall construction of the east wall of the hall. The apparently older [hall house] part of the wall uses thin non-dressed stone whilst that used for the recesses around the window openings is obviously carefully selected, thicker, well dressed stone.



Thicker dressed corner stone in the Hall



Thinner “original” stone of east wall of hall showing

infilled cruck frame location


The window openings, diamond mullions and stone work are exactly the same as those in the extension. The date suggests that window openings were improved or replacement openings created in the hall only a few decades after the extension was built.


Richard Suggett 1 points out that conversion from a timber framed hall house to stone walled, which usually took place, was often a phased exercise. These “new” windows may have formed part of such work. Certainly one of them, the east facing window, was inserted before the adjoining lower section of cruck frame was removed in the hall.


The hall floor was found to comprise broken stone but with no pattern although certain “lines” could be made out. The extension floor comprised very sizeable flagstones, now relaid but under part of this an earlier floor of broken stone similar to that in the hall, was found. Perhaps the “improvement” to the floor was carried out in the late C16 th as well, marking the importance of the new “parlour” kitchen as the central room of the farm, rather than the old hall.



The hall floor as found

The spiral stair out of the extension suggests an original narrower radius around the lower steps, widening out as it rises. Some stair work was obviously carried out perhaps in conjunction with the improved floor finish.

Post 1600


At some stage the roof alignment was changed such that the higher two storey extension’s east-west roof alignment was extended over the inner bay at the north end of the hall/long house.


There is reason to believe that a structural problem may have occurred in the north-west corner of the property. Evidence of this is the truncated nature of the inner bay ground floor gable end window frame and reveal and the poor construction [no foundations or bonding] of the two existing walls to the south and west of the inner bay. A collapse and rebuild on a different wall line gave rise to a new west gable end onto which the east-west roof alignment was extended. From the Jane Jenkins accounts [see below] considerable repair works were undertaken in 1773 involving masonry, tiling and timber work costing over £10. Perhaps this was when the collapse was repaired?


After this work took place, it would appear there was no first floor link between the area over the hall and that over the inner bay which was now accessed from the first floor of the extension. This is how the building was found in 1998.


Two bread ovens were added, probably in Victorian times, one in the hall chimney and one in the extension alongside the chimney.


A new front door was cut directly into the parlour/kitchen at the junction of the L shape and a passage was built off the flagstone flooring with access left into the hall and inner bay and right into the parlour. From fragments of a magazine dated June 1891, found in the timber frame and stone infill passage wall, this work may have been carried out sometime after this.



Piece of magazine of June 1891 found in wall.

The Paper Pattern for this Tina Pinafore was free in the September Number

of Weldon’s Bazaar of Children’s Fashion

There remain some uncertainties in all this analysis. For example, Jim Tonkin considers the western lath and plaster roof truss as “late” due to the nature of the chisel made carpenter’s marks. Also, when found, this truss had dropped some 18 inches at its front [south] end, breaking the wall plate and resting on a very contorted single column of stone by the then new front door. When this happened is not known. How it could happen is uncertain given that the post and panelling below it was inserted between the flagstone floor and the underside of the truss, hence giving at least some physical support but showing no sign of stress.


When the building was acquired by the Howells in 1941 a corrugated asbestos roof was built over the two storey extension which undoubtedly saved this structure until refurbishment. In 1998, the hall area was found without a roof or apparently any signs of a first floor and the byre was loosing its tin roof – the previous stone tiles having been long removed albeit with many still on site.




There are two large barns adjoining the house which form a courtyard.


The beast house comprises a dry stone walled building with diamond shaped window openings and an earth/rock floor. The currently low roof pitch is thought to be “new”. Whilst the original roof may have shared the currently low eaves, it would have been steeper and probably originally thatched and subsequently stone tiled.


In its north gable end is a pitching eye positioned such that a wagon could stand alongside it to pitch hay and straw into the roof area.


There are sections of crucks forming lintels over the entrance to the beast house dated after 1527 and 1570 which would not therefore appear to have been those removed from the long house which were earlier.


There is no good evidence as to a construction date. However, it must almost certainly have been built before the adjoining barn which now obstructs the pitching eye and was probably constructed at the same time as the hall house – around 1490’s.


Standing slightly above the beast house and roughly at 90 0 to it but also very close, is a wain house. This is of traditional design comprising two storage bays either side of a threshing bay, with a fourth stable bay. It is of lime mortar stone construction with wall plate mounted trusses and purlins. A very large proportion of the timber in the roof is re-used. Flooring is generally flags but with cobbles in the stable bay. Low side walls in the threshing bay are large upstanding flags with timber beam topping.


Carpenter’s marks are long scratches interpreted by Jim Tonkin as 1570-1600. This would suggest the wain house was constructed about the same time as the extension to the house was built.


It is interesting that the majority of timbers in the roof of the Wain House are reused. Some timbers comprise old wall beams with slots and holes for infill and one piece, used now as a truss support, was clearly a door header.



Roof timbers in the wain house


To the rear of the wain house, a long stone footing has been found. No detailed examination has taken place as yet and building orientation, floor levels, other wall arrangements etc remain to be discovered. It may be however, that the Wain House roof timbers were recovered from this building.

Documentary Evidence


The Manor of Ewyas Lacy


The Manor of Ewyas Lacy has been in existence since Norman times and was held by the de Lacy family throughout the C11 th & 12 th . In 1241 the daughters of Gilbert de Lacy, Margery and Maud, inherited and divided the Manor between them. Before the end of the C15 th , Margery de Lacy’s moiety was in the hands of the Earls of Abergavenny where much of it stayed up to 1920. The moiety of the other daughter Maud de Lacy, had a far more interesting history, moving from the early Kings and Queens , to the Hopton family, sequestration after the Civil War, back to the Hopton heirs and then sold around 1693 and broken up in the C18 th .


