Records show that the village was mentioned in the Doomsday Book but the fields around the village centre show evidence of the Iron Age, standing stones, ancient sunken roads and the remains of Roman dwellings.
An overview of its main historical features
The hamlet green was created by the residents from an old area of waste land. Over the years standing stones, bulbs, memorial trees and benches have been added together with a heron sculpture and flower filled planters. The stones were obtained from Hanson's Quarry. The seats are dedicated to old Mr Price and Carl Jefferson who was a founding member of the Association.
The heron sculpture which displays the Old Hamlet sign was created by Tony Ford following a competition for a design which was won by Wyneira Archer who now resides in Australia. At Christmas time a tall lighted Christmas tree is added
view looking west
Erecting the standing stones
Unveiling the stork sculpture
Owned by Simon Wright this is currently being restored as a family residence
According to Newman,
The large and imposing Tudor mansion lies in a rural location surrounded by farmland
The tower is the earliest part of the building; it is built of Old Red Sandstone and is largely intact. The gatehouse is entirely of Tudor origin, and "on a much grander scale". It is rectangular in plan, of three storeys, with square turrets. The main range is largely intact, rising to three storeys and constructed of ashlar stone, similar to that of Raglan Castle, built around the same time.
It has a battlemented parapet. The great hall has a central three-storey porch, with a two storey range on the south side and a three-storey building on the north side. There is also a three-storey northern parlour wing, which originally housed kitchens, and the remains of a south wing
Close to the house are the ruins of a 16th-century dovecote. There is also a continuous range of stone-built barns, probably of the 16th and 17th centuries.
ST MARTINS CHURCH
View from the Lynch Gate
The church, of St. Martin, rebuilt in the year 1858, is a building of stone in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and an embattled western tower containing one bell: in a recess in the north wall of the chancel is an altar-tomb of the time of Henry VII. believed to have been erected to the first Sir Thomas Morgan of Pencoed Castle. The register of baptisms and burials dates from the year 1778; marriages, 1755.
In the grounds of the church stands a cross made in Oberammergau It has a wooden roof with a carving of Christ It was originally on the grave of Antonie Endhutter in Konigstein ( Germany). She was grandmother of late parishioner Herta Puls. She was born on 14 November 1861 and died on 10 January 19 th 1950. It was then transferred to her daughters grave When her daughter, near Munich). It is customary in German Cemeteries to dispose of the graves for reuse after 20 years so in 1997, the cross was removed and would normally been destroyed. Because the cross had family connections Herta decided to have it brought here The exquisite carved cross can be found on the right hand side just inside the main gate.
Oakdale. Is the home of Tony and Jacqui Ford. Adjoining it is Tony's workshop where he creates outstanding sculptures both for inside and outdoor use. Over the years he has established himself as an outstanding creative artist and most of his work is on a commission basis. He loves a challenge and never fails to deliver something outstanding. He spent his working life teaching in a local college and as Head of a Department of Engineering. Experienced in welding and fabrication he has put his knowledge to good use. He is responsible for the heron on the Hamlet Green. He has also made many other wire creations around the hamlet. He is a font of knowledge on the hamlets history Jacqui is also an artist in her own right and has written an interesting history about the restoration of their house and the surrounding plot. In the garden are many gravestones set into the pathways
Tony at work
Tony at work
iron sculpture -one of many around the hamlet
THE OLD BARN
The Old Barn Inn dates back to the early 1750’s and has its own delightful rustic heritage and charm. It has 4 star luxury accommodation, a great outside patio and a colourful garden. It is a popular choice as a Wedding venue. It has won best pub countless times in the Village in Bloom contest
In the front garden there is a memorial and plaque dedicated to 1960s rocker and 'King of rockabilly' Crazy Cavan,
GIANT VEGETABLE PATCH
Ian used to run a garden centre but retained the space after he retired to maintain his giant veg-growing
Ian currently has four records – heaviest swede, heaviest pepper, longest loofah, and heaviest loofah. He thinks the latter two will be broken this year – "There's a lot of people trying," – but he thinks he has a celery which might break a new record and put him in the history book again.
THE OLD SMITHY
As far back as 1858, The Deeds refer to the messuage (dwelling, outbuilding and lands) as “Twyheere” Originally there was a blacksmith’s and also a carpenter’s shop.
In 1970 the old cemetery and the Old Smithy were separated Although completely renovated the original smithys’ deep window sills remain as a reminder of its heritage
View from garden
COURT FARM STABLES
Court Farm boasts two yards with capacity for 40 horses and acres of land for all year turn out. It has schooling facilities including an Olympic size all weather arena, indoor school, show jumping and cross country opportunities
Opposite is a green lane
The Pond and back stream used to be filled with watercress! Today it is used for cooling horses when the temperature sores. The cold running water in the back stream is used as water therapy for injured animals.
Opposite the stables is a Green Lane which was cleared by residents
Old grave stone
In 1964, the Bethel Chapel which existed next to The Old Smithy was demolished in a road widening scheme but the graveyard still remains. John Wesley visited Wales many time between 1739 and 1790 and visited many places including Llanmartin and Llanvaches where he most likely preached in the old chapels. There are many mentions of Llanmartin and the surrounding villages including this one
Saturday 17 October 1741 : After visiting Wilcrick, Magor and Llanmartin, me preaching in English and Rowland in Welsh I hurried on to preach again in Cardiff .......
The chapel’s 1836 datestone was unearthed in recent years and has been proudly set into the cemetery wall by the villagers. The graveyard is rarely disturbed and it is a haven for wild flowers which include primroses, mallow and wild strawberries.
Over the last 15 years it has been maintained by the Association members themselves and they still continue to do so although now aided by a regular gardener.
The following is from an article written some time ago by Fred J. Hando
On my way to the church I had passed an interesting old house with a three storied porch and Elizabethan chimneys. I called there later, to discover that it was Ford Farm, named after the brook which later becomes Monksditch.
Mrs Duthie and her highly intelligent young son showed me the slit windows in the porch, a chimney wall ten feet thick and two spiral staircases one with oak treads, the other of solid baulks of oak. At a corner of the room to the left of the porch my hostess opened a door, leading into a very small room, so small that my interest was at once aroused. 'Is there a similar room' I asked 'on the floor above.' She nodded. 'And on the top floor' 'Yes indeed 'she exclaimed and young Douglas asked excitedly 'but what were these little rooms for?' 'There is no doubt that here, as at Cillwch, Trevella, Treowen and dozens of other old houses in Gwent, a vertical drainage shaft saved much running up and down stairs.
Twelve pigeon-holes, a house-leek on the roof above a baking oven and a door and doorway of the sixteenth century leading into the dairy, lent character and interest to an ancient home. And with what interest would the builders view a television aerial affixed to one of the Elizabethan chimneys!
One of the many jobs carried out by members