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A man in Llandenny was put 'In process" for keeping an unlicensed tippling house
(Process book, 1720-1780, Gwent Public Record Office)
Llandenny should be of course "the church of St Denny" but is referred to in the Book of Llandaff as "mattenni". Unfortunately there was no St Denny or tenni and so the derivation of the name must remain obscure' - so wrote the late Fred J. Hando. The village of Llandenny lies three miles from Raglan and four and a half miles from Usk.The village has about 30 houses in close proximity to the church and pub.
However the parish of Llandenny is widespread and includes Kingcoed, Llandenny Walks and several farms. The village has no shop or post office but there is a pub. This is The Raglan Arms,taking its name from Lord Raglan whose house, Cefntilla Court is set in parkland on the outskirts of the village. Cefntilla Court was bought in 1858 by fellow officers, admirers and friends of the first Lord Raglan and Commander-in-Chief who died whilst on active service in the Crimean War. In an earlier war, it was in the dining room that the Cromwellian commander, Colonel Fairfax, received the surrender of Raglan Castle after a bitter siege, conducted from this house.
Now there is no public transport through the village, but at almost every house there is a car and in many cases more than one. Over the past 20 years, the number of cars in the village has more than doubled. So where in the past, most people found their employment in and around the village, or travelled by train to Pontypool, Usk or Monmouth, they are now able to live in the country and travel by car to work much further afield - Newport, Cardiff, Bristol, for instance. As a consequence Llandenny has become something of a dormitory village for people of varying occupations and interests, adding to the richness of village life.
There is a ghost story of a Grey Lady who used to flit amongst the trees on the way down to Cefntilla Court. There has been no reported sighting of her recently!
Some years ago a entire family was murdered at a cottage about seven miles from Llandenny. 'They' say the murderer was a Spanish seaman and he was the last man to be hanged at Usk gaol. What has that to do with Llandenny? Someone from this village, visiting the scene of the crime, brought back a cutting of periwinkle from the cottage garden. This grows along a wall in the village -- a reminder that through all the changes which take place, the same plants spring into life each year.
(The Gwent Village Book, 1994)
1806 Brief notices of LANDENNY, In which Parish Keventilla is situated. (Landenny is a Welch word, and signifies, "The Church dedicated to Saint Dennis."
Llandenny is situated two miles from Ragland, and near it runs the turnpike road leading from thence to Chepstow and both the Passages.--The Manor House, called Treworgan, stands near the highway, and equalled, in its day, Mr. Oates's residence before mentioned.
Prior to the appearance of these pages, it was unknown even to the inhabitants, "that the fine meadows it this parish formed the DAIRY FARM of the Marquis of Worcester, when he resided at Ragland Castle."
The Rev. Mr. Jone's Manuscript thus mentions it: "Llandenny, seated on the river Trothy, hath excellent meadow and corn ground, woods and pastures, where the Earl of Worcester had his dairy farm, but is now in the hands of Mr. Roger Williams, of Newport."
As corresponding testimony of the above information, the house inhabited by Mr. Hopkins retains the name of the MARDEE, which in Welch signifieth the DAIRY, to the present day.
What place, in the neighbourhood of Ragland, could have been so happily selected for such a purpose?
Large meads, of the richest verdure, extend themselves to Usk, a distance of four miles, through which the stream of the Alway flows, while valuable herds of cattle, cropping its herbage, give a greater interest and animation to the scene. Indeed, in all my walks over the county hitherto enjoyed, I could not point out, taken altogether, such an agreeable path, in the summer season, within the distance of many miles.
Several respectable families, of landed fortune, resided in this parish. Besides Mr. Oates, of keventilla, the owners of Treworgan, and the Jenkins's of Lydiath-Melyn deserve mention; but the former was sold to the late Rev. Doctor Griffin, of Hadnock, near Monmouth, now the property of this widow (whose tenant, Mr. Hall, farms the estate,) while the tablet in the church is all that now remains to tell us that such persons as the latter ever existed,--the family being extinct, the house fallen to decay, and the land let to a farmer.
The CHURCH is situated on a gentle eminence; and from appearance seems to have been erected about the same time as that of Ragland, being built on the same plan, and with the same kind of stone. But after Mr. Oates's monument, there is nothing either within or without the walls to arrest the stranger's attention.
