Sunday, 20 January 2008

Hafod . . .

The holloway to the village.

This is Hafod. Or rather, this is what remains of Hafod. I'm not sure when it was abandoned, but I would think probably at least 30 years ago and more likely 50. Once the roof has gone, the rain and frost soon get in the walls and tumble them. Hafod is Welsh for summer dwelling, although many of these houses were lived in all year round. There was a family here in the 1881 census which was taken around early April. As you can see, some of the land is very damp and rough grazing land, rather than for cultivation. According to the University of Wales’ “A Dictionary of the Welsh Language”, the definition of Hafod is:
“ summer residence, upland farmstead formerly occupied in transhumanance during the summer months only; upland farm on which grazing is practiced to a greater extent than cultivation; farm which is managed by a resident bailiff on behalf of the tenant or owner. “

This was the end wall of what appeared to be a barn. This is an upland area, and I think that sheep would have been the main livestock, although in this part of Wales, many farms have both sheep and cattle.

A wee fireplace and a wonderfully higgledy-piggledy wall. There is plenty of stone to be had in this region. It seems so sad to see it open to the elements.

Another mossy wall - if I remember rightly, this was another small outbuilding - perhaps a pigsty.

Hard to imagine now, that this was all once someone's home, their livelihood . . .


Kim said...

They're beautiful pictures, BB, especially the Holloway, it's really atmospheric!

Kim x

Kelli said...

Wow, those are amazing pictures, I love all the moss! I wish we could go back in time and meet the people who once lived there.

MammyT said...

anyone with access to things like this would almost have to be a poet. Marvellous! Is there a simple pronunciation key for the words you use? I find myself wanting to know how to say hafod.
When reading, even if I don't know the correct pronunciation of a word, maybe a foreign word, I have to at least settle on one I plan to use. Otherwise I stumble over it every time. Do you do that?

Bovey Belle said...

Moss grows pretty quickly here Kelli - due to all the rain!

Nancy - Hafod is pronounced Ha-vod. Welsh is a pretty complicated language, and I can pronounce a few words, translate a few place names (says a lot about me doesn't it?!) but the children are all fluent Welsh speakers - or were when they were at school.

Rowan said...

It's so sad to see these places that were once home to a family even if it was only seasonal, I've seen similar ruined cottages in Ireland which were deserted during the Potato Famine. It's interesting that you looked up the name of the family living there in 1881. Had they left by 1891 I wonder? Or is it more recently that it has been deserted? I especially like the photo of the old hollow way, what stories that road could tell!

Bovey Belle said...

Kim - if you click on the photos, you get them full screen size, and then you can almost walk up the holloway with me! I should imagine it's a very old track - possibly even Medieval - as it goes up from the valley bottom (through a farmyard) and links to the village and valley the other side of the hill.

Rowan - It's surprising how quickly places degenerate. There are houses here which had been abandoned in the 70s and we arrived late 80s and by the millennium, they were just piles of stones. Nantgwilw is one of them - the barn was lived in during the 1970s, but now the roof has caved in and the house itself is in a heck of a state as the roof went on that many years ago. I would say that Hafod was probably abandoned sometime in the 1950s, but I may be wrong.