Potted History


Images © Stephen Hughes, Compiled by Francis Smith, Links courtesy of TP Williams

750BC Iron age/Brythonic celts hill-top settlement, Bryn Golau and remains of hill fort, Caer Pencraig (on neighbouring Ty’n y Caeau land). Group of Romano-British round huts remain, also on Ty’n y Caeau land.
1352 The Extent of North Wales made for Edward III by John de Delves, refers to the township Creweryon , with eight free gafaelion ( holdings), including Gavel Goyll (sic). Gafael Goyll later identified as equating to Moelyci. Creuwryon is mentioned in the 12th century Mabinogi tale of Math fab Mathonwy.
1413? Conveyance of Cororion and other lands (possibly including Gafael Goyll) to Gwilym ap Gruffyddd. Penrhyn estate came into being.
1612 (Old) Moelyci Farm one of two farms mortgaged by then Lord Penrhyn, Peirs Gruffydd, who had bankrupted himself.
1662 Hearth taxes for Llandygai (mostly illegible).
1765 Moelyci (and other parts of the Penrhyn Estate) came into the possession of Richard Pennant through marriage.
1768 Survey of Penrhyn Estate detailed map of Moelyci holding.
1768 – 1808 Improvements to Penrhyn Estate farms and cottages – architect Benjamin Wyatt. Current farm buildings at Moelyci could date from this period.
1770’s Richard Pennant starts to extract slate from Penrhyn slate quarry.
1789 Lease to Yearly Tenant – William Prichard annual rent £30 (old Moelyci);

Lease to Magdalen Owen, 2 lives, annual rent £31- 10s (new Moelyci)

1800 Wyatt’s retrospective map of holdings in 1352 (see 1352)
1802 Magdalen Owen died and succeeded by John Edwards as tenant at (new) Moelyci, rent £31 – 10s – 0d.
William Prichard rent £30 (old Moelyci).
1815 Will and inventory of John Edwards, (new) Moelycci. Elizabeth his widow took over tenancy and farmed till 1851.Half year rent MI £22 – 10s – 0d
1817 William Prichard succeeded by Owen Owens half year rent (old Moelyci) £17 – 10s – 0d. Let to Owen Owens for 1 yr @ £35 the old tenant having given up the farm.’ Owen Owens newly married (1816)
1836 Will of William Prichard Jones, Farmer, late Moelyci. (B/1836/118)
1836 Dispute between John Edwards Moelyci and another re delivery of slates (XQS/1837/57
and XQS/1837/61)
1839 Moelyci (along with other farms) held religious services of the Calvinist Methodists, when lease for Caerorion Chapel expired and was not renewed.


Tithe maps and apportionments show boundaries and buildings of both Moelyci tenements.
1849 Owen Owens died, will and inventory (inventory in Welsh), ‘Moel Leqi’. Widow Gaenor Owens succeeded to tenancy. (Wills can be searched for and viewed at National Library of Wales )
1850 Current farmhouse believed to have been built
1851 Will of Elizabeth Edwards otherwise Elizabeth Thomas widow, Moelyci.
Bennett Thomas took over tenancy.
c1850 – 1910 Massive expansion of quarry and explosion in local population; shift in local occupations from agriculture to quarrying and trade
1861 200 tonnes of slate per day transported to Port Penrhyn across Moelyci land
1864 Reference to ‘planting’ on rentals for Griffith Owen’s tenement. Could this be the hazel woods at Ffynnon Eurych?
1871 Census Griffith Owen and young family at old Moelyci. Head of household, farmer, 70 acres. (new Moelyci 70 acres); Gaenor Owens age 76 at Sling with married daughter Sidna(h) and her family. However Penrhyn Rentals still show Gaenor Owens as teneant.
1877 Gaenor Owens died. Only one rental for Moelyci tenement after this date.
1878 Bennett Thomas rent has increased to £73 – 15s – 0d from £58. No apparent successor at old Moelyci. Suggests abandoned as dwelling and land from both tenancies amalgamated 1881 census states 120 acres.
1879 New narrow gauge line, dissecting lower fields of Moelyci Farm, opened to connect quarry with Port Penrhyn (replaces earlier horse-drawn & gravity incline track further east, not on Moelyci land). V ertical boilered De Winton (Caernarfon) locomotives delivered in 1879.
1881 Griffith Owen at Dinas Farm.
1882 Charles ordered Hunslet. De Winton engines inadequate.
1888 Griffith Owen died.
1893 Blanche and Linda delivered, built by Hunslet, £800 each.

 Images @ Stephen Hughes

1901 Census Bennett Thomas is 85. Two adult single children Elizabeth (Lizzie) and Bennett remain at Moelyci with parents.
1902 (Bennett Thomas sr. died? To be confirmed in parish reg)
1907 (Elizabeth Thomas wid of Bennett sr died? To be confirmed in parish reg)
1911 Last available census- Bennet jr (farmer) and sister Elizabeth (dairy worker) at Moelyci, both single. Form completed in Welsh.
1918 – 1922 Russians and other men of Baltic origin brought in to fell trees at Parc and Bwlch. Narrow railway took timber through Ty’n y Caeau, Moelyci and Pandy land [to be researched]
1920 Decline in slate production
1921 Bennett (aged 58) married daughter of ?….., Cororion. (details to be confirmed in parish reg)
1922-3 Elizabeth Thomas in dispute with brother Bennett over income from farm. ‘Mother died 10 years ago’
1933 Elizabeth Thomas died? (to be confirmed in parish reg)

Thomas Price/Prys from Anglesey , but previously a horse trainer/breaker for Lord Penrhyn, takes over tenancy (with wife Jane Maria).

1930s Prices installed piped water, from springs on Ffridd (not Ffynnon Eurych)
1948-9 Tractor bought to replace horses.
 1951 Thomas Price retired and moved to Rhosneigr

Nicholas Roberts takes over tenancy

Nicholas Roberts and His Welsh Mountain Sheep

Nicholas Roberts and His Welsh Mountain Sheep

1962 Quarry railway line closed.
Date? Cutting filled in, track to farm straightened so bridge redundant

The railway line bridge after closure and before and during excavation

1962 Foot and mouth outbreak. Moelyci stock destroyed.
1969 Melville Richards argues Moelyci derives from Moel Lleucu
Date? Nicholas Roberts’ daughter Rosemary joins him in partnership
2001 Foot and mouth outbreak
2001 Nicholas Roberts and Rosemary Williams retire from farming. Penrhyn Estate put farm put on the market.
2002 Moelyci Farm Management Company formed by local residents to enable community purchase of farm.
2003 Farm bought by above and Moelyci ISP created
2005-9 Excavations confirm location of old Moelyci farmhouse.
2015 Cwm Harry take over management of the farm.

The farm name changes to Ffarm Moelyci, representing the old name of the farm and the local colloquialism of Ffarm, over the common Fferm

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