The preceding is the only interesting parish (if we except St. Arvons,) lying near the road between Ragland and Chepstow. The country is also hilly and barren, without any object to relieve it till we arrive at Piercefield.
Heath, Charles, Historical and Descriptive Accounts of The ancient and present state of Ragland Castle including a variety of other particulars, deserving the stranger's notice, related to that much-admired ruin, and its neighbourhood.Monmouth, Wales, 1806
(p 136 - 138)
(Llandenny 1806 by Charles Heath)
LLANDENNY is a parish on the river Olway and on the road to Monmouth, with a station on the Coleford, Monmouth, Usk and Pontypool section of the Great Western railway, 4 miles north-east from Usk, 153 by railway from London and 146 from London by road, in the, southern division of the county, hundred and petty sessional division of Raglan, union of Monmouth, Raglan and Trellech highway district, county court district of Usk, rural deanery of Usk (eastern division), archdeaconry of Monmouth and diocese of Llandaff. The church of St. John is an ancient building of stone, in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and a western tower containing 6 bells: the church was restored in 1865 and has 150 sittings. The register dates from the year 1714.
The living is a vicarage, net yearly income £30, without residence, in the gift of the Duke of Beaufort and held since 1893 by the Rev. Cecil Henry Fardell. The great tithes have been commuted at £330, the whole of which goes to the impropriator, who is also patron. There is a Baptist chapel. Charities amounting to £64 are distributed yearly in bread and money.
Cefntilla Court is the residence of the Right Hon.The Lord Raglan, D.L., J.P. When General Fairfax attacked Raglan Castle he made Cefntilla his head quarters. The old mansion was rebuilt and, together with the property belonging to it, was presented to Lord Raglan in grateful recognition of the memory of his grandfather, Field Marshal Lord Raglan, commander of the British army in the Crimea, where he died in 1855.
The Duke of Beaufort, who is lord of the manor, Lord Raglan and G. G. Griffin esq. are the principal landowners. The soil is loam ; subsoil, clay. The chief crops are wheat and beans. The area is 2,298 acres of land and 4 of water; rateable value, �2,976 ; the population in 1891 was 389.
Post office: Mrs. Elizabeth Preece, sub-postmistress.
Letters arrive from Usk at 7.40 a.m. ; dispatched at 4.20 p.m. Postal Orders are issued here, but not paid. Raglan is the nearest money order & telegraph office, 3 miles distant.
Railway Station: John Brewer, Station master
National School (mixed) with a house for the mistress, for 50 children, average attendance, 30.
Miss Jane Elwell, mistress.
Raglan, The Lord, D.L., J.P., Cefntilla Court; & 5 Barkston gardens & Guards' & Carlton clubs, London S W
Cadwallader Rashleigh Marchant, The Mount
Evans Mrs. Hill Cottage
Fardell Rev. Cecil Henry (vicar)
Herbert James, Llanerthil
Morgan Thomas, The Lodge
Moxham Mrs. Oakfield house
Powell Mrs. Sarah, Orchard Cottage
Stephens Mrs., The Elms
Andrews John, builder, Llanwecha
Anstey John, farmer, Little Rock
Bevan John, tailor, Woodbine Cottage
Davies John, carpenter & wheelwright
Davies John, Crown P.H.
Ethericlge Henry, farmer, The Walks
Evans John, farmer, Rhyd-y-mane
Evans Mary (Mrs.), farmer, Treworgan court
Frost Joseph & Eliza (Mrs.), farmer, Newhouse
Haggett Edith (Mrs.), Raglan Arms P.H.
James Robert, farmer, Pentre farm
James Robt. assistant overseer, Pentre farm
James Wm., farmer, Llandenny court
James Wm. jun., farmer, Rock farm
James William, farmer, Cayo
Mackenzie Andrew, Victoria inn
Mason Thomas Henry, butcher
Morgan Thos., shoe maker, Kingcoed
Offer John, farmer, The Ferns
Powell Edward, farmer, Colebrook. (letters through Raglan)
Preece, Elizabeth (Mrs.), shopkeeper and Post office
Pritchard George & Mary (Miss), farmers, Pergoed
Pritchard Thomas, farmer, Kingcoed
Robins Stephen, shopkeeper, Kingcoed
Rogers Thomas, farmer, Mardee
Thomas William, blacksmith
(Kelly's Directory of Monmouthshire, 1901
1914It is doubtful what is the meaning of the latter part of the word Llan-denny. It would literally be the church of St. Tenny, but no such saint is known. In the 'Liber Llandavensis' it is called Mathenni, and in the "Myfyrian Archaelogy' it is called Llan-Denfi. The parish contains 2302 acres of land and 4 acres of water. The rateable value was in 1815 2281 pds. and in 1910, 3026 l.