Most property in Ewyas Lacy was held from one or other moiety of the Lordship of the Manor as a freehold or copyhold interest almost certainly dating back many centuries. Such interests were not the subject of an early grant as such but developed out of the basis of service to the Lord. “The requirement that the service must be certain distinguished the free tenure of socage from the unfree tenure of villeinage, which later came to be known as copyhold tenure.” 3


Various surveys of the two moieties of the Manor have come to light and provide the core tenure data for this document:


1566 Survey

The earliest known survey of Maud’s part of the Manor was carried out for Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester in 1566 5 who, having just been given the Manor by Queen Elizabeth 1 st , promptly sold it on to Robert Hopton. The Survey lists free tenants and copyhold tenants. It states:


“The number of the tenants of this whole Lordship are above 300 persons very tall men the most part freeholders as they have Long continued, but without any writing or charter which freeholders pay for every Welsh acre they hold which is in quantity 4 English acres, 1 d and no more, nor never paid more. Some copy holders there be, which pay for every Welsh acre 4 d , likewise there be an other tenure which is called hallmote for which every tenant payeth for a Welsh acre 3 d which freeholders & copy holders account there custom so strong that a freeholder at the change will give but only his heriot, and the copy holder but 12 d for the fine of a Welsh acre.”


1590 & 1624

An Abergavenny Rental Survey in 1590 6 includes a number of Ewyas Lacy entries but a major Abergavenny Survey was carried out in 1624-26 7 and included details of freeholders and copyholders.

1653 Survey

Following the Civil War, part of the Hopton Manor was sequestrated. A sale Indenture made the 6 th of September 1653 8 set out a particular of the lands in Ewyas Lacy and other manors to be sold to General Thomas Harrison for a knock-down price of 5 shillings. In Michaelchurch Escley, six properties were included, all let on long leases from between 1584 and 1627 for between 70 and 99 years by Hopton and including Pikes Farm.



Close Roll 1653 part 31 held at National Archives

Courtesy of Dewi Bowen Williams BA




Around 1665 Sir Trevor Williams the then owner of Maud’s part of the Manor, produced a schedule of freeholds demised out of the Manor 9 . In 1687 a survey showed Abergavenny copyholds and leaseholds 10 and around 1693 Sir John Williams produced a sale schedule of Maud’s part of the Manor 11 which included the separately owned freeholds like Pikes Farm.


1701 & 1705

In 1701 a very full survey was produced for Abergavenny showing freeholders, copyholders and leaseholders 12 . Also, between 1701 and 1705 a similarly major and more comprehensive survey was undertaken on behalf of the purchaser of Maud’s part, John Jeffreys Esq. 13 the 1705 Survey. This shows free tenants, copyhold tenants and leaseholders.



Abergavenny’s copyholds and leaseholds were scheduled in 1711/12 14 and again around 1800 15 with maps. Meanwhile Jeffreys produced an undated summary around 1750 of his holdings 16 .

Pikes Farm Freeholders


We have been extremely lucky to find a wealth of information regarding Pikes Farm, from the Surveys mentioned above, other documents held by various Record Offices, assistance from colleagues and our own work. Its legal history is clearly shown back to 1584 whilst its construction history has been shown to pre-date this by at least some 100 years.


The Manor and Freehold Ownership is given at Appendix Two.


The moiety of the Manor which held Pikes Farm moved between families in the early years following its creation in 1241 up to 1471 but from then on, it was held by the Abergavenny estate. The property was held freehold from Abergavenny which offers the intriguing possibility that the land, plus whatever buildings existed, was held by a free tenant in Mediaeval times. Freeholds were alienable and over the centuries some, like Pikes Farm, had moved from being owner occupied by the free tenant later called freeholder, to being sub-let by the freeholder usually on a long lease.


Whilst it is known that Hopton held the freehold of the Pikes by 1584 8 , it is not known when he actually purchased the interest or in fact, whether it had been acquired by one of his manorial predecessors. The latter seems unlikely as prior to the Dudley sale to Hopton, this moiety of the Manor was vested in the Crown who were probably less interested in good estate management than a private owner would be.


In that case, Hopton probably acquired the freehold interest between 1567 when he acquired the Manor moiety from Dudley , and 1584 when he granted the long lease to William Prees Maddy. The acquisition of the freehold of the Pikes, and also that of other nearby farms, would suggest good estate management. The Manor moiety and the freehold acquisitions, together created one extensive ownership at the head of the Escley valley. 


The survey evidence of Hopton’s freehold from Abergavenny is limited. The various Abergavenny surveys do not give a clear picture. The most likely entry in the 1624 survey suggests Hopton paid 10d. This would equate to 40 English acres at a rate of 1d per Welsh acre and four English to a Welsh acre and this area is supported by the leasehold demises. Hopton’s heirs sold the Manorial rights around 1693 to Jeffreys 11 and it may reasonably be assumed the individual freehold interests were part of the sale. Jeffreys certainly is documented as holding Pikes Farm in 1750. However, the Abergavenny surveys around 1700-1712 do not show Jeffreys as the freeholder – they give the name of the leaseholder as the freeholder. A complicating factor is that the freehold of Ty Uchaf is combined with Pikes Farm which were both leased to the same party.


Pikes Farm, and other properties in the area, were subsequently acquired from the Jeffreys by the Allen family of Hay and Brecon around 1773 17 with Pikes Farm being acquired from the Allens by the Price family in 1856 24 .


