Records indicate that in the Middle Ages the Llŷn peninsula was well populated with many farm holdings. It was low-lying with a mild maritime climate and was much more productive than the mountainous areas. These agricultural advantages resulted in the use in house building of fast grown trees with wide annual growth rings which are not suitable for tree-ring dating (dendrochronology). This means that it is difficult to date many Elizabethan houses such as the one shown below.
OLD HOUSES on the LLŶN PENINSULA
No timber-framed hall-houses remain in the area. Stone-built Penarth Fawr, near Chwilog, shows many early features and has a lateral fireplace which replaced the hearth in the centre of the hall. This style was replaced in the mid 1500s by a new design which became popular across north Wales. This was a storeyed house with a large inglenook fireplace and a gable-end chimney with a spiral stair in the gable end next to the fire place. Upstairs there was a corbelled chimney in the other gable.
3 Plan of a typical late 15OOs Snowdonian house (P Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside Fig81)*
From the late I500s farm estates were growing in size, and impressive mansions were built for their wealthy owners. These landed gentry were often J.P.s and also had a house in the local market town.
Penlan Fawr townhouse ,Pwllheli (now a pub)
Homes in the many small fishing hamlets rarely survive from before the mid 1700s. The cob (earth) walled thatched cottages of the 1700s onwards have almost all disappeared. The half lofted single storied cottages of the farm worker and the later quarrymen's cottages can be seen in rural settings and near long abandoned workings.