Anglesey has been famous for many centuries for being the fertile "breadbasket" of Wales, and over the generations old farmhouses have been replaced by later fashions. A few of today's buildings still contain original features from more substantial houses dating from the 1400s. At that time all houses were timber-framed halls open to the roof, with a hearth on the floor and small windows. Large curved trucks of oak reached from the ground to the ridge, often with ornate carved collars. At either end of the hall were smaller rooms, for family quarters and storage, which could be of two storeys. Hall houses were smoky with little privacy.
2 Storeyed stone house with later rear wings
Other hall houses had straight trusses resting on timber-framed or stone walls. Richer families extended their houses by either building additional wings or a second house parallel or at right angles to the first.
Early halls survive in towns, especially in Beaumaris, where several roof trusses date to the late 1400s.These buildings were often greatly modified in later periods. [see 4]
As farming became more prosperous, many farm houses were replaced and distinct designs specific to different estates developed.
1 1480s Timber-framed hall house
Around the 1530s a new design [now called the Snowdonian house] became popular across north Wales, and many can still be seen. This was a storeyed house with a large inglenook fireplace and a gabled end chimney with a spiral stair in the gable end next to the fireplace. Upstairs there was a corbelled chimney in the other gable. Many hall houses were converted into storeyed buildings by inserting a chimney centrally or in a gable end.This style continued to be built into the 1600s. [see 2 & 3] Many hall houses were converted into two storeyed buildings by inserting a Fireplace centrally, in a side wall or gable end.
3 Plan of a typical late 15OOs Snowdonian house (P Smith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside Fig81)*