Mabws Hall, is one and three quarter miles south-east of Llanrhystud, on the south bank of the Wyre fach in Cwm Mabws.
Jones, Francis. Historic Cardiganshire Homes and their Families, p190.
Marked on Colby’s Map of 1831 and on modern OS maps one and three quarter miles south-east of Llanrhystud, on the south bank of the Wyre fach in Cwm Mabws. The site of two houses, one built in the early 1600’s of greystone and replaced in the middle of the 18th century. Nearby are Penlan Mabws, Cefn Mabws and Mabws-hen, which suggests a location of great antiquity. Plas Mabws was the seat of an ancient family of the same stock as the Lloyds of Ystrad Teilo.
Rhydderch ap Rhys Goch ap Ieuan ap Rhys Fychan ap Rhys Ddu ap Llewelyn ap Cadogan was descended from Cadifor ap Dinawal. Rhydderch married Elen, daughter of Lewis ap leuan ap Lewys of Aber-mad. Their son, Richard ap Rhydderch, who married Lleucu, daughter of William ap Llewelyn, signed for Lewys Dwnn in 1613, who described the property as ‘Y Plas: Mabws Fawr’.
David ap Richard married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry ap Richard ap John ap Rhydderch. His brother, Ieuan, described as of Llanbadarn, married Elen, daughter of John Pryse of Gogerddan. Their eldest son, David Llwyd, rector of Llangoedmor, died unmarried and devised the estate to his brother, Richard, of Mabws and Ystrad Teilo, who married Gwen, daughter of Morgan Herbert of Hafod Uchdryd. Their son, Erasmus, married Elizabeth, daughter of David Lewes of Gernos, and was assessed at three hearths in the return for 1672. Erasmus was succeeded by his son, Richard, High Sheriff in 1671, who married Elizabeth, daughter of David Lloyd of Crynfryn, Nancwnlle, High Sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1662. Her portion was £500. It is probable that it was at this time that the family moved to Mabws from Ystrad Teilo where they had resided for centuries. In the Trefaes Deeds is a reference to a deed dated 1-2 October 1723 to which Richard Morris of Carrog and Richard Lloyd of Mabws were party. The deed mentions ‘the dwelling house of Richard Lloyd called New Mabws’, built of greystone. In 1730, Richard Lloyd of Mabws Esq. subscribed to Laws of Hywel Dda (Welsh and Latin) and was MP for Cardigan Borough from 1729-1741. He married Lettice, heiress of Edward Games of Tre-gaer, Brecon. On 4 June 1750 Anna Maria (1728-1786), daughter and heiress of Richard Lloyd of Mabws and Ystrad Teilo married James Lloyd of Ffosybleiddiaid (1721-1800), and it was this James who built the mansion of Mabws soon after his marriage in 1750.
Meyrick tells us, ‘Mabws … is a very large edifice, situated in a vale. lt was erected by James Lloyd Esq. of Ffos y Bleiddied and Ystrad Teilo, father of John who married Elinor, daughter of John Allen of Dale Castle, in Pembrokeshire. As she was an heiress, he, in her right, possessed Dale Castle’ (and in his own right inherited Mabws and Ffosybleiddiaid).
In his Visitation of Seats Burke describes the house, ‘it is an English manor-house built of blue stone and standing upon high ground, of large size and exceedingly commodious. Up the centre of the building runs a spacious staircase lined with handsome carved oak … and most of the rooms are floored with the same material’.
John Lloyd (1753-1820) and Elinor Allen were married in 1776. John was High Sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1785 and Cardiganshire in 1803. It was from this union that the LloydPhilipps of Dale Castle, descend. John’s brother, James (1762-1837), in herited Pentyparc, Walton East parish, near Clarbeston Road in 1823 from the descendants of Mary Philipps, his great-grandmother, who had married John Lloyd of Ffosybleiddiaid early in the 18th century. James, who added Philipps to his surname, commanded the 86th Regiment during the Egyptian Campaign of 1801, leading it across the desert from Suez to Cairo. He died at Mabws on 11 April 1837, aged 75 years. James and his wife, Winifred (nee Thomas). who lived at Mabws until her death, had two sons, James Beynon (d. 1865) and Frederick Lewis LloydPhilipps, who died without heirs at Pentyparc in 1902.
In the Title Schedule of 1839, Mabws estate was of 2,682 acres with an annual rental of £1.561. The Rev. Isaac Williams (1734-1811), vicar of Llanrhystud for 40 years, lived at Mabws in 1760 as a tutor for the young James Lloyd.
The ‘Particulars of Sale of Freehold Estates of the late John Lloyd of Dale Castle, Pembs, called the Mabws and Foesybleiddiaidd Estates’, were advertised to be sold at auction at the Talbot Inn, Lampeter on Monday 5 July 1824. Among the more interesting lots were 4 limekilns and an old mill which were situated on the seaside, where any quantity of sand and seaweed could be procured for manure, and formed part of the flat called ‘Llansaintfread Flat’, celebrated for the growth of Barley. The turnpike road from the town of Aberystwyth to the town of Cardigan lay near this lot. Also included was a water corn grist mill called Felinfawr, which adjoined the previous lot on the seaside. The mill was ‘in full work, had a constant supply of water and had lately been put in complete repair’. Farms were offered which were held on a lease for three lives; a lot of five messuages and land which were suject to an annuity of £80 during the life of a ‘female now aged about 50 years or thereabout’. Three farms were subject to an annual fee of farm rent to the Earl of Lisburne; also included was an unoccupied garden and its appurtenances in Tregaron, the Red Lion Inn, in Llanrhystud with stables, gardens and land and the rights of “Tolls, Pitchings or Dues of Fairs” held at Ystradmeurig’.
In Out with the Cambrians published in 1933, Evelyn Lewes of Llanllyr writes ‘I specially remember the Frederick Lloyd Philipps of Pentyparc who died in the year 1902. Probably Mr. Lloyd Philipps was one of the very few Pembrokeshire landowners of his time who could converse in Welsh, but it was appropriate that he should be able to do so, for he was born at Mabws, one of the most venerable houses of Cardiganshire, and his forebears were the Lloyds of the still more ancient house of Ffosybleiddied, who traced their descent from the illustrious King of all Wales, Rhodri Mawr of Mervyn Frych’.
Mabws, along with about 50 acres, is now occupied by Mrs. Gunton and her two sons. Local tradition maintains that Mabws-hen nearby, was the location of the original plas.
Grid Ref: SN 5650 6855
Refs: Colby Map, 1831; Meyrick, Cardiganshire, 1810, edn. 1907, p. 266; WWHR, iii, 93; Landowners
Return, 1873; Evelyn Lewes, Out with the Cambrians, 1933, p. 33; Dwnn i, 161, 28; Nicholas, County Families, 1875, I, 206; Ceredigion Vol. VII, Nos. 3/4 (1976), p. 343: Burke, Visitation of Seats, iv (1858), 92; NLW. Griffith Owen Deeds, 5001; Llanrhystyd Tithe Apportionment Map, 10 September 1839; NLW, Trefaes Deeds; PRO ADX/6.
Highly Important Sale
Cardiganshire, parish of Llanrhystyd
Highly Imprtant Sale of freehold farms, small holdings, accommodation land.
Houses and gardens, forming part of the Mawbws Estate, having an area of nearly 1,000 acres.
The above will be offered for sale by Public Auction at the Lion Royal Hotel, Aberystwyth,
on Monday, September 23rd, 1918, at 2 pm precisly.
In 32 lots, or in such other Lots as shall be arranged on Day of Sale.