Pikes Farm Long Leaseholders and Occupiers


Appendix Three provides a schedule of Long Leaseholders and Occupiers


The Early Years up to c1700

The first known lease on the Pikes was granted by Robert Hopton and dated 26 th Eliz 1 [1584] to William Prees Maddy. The term was 99 years for 10 shillings plus two couple of capons at Easter, 5p for a quit rent and the two best beasts or 40 shillings for an heriot. The property comprised 38 acres in four named fields. This data, from the 1653 Indenture 8 , states Pikes has a “clear yearly value on improvement” of £7 5s 7d over and above rent passing.


1584 lease field names;


1584 lease


1844 Tithe match

Cae Philo inclu messuage & mill



Cae Garw



Cae Gerallt


202,203, 204

Cae Garw Isa


208, 210, 211


The four fields in the 1584 lease

[based on the 1844 Tithe Map with north to the left]


William Prees Maddy was one of at least four sons of Rees Maddy. Before 1566, two of his brothers, David and Howell had taken freehold interests in some 22 and 18 Welsh acres [88 and 72 English acres] respectively in Michaelchurch Escley 5 . His third brother Thomas was a tenant of land in Clodock by 1573 19 and Thomas’ son Phillip held a lease on 18.5 Welsh acres in Michaelchurch Escley from 1585 8 .


The late Jim Maddy, father of Elwyn Maddy who currently farms Upper Llanrosser adjoining Pikes Farm, recounts the story of five Maddy brothers coming to the area from Scotland . Perhaps Rees and his sons were those five – although Rees was very Welsh by name.


By 1604, we find Jenkyn Madye yeoman, son of William, leaving the property in his will 18 , firstly to his mother Margerie ap Thomas and wife Elizabeth ap Thomas for their lives and then to his nephew Thomas Powell Maddy. The 1653 survey confirms the premises were late in the occupation of Thomas Powell Maddy.


Jenkyn Madye left a most comprehensive will. He was farming the leased land in conjunction with four additional fields, Kae Lloyd, Kay Croone, Cae Kee Llwedrogith and Cae Kiddrich. The total farmed area could have been around 70 acres.



Possible area farmed by Jenkyn Madye of Pikes Farm in 1604


Cae Kiddrich comprises Tithe number fields 148, 149 & 150 of 23 acres including the remains of a building. It was referred to as Kydrich in the 1653 survey held free by William Prees Maddy. William had taken the 1584 lease on Pikes Farm and it may be reasonable to conclude he had held this freehold at least since then. The field was Cae driddith in 1705 and Caecutrig was sold with Pikes Farm in 1941 and is a name still used today.


Cae Kee Llwedrogith is referred to in the 1705 survey 13 as land formerly of Jenkyn Madye, north of Cae Geralt and probably comprised Sunnybank field 204. Field 206 is also shown as late Jenkin Maddy and now of Wm Pikes and may comprise part or whole of Kae Lloyd and/or Kay Croon. Perhaps a William Pikes was farming Sunnybank by then with the building perhaps being erected during the second half of the C17 th .


The tenure under which Jenkyn Madye and his successors were farming Sunnybank is currently not certain but research suggests they were held together until the late C19 th and Cae Kiddrich was held freehold by his father William.


Jenkyn Madye also held a lease from the Hopton Manor on Lloyne y Wayne [Ty Uchaf] at £6 pa. In the 1705 survey, this comprised 67 acres. He also held a property in “Crasshould” [Craswall] sub-let from a Nicholas Havard. He had agreed to sell his interest in this property to the occupier William William Price Griffith for £168.


If wealth was measured by stock numbers particularly cattle, Jenkyn Madye was a wealthy man. He left 80 cattle, 235 sheep and 19 horses as well as bulls, oxen, pigs and other farm stock. He was a generous man as well, bequeathing some 70% of his stock to some 70 other people in the area.


His will refers also to his mill [remains still visible with its pool & leet] and the profits and commodities thereof arising and a miller, John Watkin David. He also held tithes by the grant of John Arnold Esq “for certain years yet unexpired”.


Amongst his debts of £196 was 15s 9d owed to one Rowlande Vaughan Esq – of Golden Valley water works fame probably?


Jenkyn Madye left his property to his wife and mother for their lives and then his nephew Thomas Powell [Maddy]]. He and Elizabeth Madye apparently had no children but he had an illegitimate daughter Sara.


Whilst William, Jenkyn and Thomas Powell Maddy appear to have occupied the property under their head lease, by the end of this lease, we find an intermediate landlord emerging. A new 99 year lease for lives was granted in CCVI Ch 11 [1674] by Thomas Wyndham to Richard Crofts Gen., still at 10 shillings but “ then in the occupation of Walter Pikes Gen. and late in the occupation of Wm James 13 .


The premises in the lease are those demised in the 1584 lease. However, one field Cae filloe located below the house, has inexplicably, doubled in size from 10 to 20 acres. Also, Cae Geralt has reduced from 9 to 4 acres. The total area was 42.5 acres.



The fields in the 1674 lease.  Field no 153 may not have been included .

Cae filloe is expanded to cover field no154 to achieve close to the stated 20 acres


The 1663 Militia Assessment on owners of property, has a Phillip James paying £12 tax on a property in Michaelchurch Escley. The 1664 Hearth Tax on occupiers, shows Walter Pikes and Phillip James with 3 hearths in a combined entry. The 1665 Hearth Tax shows them both but separately – Phillip James 1 and Walter Pikes 2 hearths. Pikes has three hearths so perhaps the property was split between them, Walter Pikes in the 1561 extension and Phillip James in the old longhouse 28 .


