Welsh Architecture and its
influences over the centuries
Sain Ffagan: Amgueddfa Werin Cymru
- St Fagans: National History Museum YouTube
Our research has shown that thatched roofs was
a technique used through the centuries until
slate was discovered to be a more reliable
roof. Our presentation will show you how our
architecture has developed over the centuries.
You may even recognise some of the
buildings!
A Welsh thatched longhouse, named Swtan, dating
back to the 16th century. Originally used by crofting
families and now restored and open to the public
Ty Hyll / The Ugly House
• These resulted from the old custom of
claiming property rights if a house is built in
one night with a fire burning in the hearth by
sunrise ! This was known as Ty un Nos or
'house in a night'.
The history of the Ugly House (Ty Hyll) is very vague.
Putting a guide book together about it was very
difficult, but the legend says it was built back in the
15th century by two outlawed brothers, based on
the old Welsh law of ty unos – a house of a single
night. If you could build four walls and have
smoke coming out of the chimney between sunset
and sunrise, you got the freehold of the land.
• Most Tai Unnos were originally made of turf
and soil, with a roughly thatched roof.
• Once established, the walls were often
replaced with local materials, including clay
and stone.
• The squatter/settlers, who generally worked in
local quarries and mines, built up small
holdings and began to practice farming.
The Tai Unnos (One Night Houses) influenced
architecture over the centuries. Here are
some examples of traditional Welsh houses,
which have been rebuilt in St Fagans.
Hendre'r Ywydd Uchaf farmhouse, St Fagans
1508
Hawk and Buckle Inn cockpit
Stryd Lydan Barn, St Fagans
Nant Wallter Cottage
Cae Adda byre
Abernodwydd Farmhouse
Kennixton Farmhouse
High quality timber and slates, which were made available
via the new railways resulted in the emergence of superior,
two-storey cottages.
Single storey Ty Unnos cottages were modified by raising the
roofs and enlarging the windows.
The slate industry grew slowly until the early
18th century, then expanded rapidly until the
late 19th century, at which time the most
important slate producing areas were in
northwest Wales
Senedd influenced
• with approximately 1,000 tonnes (157,500
stone) of Welsh slate used.
The building was designed to reflect the many
different parts of Wales with local Welsh materials
that dominate its history: slate, metal, wood and
glass.All the materials used come from Wales; the
Centre was built from 1,350 tonnes of Welsh slate,
Wales millennium centre
The building was designed to reflect the many
different parts of Wales with local Welsh materials
that dominate its history: slate, metal, wood and
glass.All the materials used come from Wales; the
Centre was built from 1,350 tonnes of Welsh slate,
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Welsh slate - Folkart Comenius