Glyncoch was originally a single storey labourer’s cottage, and formed part of Blaencwmbychan (once known as Heven). The labourer presumably worked at Blaencwmbychan. The house lies high the upper slopes of the Cothi valley, at Felingwm Uchaf, between the adjacent properties of Cilgattw and Gwyddfagatw
Blaencwmbychan was one of the estates owned by the Revd. Lewis Jones of Pantyrewig and Meiros Hill. The Wills of both the Revd Jones and his son Leoline [note: Leoline is another form of Lewis] are in the NLW but little is known about them. Leoline and his family lived at Meiros Hill, a farm on the other side of the valley from Glyncoch, but all died at a young age and the line seems to have come to an end..
The ground floor walls of Glyncoch are stone and quite thick, whilst the added upper storey is of modern block construction, the whole being rendered.
In 1881 the UK Census shows that John Williams, a farm labourer, aged 37 (born at Kiffick, Carmarthen) lived there with his 34 year old wife Mary (born Laugharne) and their children, Anne aged 10 (born Laugharne) and Margaret 8, Sarah 6, Elizabeth 4 and Martha Jane aged 2, all born in Llanegwad.
The Parish Records show that Rees Williams, another child, was baptised on December 6 1881, and Dan Williams was born in 1882 and baptised on October 20 of that year.
The next record of occupants in the Parish Records is dated May 4 1937, when Arthur Henry Gee, aged 30, a farm labourer from Llanfihangel Rhosycorn, married Elizabeth Mary England aged 26, a domestic servant living at Glyncoch.
On August 7 1937, Sara Margaretta Evans, aged 34, spinster of Glyncoch married John David Evans, aged 36, a widower and farmer of Cwmcoch, a nearby farm. John’s father was alive at the time of the wedding but Sara’s was not.
On March 1 1949, Benjamin Ronald Evans of Glyncoch, aged 24, a store assistant and son of a forestry worker, married Jennie Williams a 17 year old nurse from Cefn Meiros, a farm adjacent to Meiros Hill.
Glyncoch eventually came into the ownership of Samuel John Kenneth Lewis. On 7 November 1997 Samuel Lewis passed away and his son inherited Glyncoch. The property has since been extensively renovated.
Samuel John Lewis is buried at St John’s, Felingwm, alongside his first wife Ceinwen.. He was always called ‘Jack’ – but that was not his real name – everyone knew him as that. One of his hobbies was wine making and visitors to Glyncoch were tempted with a glass or two and rarely remembered how they got home, such was the strength of his brew!
Shortly after his passing a bundle of household bills dating back to 1941 were found in an understairs cupboard. Some documents had crumbled away, but those that remain provide us with an insight into domestic life over several decades.
Many relate to Towy Works [a builder’s merchant of long standing] in Carmarthen, the Co-operative Wholesale Society and an invoice from the long gone garage at Felingwm Uchaf.
Wealthy families living in large houses tended to keep all their paperwork but it was certainly not the norm for working class families. As far as can be ascertained it was Jack’s wife, Mary Ceinwen, who began keeping everything and for some time after her death he continued the practice.
When Glyncoch was cleared the loft gave up its secrets in the shape of baby clothes and fragments of pottery, each wrapped separately. The former had unfortunately rotted and fell apart when touched and the latter – although in excellent condition – of no practical use. Why such items were retained for so long is open to speculation.
One document relates to Bryndeilo, Nantgaredig, a previous property owned by Jack.
Items from the Towy Works material have been given to the company for their archives and the remainder has been donated to Carmarthen’s Museum at Abergwilly.