Around 1693 the Estate was being sold by Sir John Williams and the rent schedule produced 11 confirms a rent of 10 shillings pa being paid on Pykes Lands by William James. It also suggest a “Value per Ann.” of £18 0s 0d.


William James, a local land owner, possibly occupied the property himself some time up to his death before 1700 but his main residence is believed to be Merryhurst, St Margarets. By the 1705 Survey the lease was in the hands of Edward Perkins who left it to his son in law, Thomas Williams.



The Later Years 1700 to date

In 1740 another lease [term not known] appears to have been granted on Pikes Farm 16 by John Jeffreys Esq. to Jane Harries, still at 10s and comprising 41 acres. The lease was for the lives of Jane Harries, Thomas Jenkins and either an Elizabeth Jenkins or Jane Jenkins [both are given in different documents] all of whom may have been related.


An Indenture dated 1773 20   identifies Thomas Jenkins yeoman of Craswall, as holding the lease and “some Time since” possession and mortgaging the property and selling it to Jane Jenkins spinster of Craswall. The “sale” was for £20 by way of Jane disclaiming her right to £20 due to her pursuant to their aunt’s will. Thereafter there is a set of Pikes Farm accounts in Mrs Jane Jenkins’ name [see below].



Jenkins Indenture 1773


In a settlement dated 1777 21 , Thomas Jenkins leaves his possessions at Ty Pikes to his children, albeit for a consideration of £15. John Griffits was given as the occupier. The possessions include those of two other properties in Craswall including his own residence and include beds and bedsteads, sheets and blankets, kettles, pots and pans, chests, coffers, tables and a cupboard, a cheese press, chairs and barrels.


At the time the freehold was sold c1773 17 , by Walter Jeffreys of Brecon to Edward Allen of Hay/Brecon, Jane Jenkins held a lease at 11s 6d and John Griffits was still given as the occupier. However, Land Tax records post 1790, by which time Henry Allen had inherited the freehold from his father [1788 22 ] , show no intermediate leasees, the property being occupied directly on lease from the freeholder.


In 1793, Henry Allen sold Cae Geralt and Cae Garrow Yssa [by now called the Birches] 17 comprising some 19 acres and part of Pikes Farm but by the time of the Tithe Map [1843], the farm known as Pikes had absorbed other land bought by the Allens from the Manor and now comprised 57a 3r 31p. This included in particular, Pensylvania field the other side of Griglands. However, the core farm still contained some 30 acres.



Pikes Farm core land holding of 30 acres in the 1843 Tithe Map


The parish registers 23 show only two primary occupiers of Pikes Farm from the 1790s to the early 1850s. William Watkins succeeded John Griffits around 1790 and was in occupation until at least 1830. In 1832, Jane Prichard a labourer had a baby at the property and in 1833, 90yr old Ann Watkins died there. By 1834 William and Sarah Gwillim were in occupation and remained until at least 1851 after which they moved to The Maerdy nearby. At that time William was aged 44 and they had four children. However in 1838, Thomas and Anne Gwillim had a daughter whilst apparently sharing occupation.


By 1853, Thomas and Pricilla Price were in occupation and had three children by 1856. In 1866, 85 year old Anne Price died there. However the 1861 Census gives Edward Brace aged 30 and his wife and five children in occupation.


All this data suggests the property was well occupied with numerous children and also some shared occupation. This would have been facilitated by the arrangement of the farm, with two staircases and two fireplaces downstairs.


John Price then of the Griglands, later of Upper Llanrosser , acquired the Pikes [as well as Pensylvania] from Frederick Allen in 1856 subsequently leaving the property to his daughter Hannah Howard in 1889 24 . Hannah had married William Howard in 1874 and they were in occupation at least by 1876 with two children.  Arthur Price acquired it from Hannah’s family in 1899 and members of his family occupied Pikes Farm until Bill Price’s death. Bill is given as in occupation in 1913 with his wife Emma. After their first child was born, Emma sadly died giving birth to their second in 1919. After Bill’s death [see below] the farm was sold in 1941 by Mrs E. E. Lewis, his daughter, to George Howells of New House. The sale comprised 172 acres to include Griglands, Caecutrig, Penrheol, Glyss Farm, Spring Castle and Castle Farm and fetched £1,800 equivalent to £10.45 per acre.


George Howells’ descendants sold the house and 9 acres to us in 1998, the house having remained unoccupied since the shooting in 1930.



The Pikes sale details 1941



Various Other Matters


Jane Jenkins


Various documents from the second half of the C18 th have emerged relating to Jane Harries, Thomas Jenkins and in particular to Jane Jenkins. Jane Harries and Thomas Jenkins have already been seen to have had connection with the property.


In the 1740s John Jeffreys appears to have granted a new lease on the property to Jane Harries 16 . The lease appears in the hands of Thomas Jenkins by 1773 who sells it to Jane Jenkins “spinster” 20 . An interesting set of accounts then appears from 1773 to 1785 in the name of “Mrs” Jane Jenkins. “Mrs Jenkins” is shown as “landlord” (probably actually head lessee) of Pikes Farm in the Land Tax records from 1781 through to 1790. Also, the relationship, which one might assume there is, between Thomas and Jane has not yet been resolved. They were quite possibly brother and sister as they had a common aunt.


The overall rent collections are held in a small booklet currently held privately and appear to be in Jane Jenkins own hand. Thomas Jenkins is often mentioned.





