« PreviousContinue »
shop in his dressing-gown and slippers." She further adds that a miniature of Heath (the gift of Mrs. Mitchell, of Llanfrechfa) is in the Rolls Hall, Monmouth, in a case.
A correspondent to the Beacon also writes that a small oil-painting, on the back of which is written, "C. Heath, the Historian of Monmouth," is in the possession of the Working Men's Institute, Monmouth, and there is a companion picture of a lady, believed to be his wife.
THE PRICE FAMILIES OF PLAS IOLYN AND
BY W. BEZANT LOWE, M.A.
NOT far west from Pentrevoelas were Plas Iolyn and Gilar, the old-time residences of two families of the
name of Price, the former mansion being associated with Dr. Ellis Price, and the latter with Baron Robert Price. Plas Iolyn is situated in the township of Tre Brys, and the name of Price is preserved in the words Garn Brys, Bryn Prys, Hendre Brys, Bwlch Prys, Aelwyd Prys, all in that township.
All that now remain of Plas Iolyn (Fig. 1) are traces of the foundations, the ruins of a square tower
and, adjoining, a large barn (narrow, but very long), supposed to have been used for tennis or some other game. The masonry looks very old; the walls were built with "mortar poeth," hot mortar. Both the
tower and the barn are built upon high ground; the tower is of three storeys, and from it Dr. Price could get a good outlook over the surrounding country. The basement of the tower was used as a dungeon, and the
Fig. 2.-Quadrangle, looking to the House, Gilar
room on the ground floor contains a recess and a fireplace.
About half a mile from Plas Iolyn is Gilar, now a farmhouse, the birthplace of Baron Robert Price, who lived about 100 years later than Dr. Ellis Price.
Gilar is in a sheltered spot, with fertile soil, and situate under the northern slopes of Garn Brys, and its name is very descriptive of its position, Cil ar = arable recess. The mansion is placed at one end of a quadrangle (Fig. 2), not quite rectangular, 130 ft. long
and 64 ft. 9 in. across at the narrowest end. The walls of the quadrangle are unusually thick, viz., from 2 ft. 9 in. to 3 ft., composed chiefly of very large stones; at the present time this wall varies from 5 ft. to 2 ft., but originally it was possibly 10 ft. to 12 ft. high.
The approach is by way of a gate-house (Fig. 3) a compact little building of two storeys, built flush with the exterior face of the walls of the quadrangle. The ground floor space of the gate-house is occupied by the entrance, a kind of detached porch, with an arched doorway, and the one room of the upper floor is
approached by outside stone steps from the interior of the quadrangle.
In an old picture of Gilar the quadrangle is represented as having on each of the two sides a row of buildings, where there are only walls at present; the entrance was shown by the gate-house, the main building facing the gate-house on the opposite side of the quadrangle. From the gate-house to the door of house is a path of cobble stones, and in them are the letters (in white pebbles), T.P.W. Over the arched gateway is inscribed TP.W. The present house was probably built by this Thomas Price Wynn, who was
Fig. 4. Inscription, Gilar
(W. F. Price, del.)
High Sheriff of Denbighshire in 1624. On a stone in the wall to the left of the gateway are the date 1675 and the letters R.P. (Fig. 4). Robert Price was High Sheriff of Denbighshire in 1658. To the right of the gateway is a horse-block with an overhanging tree. The door, apparently as old as the gateway, is of oak, studded with great iron nails. Over the fire-place in the upper room of the gate-house are the arms (Fig. 5) of Thomas Price Wynn, consisting of a lion, rose, griffin, and a chevron between three Englishmen's heads, the same as the arms of Ednyfed Fychan, bestowed upon him by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth.
There is a fine porch to the mansion, and on one side of this was a window, now blocked up, but there is still