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Bryn Farm is one of the first farms you would reach in Glascoed if approaching from the Beaufort Arms, on the Usk Road. In the map, ignore the red marker - Bryn Farm is the farm at the end of the long straight lane!

I am not sure when it was actually built, although the first reference I found to it was on the 1829 Land Tax Assessment.

John Williams and his family

The resident at Bryn Farm in 1829 was a John Williams. He must have died soon afterwards, since on the 1831 Land Tax Assessment the main resident was noted as “John Williams’ widow”. By deduction, it appears that these 1823 and 1824 entries in the Land Tax Assessment records, referred to John Williams of Monkswood living on William Clifford’s property.This must have been the same tenant and also Bryn farm, since the landlord and position on the register were the same as the later entries referring to Bryn Farm and John Williams. I was reading yesterday that in a court case featuring John Morgan of Hill Farm, that the name “John Morgan” was as “common as blackberries” in the local area. If that name was widespread in Monmouthshire, then “John Williams” would have been even more common … so my assumption could be wrong of course!

Since women were not allowed to vote in 1832, the Register of Electors of that year does not show a person with residential voting qualifications at Bryn Farm.

A gap in the records ..

Bryn Farm is not named on the records I have found after 1831, until the 1868 Register of Electors (see below).  I’m sure the farm did not just disappear from view; it must have either been un-inhabited, un-named or possessed of an alternative name on the censuses between 1841 and 1861..

The Reece family

The 1868-70 Electoral Roll shows Richard Rees (sometimes written as Reece) and family as living at Bryn Farm. They were still living there at the time of the 1871 census. Richard was a farmer and when younger had been a Champion Ploughman at local Agricultural shows along with his brother, Benjamin.

Richard’s first Glascoed residence was Lower Wernhir. Richard was part of the Rees family that moved into Glascoed in the 1850s. Leonard Rees was at Wernhir farm (Lower Wernhir) at the time that the 1855 to 56 Register of Electors was published and it’s likely that Richard, his nephew was with him at that time. He certainly was by the time of the 1861 census - and had married Eliza Morgan of Gwehelog (Baptised 9th August 1846 at Raglan). They had married on 18 Feb 1867 at Tregare. Their first four children (all daughters) had been born by the time of the 1871 census - all but the eldest were born at Glascoed - probably Bryn Farm. Sadly Elizabeth Anne died in 1871, aged around 6 months at Bryn Farm. Mary Ann Reece was born at Glascoed although baptised on 19th May 1872, while living at Prescoed in Llanbaddock, indicating a move away from Bryn farm in early 1872.

Lewis Lewis

The farm was either uninhabited from this point, or possibly by someone who was not eligible as an elector until we find a Lewis Lewis, living at Bryn farm as a tenant on the 1879 Register of Electors.

The Davis family

The Davis family were living there at the time of the 1881 census. Mrs E.A. Davis was the Head of the Household (at least on census night). Harry Davis’ name was scratched out, so it appears that he was Mrs Davis’ husband and was away from home on census night. Mrs Davis was from Swansea and aged 28 - a farmer’s wife. Their children were Herbert Emlyn (aged 9), Sydney A.T. (Aged 8) - both born at “Fencoed, Glamorgan” (probably Pencoed) and Lewis J.A. Davis (aged 6). Two “General servants” were also at the property, Reuben Sims aged 40 from Somerset and Catheren Rowland aged 40 from Monmouthshire.

The Williams family

Later in the 1880s, Henry and Hannah Williams and family came to live here with their young family, having been at Hannah’s family farm, Lanynant at the time of the 1881 census. You can read more of Henry and Hannah and see a photograph of the couple on Henry’s bio page.

Henry (1844-1919) and Hannah Williams (c.1848-1917) continued to live there until their deaths. Following this, their son, William Henry and his wife Emma Williams farmed there.


Land Tax Assessments

1823 - John Williams Monkswood - this was “William Clifford Esquire’s Land”

1824 - John Williams Monkswood - this was “William Clifford Esquire’s Land”

1829 - John Williams - this was “William Clifford Esquire’s Land”

1831 - John Williams’ widow - this was “William Clifford Esquire’s Land”


1871 - Reece family.

1881 - Davis family.

1891 - Williams family.

1901 - Williams family.

1911 - Williams family.

1939 National Register - Williams family.

Registers of Electors

From the 1868 Register   - Richard Reece.

From the 1879 Register - Lewis Lewis.

From the 1889 Register - Henry Williams.

From the 1922 Register - William Henry and Emily Williams.

From the 1929 Register - William Henry and Emily Williams.

Bryn Farm

Modern-day Bryn Farm photo from web-site.  Sheep farm near Glascoed © Copyright Roger Davies and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. Used with kind permission.