A more detailed account of income and expenditure for 1773 to 1785 has also been found on scraps of paper 25 . The rent paid is 11s 6d as per the new lease in existence by then, following the Jane Harries lease and the occupational rent received is £19 paid by John Griffits.



The detailed entry for 1773


In 1773 allowance was made for remittance to Mr Allen [as freeholder] and payment of interest and principal to various people.


Allowance was made from the rent due for Land Tax and it seems numerous repairs were undertaken over the period. In particular it seems quite a lot of repair work was going on in 1773 and in 1780 the barn, probably the wain house, was re-paved. Perhaps the 1773 work related to the north-west corner of the house which suffered a part collapse and rebuild?







John Jenkins mason and tiler



hauling stone timber and raising



James Parry for raising stone



sawing an ash tree into boards


1774 -1778




carpenter & mason









paving the barn






                                                   Expenditure on repairs 1773-1782


In 1796 Jane Jenkins died. Her probate papers 26 include a very detailed inventory thought to relate to her then freehold residence, Trelan in Craswall and Michaelchurch Escley, although this remains to be finally verified. On the cover sheet to her will, the word spinster has been deleted.


The accounts make reference to Mr Allen in London and are arranged as if reducing an outstanding loan balance. It is possible the property was mortgaged. Thomas Jenkins took out a mortgage in 1766 for £30 and a further loan of £33 in 1769. Edward Allen had acquired the freehold interest around 1773. However, by 1791, Henry Allen, son of Edward, is given as landlord in the Land Tax records and there is no further mention of Jane Jenkins.



The Allens


Edward Allen of Hay/Brecon acquired the freehold of Pikes Farm from Walter Jeffreys around 1773 17 . He died in 1788 22 and although his will makes no specific reference to Pikes Farm or other Michaelchurch Escley properties, his son Henry emerges as freeholder.


It appears quite probable that Edward Allen acquired a number of properties in the area. Henry Allen, his son, died in 1847 27 leaving the property to his son Frederick but it can be seen from the 1843 Tithe Map that at that time, he owned a large amount of property at the upper end of the Escley valley.


Overall, Henry Allen owned 250 acres in six different holdings in 1843 all at the upper end of the valley. Upper Llanrosser with Callen was the largest at 164 acres. The others were Gold Post, The Glis, Pikes Farm with Pennsylvania and Pen Rhwl and Caetomkin.


Henry Allen’s holdings in upper Escley valley from the Tithe Map 1843



The Name


The first documentary evidence known to date where the name Pikes/Pykes is used is in the undated rental summary of the Manor [and various separate freeholds] then held by Sir John Williams 11 but due to be sold in Longtown on 8 th December thought to be around 1693. William James is shown as paying 10 shillings for “Pyke’s Land ”.


In the 1705 survey 13 for the purchaser John Jeffreys, no building name is used, merely the field names but Walter Pikes Gen. is given as in occupation as at 1674. Also adjoining land is given as “formerly of Jenkin Maddy now of Wm Pikes”.


Walter Pikes had a free interest in Kydrich field in 1665 and that year was also paying hearth tax on two hearths in Michaelchurch Escley 28 . However, by the time of the 1705 survey, Pikes Farm was “ late in the occupation of Wm James ” and the Pikes family appear to have gone from the property if not the area.


In 1713 a William Pikes took a 99yr lease on a dwelling called the Chappell at Arthur’s Stone 29 and in 1729 a Henry Pykes was buried at Michaelchurch Escley 30 . Pikes is also a recurring name in Dorstone and further research is needed to see if Walter Pikes Gen. went that way.


In the Indenture for sale of the lease between Thomas and Jane Jenkins in 1773 20 , the name looks more like Dykes but the 1777 Thomas Jenkins settlement 21 refers to Ty Pikes and the 1796 Earl of Oxford’s Tithe refers to Pike.


Thereafter, in Land Tax and BMD Registers the property is called Pikes or Pikes Farm.



The Shooting


A final tragic event in March 1930 was to end occupation of the Pikes for some 70 years.


Bill Price the then occupier shot Mrs Beatrice Maddy of Great Cefn Farm just across the valley and then shot himself. A verdict of “manslaughter in a sudden transport of passion” was returned on Mrs Maddy by the coroner’s jury which sat at Llanrosser chapel and “felo-de-se” [self murder] on Mr Price.


Mrs Beatrice Maddy was aged 30 and a widow of 10 years and lived at Great Cefn with her 70 year old mother Mrs Maria Jones, an 11 year old daughter Dorothy and a baby of 11 weeks old of whom Bill Price was said to be the father.


Bill Price was aged 39 a widower of some 11 years his wife having died in childbirth.                   


The events are summed up in the newspaper report of the Inquest.


Whilst sitting in the kitchen of Great Cefn Farm, about 9 o’clock on Friday night, with her 70 year old mother, her daughter, and baby, Mrs Maddy fell dead in her seat as a result of gunshot wounds, the gun having been fired through the window. Half-an-hour later there were further reports of a gun, and Price was found dead outside the house with terrible injuries to the face and the gun was lying by his side.”


Bill Price had been courting Beatrice Maddy for some time according to Mrs Jones and their baby had been born only 11 weeks earlier. However, although Bill Price never disowned the child, it was registered as illegitimate which had upset Beatrice Maddy. They disagreed as to marriage and the result was the tragic shootings.


It has been suggested Bill Price was not in fact the father of the baby and knew who was, but this was not raised at the Inquest.


Great Cefn Farm was also abandoned shortly afterwards and has only recently been sold and rebuilt.

Historic Summary and Thoughts


Dendrochronology tells us the hall house was built before 1495. If an earlier long lease was in place before William Maddy took the 1584 lease, it may also have been 99 yrs, ie from 1485. This fits very well with the dendro. results, with the lessee then building the property with the security of this lease.


