Pen-y-Wern Farm

Upper Twrch Valley, Breconshire

Photos taken June 2000

Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this website were taken by Venita.*

Many thanks to my 'editor' John Ball, without whose help the information on these pages would be full of errors!


Pen-y-Wern farm is located at the top of a hill east of the River Twrch which flows south through the Upper Twrch Valley in Breconshire. Though this farm has been abandoned for many years, it provides a fascinating example of a farm of earlier times.

The lower part of the path follows the Twrch, winding through seemingly magical woodlands. (To this American, it seemed that if I looked around fast enough I would catch a glimpse of fairies dancing among the bracken.) When the path leaves the riverside, it climbs a steep grade to the top of a hill then opens into a wide meadow of knee-high grasses. This hilltop wern is surprisingly marshy and one must step carefully to avoid sinking into water or mud. The farm itself is just a few yards ahead, located in a drier area and surrounded by aged trees.

Afon Twrch

Above: Afon Twrch arises in foothills of Mynydd Du (Black Mountain), in Carmarthenshire, then flows through Breconshire and into Glamorgan. Journalist Gareth Jones said of this river: "It is a river with a personality, a real human river. It has the energy of a Welshman, clatters down, loses its temper as it leaps over a cliff, has a rest in a deep pool, awakens to a fit of fury and rushes through rocks, calms itself, and flows even-tempered for some dozen yards, makes a spurt, reposes again, but never for long, for it is rushing to be wedded to the Tawe near Ystalyfera." (Over the Edge of the Black Mountains)

Farm through trees

(Photo by John Ball)

Above: On approaching the farm, the buildings can barely be seen through the trees and dappled sunlight. The home is on the right, the barn and smithy are beyond, center and left.

Fallen roof

Above: Roof timbers and upper floor joists are no longer in their proper places, but have fallen into what must have been the kitchen.

Fireplace and oven

(Photo by Jennifer Ohmes)

Above: The fireplace and oven are at the other end of the kitchen. One can imagine coming in after a hard day's work to the smell of fresh bread and cawl. (It rhymes with 'owl' and is a traditional welsh stew made with lamb, potatoes, leeks and other vegetables.)

Back of the house

Above: At the back of the house we see a few rafters, still in place. It's just a short walk from here to the barn and the smithy. To see them, turn to page two.


Thanks to Jennifer Ohmes and John Ball for allowing me to use their photos.


*Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this website were taken by Venita who also holds the copyright. Should you wish to download any of them for any purpose (other than your own enjoyment), please credit Venita as the photographer and add my homepage URL: http://www.venitap.com/home.html

Comments are appreciated!

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