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Latitude: 51.8833 / 51°52'59"N
Longitude: -3.1845 / 3°11'4"W
OS Eastings: 318564
OS Northings: 221191
OS Grid: SO185211
Mapcode National: GBR YY.RJQR
Mapcode Global: VH6C8.RXBM
Entry Name: Tretower Court
Source ID: 175
Cadw Legacy ID: BR117
Schedule Class: Domestic
Category: House (domestic)
Community: Llanfihangel Cwmdu with Bwlch and Cathedine (Llanfihangel Cwm Du gyda Bwlch a Chathedin)
Traditional County: Brecknockshire
This monument comprises the remains of a late medieval court house. Situated on the northern bank of a small tributary of the river Rhiangoll, the court sits alongside the earlier medieval castle at Tretower.
Tretower Court was probably built by Sir Roger Vaughan whose family owned the neighbouring Tretower Castle. Dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) dates the west range to after c. 1447. This range contained a large great hall with solar, cross passage, service rooms and kitchen. A north range (dated after c.1460 by dendrochronology), had a first-floor hall with solar and bed chamber on one side, and a large guest room on the other, below which was a room commonly interpreted as a court room. Roger Vaughan's son Sir Thomas completed the courtyard by adding an embattled gatehouse c.1480, followed by a curtain wall walk.
Charles Vaughan inherited Tretower Court in 1613 and is said to have remodelled part of the courtyard c.1630 by adapting part of the cross passage, service rooms and kitchen of the western range as a 2-storey dwelling with a 5-bay facade. The main rooms were adapted from the old service rooms, cross passage and kitchen. The southern wall walk was roofed over and fenestrated similar to the west range (giving the impression of a much larger house) and giving access to the main rooms of the house without needing to cross the courtyard. The rooms in the north range were separated from the main house by the 17th century but probably remained inhabited. The property remained with descendants of the Vaughan family until it was sold in 1783, when it is said to have become a farm. Rooms at the western end of the north range remained occupied while the remainder was used as farm buildings. The 17th century doorway to the west range was enlarged to form a barn door. By the early 20th century the building was entirely given over to farm use and by 1930 the court came into state ownership.
The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval social, domestic and political life. In particular, the court is one of the finest medieval houses in Wales. The scheduled area comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.
Other nearby scheduled monuments