The population has been as follows: -- (add image)
Around the church is a small village comprising a farm-house and some cottages, with two inns known as the Raglan Arms formerly the Crown, and the Victoria. The Great-western railway company has a station here on the line from Monmouth to Usk.
A curious reference to Llandenny occurs in the Chronicle of Adam of Usk. This ecclesiastic records that in his youth (about the year 1370) he saw at the house of Lleuci vetch catkin at Lankenyo a calf with two tails, two heads, four eyes, and four ears (Chronicon Adoe de Usk, edited by Sir Edward Maunde Thompson, K.C.B., 2nd ed, 1904, p. 41)
The manor is known as Mathenny (2) alias Llandenny. In a list, dated 5 December, 1314, of knights fees ordered to be handed over to Matilda, widow of Gilbert de Clare, who was slain at Bannockburn, is half a knight's fee in Mathenny worth yearly 20 l. (3)
In the time of king Edward VI. the manor was held by Roger Williams of Llangibby, who probably sold to the earl of Worcester. In 1570 the manor of Mathenny alias Llandenny was held by the earl of Worcester under Usk castle by the service of one knight's fee. The tenants of the manor held by a certain rent called Kilthei to be collected among themselves, amounting to 37s. The freeholders in the manor then were: --
• Thomas ap John, for Lloghe y vallen, xvc.
• David Philip Howell, for Pant y borough in the parish of Usk
• Henry george and Morgan George, for Tir Gwilym and Creygakeyssende, ijd.
• David Philip Howell, for Ynys Pwll melon, ixd.
• Howel Edward, for llenblayne
The manor descended to the present duke of Beaufort, who sold it to lord raglan.
The parish contains much good land, notable the flat meadows alongside the Olwy brook, known as the Llandenny Bottoms, which for many years formed part of the estates of the dukes of Beaufort. These meadows comprise about 260 acres of fine grazing land, of which about 90 acres are in the parish of Llangeview, about 9 in Gwernesney, the remainder being in Llandenny. These were sold by auction to various purchasers at the duke's sale in 1900.
The farms of the Mardy and the Lower-house were purchased by the Crown, and several cottages and small lots by lord Raglan
(2) Mathenny would be for Ma Tenny (Ma taking the aspirate after it as in Machynlleth), an ancient form of Maes fenny (the field of Tenny), Cf. Hendre-denny near Caerphily)
(3) Close Rolls, Edward II., 1313 - 1318, p. 137
Cefn-tilla,thought thus usually written would correctly be Cefn-tyle, meaning 'the ridge of the ascent', a name which though hardly descriptive of the actual situation of the house, might well be applied to the steep bank adjoining. This place is known to history as being the head-quarters of general sir Thomas Fairfax during the latter part of the siege of Raglan castle. It was then the seat of Roger Oates, (1 There is no record as to the owner of Cefn-tilla before Roger Oates, but by the arms in the hall it would appear to have belonged in 1616 to one of the family of Herbert
) who came into wales with Theophilus Field, appointed bishop of Llandaff in 1619 and of St. David's in 1627, and was made deputy-registrar of the archdeaconry of Brecon. Of Roger Oates there is not much account, but by his placing his house at the disposal of general Fairfax, unless the latter took it by force, it may be gathered that, in spite of his office under the bishop, he was a Roundhead. He married the daughter of Edward Kemeys of Kemeys, but from whom he purchased Cefn-tilla does not appear. His will was proved in 1667 (P.C.C., Carr, 75) as Roger Oates of Keventilly.
"Whereas I do make a scrip that I did wrong a gentleman, etc., and did at my wife's funeral distribute 11 l. towards satisfaction thereof, I now give the sum of 11 l. more -- my 3 granddaughters Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth Otes -- John Price, esq., of Brecon and my brother Edward Kemeys of Bertholey -- my son Roger Otes ex'or."