Unfortunately no occupier data is known up to 1584 but – in 1542 a Rhys ap Mady otherwise Rees Mady appeared on the Muster Roll 31 for the parish. He must have been over 16 but was not on the Roll in 1539 so was either too young or not in the parish. He was the father of William and three other boys and from his arrival until around the 1650’s, the property was occupied by the Mady/Maddy family.


Before 1542, Rees could have taken an assignment of the 1485 lease and moved into the hall house with, one assumes, his wife. Around 1546 he made the property more comfortable with the erection of the chimney and in the next 15yrs, his growing family required the extension to be built in 1561.


He did not appear in the Lay Subsidy Rolls from 1551 32 . These taxed those with goods worth £3 or more or income over 20s. However, by 1571, William, but not his brothers, was on the Subsidy Rolls and it might be reasonable to assume Rees had died by then, not a rich man and perhaps aged around 55. William, as heir to the property by way of the new lease, was probably the eldest son and remained on the Rolls until 1594 when he was shown with his son Jenkyn but only Jenkyn was shown in 1598 and 1600. William must have died just prior to 1598 aged around 50. We know Jenkyn made his will in 1604 as a wealthy man and in the Rolls for 1628 and 1641, a Thomas Powell is listed, possibly Jenkyn’s nephew and heir.


In the mid C17th, long leasehold owner occupation gave way to the long leaseholder sub-letting to an occupier – the property had become an investment. In particular, one of those occupiers was Walter Pikes gent and for the first time, the property was being given a name!


The freehold interested was vested in the Hopton family and descendants from the second half of the C16th to end of the C17th. Thereafter it changed hands three times - to the Jeffreys [c1693], the Allens [c1773] and the Price family [1856] and initially the property remained let to an intermediate “investor” landlord who sub-let to an occupier. One such investor was Mrs Jane Jenkins, a local lady, who kept interesting accounts for the property.


All these freeholders held other land in the valley but by around 1790, the existence of an intermediate landlord had ceased and a succession of occupiers held by lease directly from the freeholder.


The tragic shooting in 1930 meant the property fell vacant and unoccupied for 70 years.



Pikes Farm has received a visit from a mystic. Some of the intriguing comments made relating to the early life of the property include: occupation in the late C14/early C15 th by a happy couple with 4/5 children; the spiral stairs in the hall not being original and a reluctance to use it – the area was originally a cupboard; a visit by a representative of Charles 1 who stood in the hall scared to enter the parlour which was full of people - Roundheads perhaps?


The property has also played a small part in literary history. Previous owners, Jonathan and George Howells who lived at New House and farmed the Pikes lands, were the primary characters on whom Bruce Chatwin based On The Black Hill written in 1982. He spent some time in the area living at Lady Betchamen’s house [also New House on the way to Hay] and following the brothers in their daily lives. The book recounts his efforts at administering medicine to a calf in the Pikes barn and also the story of the shooting.




The interesting history of Pikes Farm will continue to be researched. It has its unique points but its construction, dating and style mirror that of many farms in the area. The extensive Maddy family gave it its earliest known history and quite amazingly, still farm next door. The Pikes family appear to have been around for only a limited period but enough to leave their name implanted.



Pikes Farm as it is today



One – Dendrochronology data

Two – Manor and Freehold ownership

Three – Long Leaseholders and Occupiers

Dendrochronology Data                                         Appendix One

Oxford Dendrechronological Laboratory


No of rings - total number of measured rings on the sample analysed

Dates – where varying precise felling dates are given, use the latest for structural analysis

Construction – vernacular buildings are likely to have been completed within 12-18 months from the latest felling date




timber & position

no of rings

felling seasons and dates/date ranges


Post in plank & muntin wall


After 1431




After 1494


Door lintel




Door post east side



Inner bay

Window mullion centre


After 1472

Inner bay

Window cill


After 1496

Inner bay

Longitudinal beam




Chimney lintel




Cross beam 2 nd west side


Summer 1561


Cross beam 3 rd west side


Summer 1561


Same-tree mean


Summer 1561

Extension roof

Tie beam east truss




Window frame [current front door]


Winter 1590/91


Window head ditto



Beast house

Cruck lintel



Beast house



After 1527


Manor and Freehold ownership                      Appendix  Two


Manor & freehold


Manor of Ewyas Lacy held by de Lacy family


Manor divided into two; Pikes Farm free tenant held under Abergavenny’s predecessor’s moiety


Sir Robert Hopton acquires other moiety of Manor then held by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester on gift from Queen Elizabeth 1st


Sir Robert Hopton acquires freehold of Pikes Farm


From this time on the Pikes Farm freehold interest appears in Hopton surveys as if part of his moiety of the Manor




Sir Arthur Hopton nephew, inherits from Robert


Robert Hopton Esq son, inherits from Arthur


Sir Ralph Hopton son, inherits from Robert


Manor sequestrated and held on behalf of Parliament


Major General Thomas Harrison purchases part of Manor comprising freeholds let on long leases including Pikes Farm


