Iain Burgess purchased Old Gwernyfed Manor in late 2013 and then embarked on a comprehensive restoration program of both the main house and the outbuildings. This program continues ...
"One of Brecon's Best Set Pieces"
Old Gwernyfed Manor is named after the great Celtic longhouse home for a Welsh chieftain
and his clan. There has been a house on thesite since Norman times and it is the major
gentry house of the area. A medieval house was replaced by another in about 1450 which
forms the basis of the present manor. As quoted in Pevsnor - The Manor was
modernised in 1590 when three wings were added to the house, transforming its shape
from the letter “I” to a symmetrical “E”, in honour of Elizabeth the reigning Queen. Queen
Elizabeth would have been pleased to see the great spiral staircase newly built around the
huge oaken post. The oak was a mast from a ship of the wrecked Spanish Armada, washed
up on the Welsh shore.
The main rooms were in the south west wing until a fire in c. 1780 since which the wing has
been a shell. On the north west front of the house the fenestration has been disrupted by
the erection of a large stone stack dating from the early nineteenth century and may mark the
transition from Manor to farmhouse. Inside the house a date on the fireplace of 1680,
provides evidence for later alterations of the house.
It is reputed that, William Shakespeare delighted in some of the other wood in the
house: he carved a cryptic message on the oaken Minstrel’s Screen. It was correctly
deciphered only a few years ago by a British Intelligence officer who was staying at Old