Roger, son of the above Roger, was a considerable purchaser of lands, as appears by his will in which he is called Roger Otes of Keventilla, esq., proved 1706 (P.C.C., Eedes, 241)
"To be buried in Llandenny church -- lands in Shirenewton, mortgaged to my father by Edward Kemeys late of Bertholey, deceased, being of the value of 5 l. per annum, to my brother-in-law Charles Hughes of Trostry, esq., and Richard Hughes of Brecon, esq. on trust, the rents to be for the poor of Llandenny and Llansoy for ever -- freeholds which I have purchased from Phillip Nicholas and his son; Robert Gunter, esq.; Charles Morris and his mother; Meredith Price and his wife; Walter Harries; and William Prichard, in Llansoy, Llandenny, and Gwernesney, also lands purchased by me from the widow Howells and her daughter, and David Lewis, gent., deceased; William Blethin, gent., deceased, and temperance his wife; my brother-in-law Henry Lewis; Edward Morgan; Edward Rumsey and bridget his mother, in Caerwent, Caldicot, Llamenlin, Crick, Usk, and Gwehelog, to my son Roger Otes, in default to my grandson Roger Jones, in default to my grandchildren Thomas Jones and Rachel Jones -- other lands to my dau. rachel, wife of George Kemeys of Kemeys, gent., in default to my grandson Thomas Jones, i default to my grandson Roger Jones, in default to my dranddau. rachel Jones -- to my dau. Elizabeth Otes 50 l. -- to my day. rachel Kemeys 50 l. -- to Mr Robert Davies of Clytha 20 l.-- to Ann Probert, relict of Richard Probert of Gwehelog, 10 l."
All the children of Roger Oates died without issue (note: Though the family of Oates died out at Cefn-tilla the name survived in a branch perhaps illegitimate. Roger Oates of Machen, victualler, by his will dated 10 April, 1762, proved at Llandaff 9 September, 1762, by Joan his widow, left 40 l. to bind his son Abraham apprentice) except Margaret, who married Edward Jones of Buckland in Breconshire, whose father Edmund Jones was a man of some distinction. Edmund Jones was a Monmouthshire man, the son of John Jones of Llandenny, and after taking his degree at Jesus College, Oxford, in 1636, was called to the bar at Gray's Inn in 1641. He obtained Buckland by his marriage with the daughter and heir of Edward games, and living through the troubled times of the civil wars, he managed to keep always on the the right side; first as a commissioner of array for king Charles I., then as a supporter of the parliament, and finally as a royalist shortly before the restoration of king Charles II. By 1645 he had left the king and declared for the Roundheads, but did not escape without penalty, for in 1646 he paid a fine of 70 l. 6x., 8d. for his delinquency. he became a personal friend of Oliver Cromwell, was made in 1650 recorder of Brecon, in 1653 attorney - general for South Wales, and in 1654 was returned as member of parliament for Breconshire. By 1659, foreseeing the trend of events, he was found to be on friendly terms with those who were negotiating for the king's return, and on 12 February of that year was deprived of his seat in the House of Commons for being in arms against the parliament. With the return of the king he again was in power, and in 1660 was made recorder of Carmarthen. He died in 1682, and a marble monument in Llansantffraid church records the fact that "that which advanced him most was his true piety and virtue." (nb. History of Brecknockshire, by Theophilus JOnes, vol, ii., p 533, and Parliamentary History of wales, by Williams, p. 16). By his will, dated 11 March, 1682, proved (P.C.C., Drax, 141) 1683, he left 5 l. a year charged on lands for the poor of Raglan and Llandenny.
His son Edward Jones, who married miss Oates and thereby obtained Cefn-tilla, was also member of parliament for Breconshire, and he by his will left 20 l. to the poor of raglan. Though he had several sons they all died without issue, the eldest Roger being member of parliament for Brecon from 1713 to 1722. Eleanor, the widow of Roger Jones, had all her husband's property settled on her, and married for her second husband sir John Pryce of Newtown in Montgomeryshire. She sold Cefn-tilla to a captain Evers, who about the year 1800 sold it to Philip Lloyd, and in 1856 it was the property of the late mr Crawshay bailey, M.P. In that year the estate, comprising some 300 acres, was purchased by public subscription and presented to the second lord raglan, as a testimonial of his father's long services to the nation and army.