Manor moiety restored to Rachael Hopton who married Thomas Morgan


Elizabeth Morgan married Sir Trevor Williams


Thomas Wyndham, Rachel’s nephew grants some leases


Sir John Williams son, inherits from Trevor


Sir John Williams sells to John Jeffreys


Survey carried out for John Jeffreys


John Jeffreys jun., son, inherits from  John


Edward Jeffreys son, inherits from  John


Walter Jeffreys inherits & sell Pikes Farm & other property to Edward Allen


Henry Allen son, inherits from Edward


Henry Allen sells part of Pikes Farm to Eneas Walter


Henry Allen given as landowner


Frederick Allen son, inherits from Henry


John Price buys Pikes & other property for £600 from Frederick Allen


Hannah Howard daughter inherits Pikes & other property from John Price


Henry William Howard and other children inherit from Hannah


Henry Howard and others sell to Arthur Price


Mrs EE Lewis [nee Price] sells to George Howells


Vivian Howells sells to Tony & Susan Gray



Long Leaseholders and Occupiers                   Appendix Three



Hall house constructed


Chimney inserted in cross passage, creating a “long house”


Large extension constructed



Robert Hopton grants new lease to William Prees Maddy


Jenkyn Maddy son, inherits lease from William


Thomas Powell Maddy nephew, inherits from Jenkyn


An entry in Hearth Tax for Walter Pikes and Phillip James jointly


An entry in Hearth Tax for Walter Pykes


Thomas Wyndham grants new lease to Richard Crofts Gen. occupier Walter Pikes Gen. late William James


Richard Crofts assigns lease to Edward Perkins


On sale to John Jeffreys, William James given as occupier


Thomas Williams son, inherits lease from Edward Perkins


John Jeffreys grants new lease to Jane Harries

1766 & 1769

Thomas Jenkins yeoman mortgages Pikes; may be in occupation


Thomas Jenkins assigns lease to Jane Jenkins; John Griffits in occupation


New lease granted to Jane Jenkins


Mrs Jane Jenkins accounts for Pikes


Land Tax shows Mrs Jenkins as Landlord & John Griffits as Occupier


Land Tax shows Henry Allen as Landlord and William Watkins as Occupier


Baptism of Richard son of Jane Prichard labourer of Pikes


Burial of Ann Watkins aged 90 of Pikes


Land Tax shows Henry Allen as Landlord and William Gwillim as Occupier


Baptism of Mary Ann daughter of Thomas & Anne Gwillim


Baptism of William son of William & Sarah Gwillim


Census gives William Gwillim farmer 35 with wife & 3 children


Baptism of John son of William & Sarah Gwillim


Tithe Map gives Henry Allen as landowner & William Gwillim as occupier


Baptism of David son of William & Sarah Gwillim, died 1861


Census gives William Gwillim farmer 44 & Sarah plus 4 children


Baptism of Eliza daughter of Thomas & Pricilla Price


Baptism of John son of Thomas & Pricilla Price


Baptism of Sarah daughter of Thomas & Pricilla Price


Census gives Edward Brace 30 and wife plus 5 children


Baptism of Charlotte daughter of Edward , agricultural labourer & Ann Brace


Burial of Anne Price aged 85 of Pikes


Census shows no entry


Marriage of William Howard to Hannah Price, both 21 & from Michaelchurch Escley


Littleburys Directory gives William Howard farmer at Pikes


Baptism of Elizabeth Jane daughter of William & Hannah Howard, The Pikes


Baptism of John William son of Hannah Howard


Census shows no entry


Kellys Directory gives William Price at Pikes


Baptism of Elizabeth Emma daughter of William & Emma Price


Burial of Emma Price and un-named child of William Price


Kellys Directory gives William Price at Pikes


Burial of William Price aged 39


George Edguy Howells gave address as The Pikes on mortgage





1 Houses & History in the March of Wales . Radnorshire 1400-1800 Richard Suggett, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales 2005.

2 Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club  2003 p121

3 A History of The Land Law A.W. Brian Simpson 1986, Oxford University Press, Oxford

4  Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club: 1934 p54; 1958 p82; 1961 p81; 1966 p255; 1973 p115; 1982 p121; 1984 pp457-9; 2006 p111 & 114; 2008 p127.

Rental of Ewias Lacy on the behalf of Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester KG 1566; Longleat DU/VOL.XVII. Transcript kindly provided by Dewi Bowen Williams BA.

6 Manor of Ewias Harold belonging to Lord Abergavenny1590 which includes some Ewyas Lacy entries; Herefordshire Record Office B56/6; Transcript kindly provided by Dewi Bowen Williams BA

Survey and Rental of Ewyas Lacy ex parte Henrici Nevil militis Domini Bergavenny 1624-1626; Gwent Record Office MAN/A/151 0028 and 0022; Transcript kindly provided by Dewi Bowen Williams BA.

8 A Particular of the Manors of Ewyas Lacy ….. forfeited to the Commonwealth for Treason and sold by Indenture dated 6 th September 1653; National Archives CP 54/3738 part 31 and Gwent Record Office MAN/A/151/0077. Transcript kindly provided by Dewi Bowen Williams BA.

The Lordship & Manor of Ewyas Lacy on the part of Sir Trevor Williams Baronett, Dame Elizabeth his wife and Thomas Windham Esquire 1665/67; Gwent Record Office MAN/A/151/0023; Transcript of Articles only by Nina Wedell http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lacy/Articles-of-Inquiry-Manorial-Survey-by-Trevor-Williams-and-others/1667/nw_ewy_1102

10  On the part of the Right Honourable George Baron of Abergavenny

A Survey there taken in the months of July and August 1687 of as much of the leases, copy hold & tenements in hand as could then be discovered by  Richard Crofts gent. Manor of Ewyas Lacy 1687; Gwent Record Office MAN/A/151 0024; Transcript kindly provided by Dewi Bowen Williams BA;   http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lacy/Transcript-of-Survey-of-the-leases-copyhold-amp-tenements-in-hand-on-behalf-of-the-Right-Honorable-George-Baron-of-Abergavenny-by-Richard-Crofts-gent/1687/rs_ewy_0140 . Digital images of original http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lacy/Digital-Images-Collection-Survey-of-Lord-Abergavenny-s-Herefordshire-properties/1687/rs_ewy_0027_DIC .

