Powys Digital History Project

Upper Swansea Valley
Ynyscedwyn House 1

Origins of an estate
Ynyscedwyn House in the parish of Ystradgynlais was for centuries the centre of a large estate which played an influential role in the history and development of the Upper Swansea Valley and indeed much of south-west Breconshire and the neighbouring counties.
There has been much debate about the origins of the name, some claiming it derives from YNYS Y COED GWYN (Island of the white wood), others from the personal names Edwin or Cedwyn.
Both the etymology and the early history are obscure but it is thought that Ynyscedwyn was at some time the seat of Gruffydd Gwyr who took part in the revolt of 1287 against the rule of Edward I. 

Architect's drawing of
Ynyscedwyn House
(1838) from the
estate papers

By kind permission of
West Glamorgan
Record Office
(Ref D/D/Yc 1175)

Drawing of Ynscedwyn HouseThe Aubrey family takes possession
The Aubrey family, of Norman origin, had been of some influence in Breconshire throughout the medieval period but rose to prominence in the upper Swansea valley when Dr William Aubrey was appointed sheriff of the county in 1545. Dr Aubrey was a prominent lawyer, becoming Regius Professor and Principal of New Inn Hall. He served both as a Member of Parliament and on the Council of the Marches of Wales and was granted lands in Breconshire by Elizabeth I.

The family later acquired the Ynyscedwyn estate when one Aubrey of Palleg married the daughter and heiress of Jenkin Franklin of Ynyscedwin House. From that time the Aubreys of Ynyscedwyn were to appear regularly on the lists of Sheriffs for the county.

There are 3 pages on Ynscedwyn House. Use the box links below to view the other pages.