Living at Llys Nini in the C17th and the Civil War
Llys Nini stone farmhouse was built some time during the 1600s, probably by the Mathews Family who owned Llys Nini and a number of other farms in the area.
John ap William ap David ap Richard (born about 1570) probably owned Llys Nini at the beginning of the Century, he passed it to his son Matthew John, who was also known as Matthew Johnes.
Matthew had 11 children before he died in 1623. Llys Nini was inherited by his eldest Thomas who was born in 1599 and died, before the start of the Civil War in 1638).
Another of Matthew’s sons was Marmaduke Mathews, a notable clerg man who championed the nonconformist movement and had to leave Wales for America because of his beliefs. As Marmaduke was a puritan and turned his back on the established Church, it is therefore likely that he was a Parliamentarian during the Civil War.
Thomas’s son Henry and wife Jane probably owned Llys Nini during the period of the Civil War. They owned a number of properties and so it is not known whether they actually lived on the farm.
The farm house was built in 2 parts, at one end there was a stone “hall” or living space. There was a big open fire, which heated the house and was used to cook. There was a bake oven and a warming oven set in the chimney breast.
Llys Nini fireplace in the 1990s
As it would have been in the 1600s
The family would have cooked, eaten and lived in this one room. There may have been a bed cupboard in the recess next to the chimney for warmth. The remainder of those living at Llys Nini would have slept in the loft above the hall, which was reached by a set of stairs built around and behind the fireplace.
The other end of the house would be the byre or barn for the animals. The animals and people would use the same door into the building. The door is shown in the photo. The animals would turn left into the barn, while the people would turn right into the hall.
The cattle were brought into the barn at night and the people could lock the door from the inside. This kind of house was built in areas where there was a danger of cattle rustling. It was safer to lock the door from the inside.