11 A Particular of the Mannor of Ewyas Lacy … being the Estate of Sir John Williams Baronet and to be sold by Survey or Auction … in Longtown .. on 8 th December   c1690-1700 poss. 1693; Herefordshire Record Office BA/4; Transcript by Nina Wedell http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lacy/Manor-of-Ewyas-Lacy-sale-by-Sir-John-Williams/No-date-c1690-1700-/nw_ewy_2104

12  Henry Symonds Collection; Freeholders, leaseholders and copyholders in the Manor of Ewyas Lacye, survey for Abergavenny 1701; Gwent Record Office MAN/A/2/0252; Transcript by Nina Wedell http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lacy/Manor-of-Ewyas-Lacy-survey-for-Lord-Abergavenny-1701/1632-1701/nw_ewy_1101

13  Manor of Ewyas Lacy survey for John Jeffreys 1701-1705; Herefordshire Record Office J91/4; transcript by Nina Wedell http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lacy/Manor-of-Ewyas-Lacy-survey-for-John-Jeffreys-1705/1500-s-160 0 -s-1700-s/nw_ewy_2103 .

14   Survey of the Manor of Ewyas Lacy for Lord Bergavenny 1711 and Court Baron 1711; Gwent Record Office MAN/A/151/0026 & 0027; http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lacy/Digital-Images-Collection-Photographs-of-Survey-of-Ewyas-Lacy-for-Lord-Bergavenny/1711/rs_ewy_0026_DIC and http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lac y /Digital-Images-Collection-Court-Baron-records-Rentals-of-the-Manor-of-Ewyas-Lacy/1711/rs_ewy_0063

15  Survey of the Estate of the Right Honble the Earl of Abergavenny in the Hundred of Ewias Lacey c 1800; Gwent Record Office D 1583/208 & 187; http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lacy/Survey-of-the-Earl-of-Abergavenney-s-Herefordshire-Estate-in-Ewyas-Lacy-Hundred/No-date-c1800-/tg_ewy_0012 and http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lacy/Digital-Images-Collection-Survey-amp-Maps-of-Lord-Abergavenny-s-E s tates/c-1800/rs_ewy_0028_DIC

16  John Jeffreys Survey c1750; Herefordshire Record Office AL40/5522

17  In the Indenture dated 1 st April 1793 for sale of part of Pykes, reference is made to Edward Allen purchasing Pykes from Walter Jeffreys. Date not stated but c1773. http://ww w .ewyaslac y .org.uk/Michaelchurch-Escley/The-Birches-and-Sunnybank/1793-1968/tg_mic_0105

18   Will of Jenkyn Madye 4 th July 1604; National Archive PROB 11/104; Transcript kindly loaned by Dewi Bowen Williams BA.

19  Will of Symond Aparrie 23 rd June 1573; Transcript kindly loaned by Dewi Bowen Williams BA

20 Indenture of sale dated 1773 between Thomas Jenkins and Jane Jenkins; in private hands;  http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Michaelchurch-Escley-Craswall/Indenture-for-sale-of-Dykes-Land-by-Thomas-Jenkins-to-Jane-Jenkins/1773/tg_mic_0116

21   Thomas Jenkins Settlement 10 th September 1777 in private hands; http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Craswall-and-Michaelchurch-Escley/Deed-of-sale-of-Household-goods-by-Thomas-Jenkins/1777/tg_cra_0017

22   Will of Edward Allen 6th December 1771 proven 17th June 1788; National Archive PROB 11/1166

23   ELSG www.ewyaslacy.org.uk home page Parish Registers rs_DA_0051

24 Abstract of Title 1833 – 1909 of Mr Jonathan Howell’s freehold title in Pensylvania and other property; Herefordshire Record Office AO60/16; http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Michaelchurch-Escley/Abstract-of-Title-of-Mr-Jonathan-Howells-to-New-H ouse-T y n-y-gwynt-and-Pensylvania/1833-1909/tg_mic_0117

25 Jane Jenkins accounts 1773-1785 in private hands

26   Will of Jane Jenkins 8 th April 1796; National Library of Wales BR 1796/8;  http://www.lhsarchive.org.uk/d.php?d=sh_cra_0712&s=sh_cra_0712&p=1&n=1&c=1&i=10 Transcript of Inventory http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Craswall-Clodock-Michaelchurch-Escley/Wills-and-Probate-image-and-transcription-of-Inventory-of-Jane-Jenkins/1796/tg_cra_0011

27    Will of Henry Allen 8 th March 1841 proven 9 th February 1847; National Archive PROB 11/2055; http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lacy/Will-of-Henry-Allen/1841/tg_ewy_0034

28   Hearth Tax for Michaelmas 1665 for Herefordshire and comparison with Militia Assessments 1663 Transcript by J Harnden 1984; Herefordshire Record Office AM 29/1; http://www.ewyaslacy.org.uk/Ewyas-Lacy/Hearth-Tax-for-Michaelmas-1665-for-Herefordshire-and-Comparison-with-Militia-Assessments-16 6 3/1665/tg_ewy_0039

29 Lease dated 26 th March 1713; Herefordshire Record Office J56/5178.

30  Michaelchurch Escley BMDs 1719-1816 Herefordshire Record Office.

31 Muster roll PRO. E36/31

32 Lay Subsidy Rolls PRO. E179/118/



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