Lord FitzRoy Somerset (afterwards lord Raglan) was the youngest son of Henry, fifth duke of Beaufort, and was born at Badminton in 1788. he first saw service as aide-de-camp to the duke of Wellington in Portugal in 1808, and served with the duke continuously throughout the Peninsular war till its close. At the Battle of Waterloo his right elbow was struck by a shot, and his arm had to be amputated. He was afterwards aide-de-camp to the prince regent, secretary to the duke of Wellington when master general of the ordnance, and twice sat as M.P., for truro, 1818-1820 and 1826-9. When Wellington became commander-in-chief on the death of the duke of York in 1827 lord FitzRoy Somerset, who had become a major-general in 1825, was made military secretary at the horse guards, a post he held for twenty-five years. On the death of the duke of Wellington in 1852 he became master-general of the ordnance, about the same time was made a privy councillor, and was raised to the peerage as baron Raglan of Raglan 12 October, 1852. When the Crimean war broke out lord Raglan was selected to command the british troops. He left London 10 April, was made field-marshal 5 November, and continued in command till his death from dysentery 28 June, 1855. His body was embalmed, brought to England, and buried at Badminton 26 July.
The eldest son of lord Raglan had died of wounds received at the battle of Ferozeshah in 1845, and the 2nd son Richard succeeded as 2nd lord. This nobleman on receiving Cefn-tilla from the crown set to work to transform what had been allowed to become a mere farmhouse surrounded by farm buildings into a residence suitable for this position. The house was entirely renovated on the old lines.
The mansion of Cefn-tilla is situated in a singularly low position, with the ground rising on all sides around it. The style of the house before it was altered by the 2nd lord Raglan can be seen by the accompanying view. On the left is the hall, now converted into the dining room, over the fireplace of which, carved in stone, is a quartered shield of HERBERT, with a helmet and mantling, but no crest, and on each side of the shield is a figure in armour, under each figure being the date 1616. The shield is: 1, Per pale az. and gu. three lions ramp. arg. (Herbert); 2, Arg., on a cross gu. five mullets or (Bleddyn Broadspear); 3, per pale az. and sa. three flours de lys or (Ynyr, King of Gwent); 4, Sa., on a chevron between three bucks' heads cabossed arg., as many bugles stringed of the first (Huntley); 5, Chequy or and sa., on a fesse gu. three leopards' heads jessant de lys or (Wallis).
Lord Raglan made the place what it is; gardens and pleasure grounds now occupy the former site of farm buildings, and by pulling down many hedges a park has been made, through which runs a carriage road from llandenny, formerly a land enclosed by hedges leading to the farm of Glan-Olwy. From here another carriage road has been made to the Usk road at Gwernesney.
(nb.Pedigree of the family of Oates of Cefn-tyle and Jones of Buckland)
Hundreds of Monmouthshire: Llandenny, Bradney. 1914
Genuki index for Llandenni / Llandenny resources and information
The Hon. Arthur, suddenly on 25th July in London aged 52. Loving husband of Tanya, devoted father of his young children Iggy, Ivo and Oona-Vita, adored by Geoffrey and Caroline and his sisters Belinda and Lucy. Funeral 10th August 2.30pm at St.Cadoc's Church, Raglan, Monmouthshire. Thanksgiving Service in Autumn. Flowers: firstname.lastname@example.org. Telegraph News
Restoration Home, Coldbrook Farm, BBC2 Weds 18 July. Follows the restoration of 17th century Grade II listed Welsh farmhouse, Coldbrook Farm. The Farmhouse is thought to belong to one of the many Herbert illegitimate offspring! Much more detail in programme.
Biography of FitzRoy Somerset, 4th Baron Raglan: Cefn Tila
Wills: NOTE - these resources are no longer available as the website has been closed (watch this space)
- Bigham John of Llandenny.htm
- Griffiths William of Llandenny.htm
- Lewis William of Llandenny.htm
- Lloyd Ann of Llandenny.htm
- Lloyd Philip of Llandenny.htm
- Lloyd Philip of Llandenny1.htm
- Lloyd Philip of Llandenny1.html
BMD records: llandennyprt.htm
- Llandenny Baptism original records: Llandenny.html
- Llandenny IGI Records
- Christenings 1725 - 1872: CO61821
- Marriages 1725 - 1851: M061821
also see: Court book for Manor of Trellech. example: Pg 53 9.3.1749
Wm Davill of monmouth gent, Thos George of llandenny yeoman & Margaret his wife being the only heir & d/o Walter James late of Dingestow yeoman by Mary his wife both deceased.
(source: Bradney, "Hundred of Raglan" 1914)
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