Henllys Farm

Henllys Farm was demolished and moved in the 19th century, and preliminary excavations have located and evaluated the remains of the earlier house. Set on a medieval site, the Tudor manor house was later let to tenants, and became increasingly dilapidated. Research on this house, the home of the famous Elizabethan antiquarian and writer George Owen, is designed to provide a platform for more extensive research programme on the Henllys estate and issues of interpretation of change over time using the concept of time perspectivism.


  • What was the chronology of the settlement from its medieval origins to the 19th-century shift in location?
  • In what ways were the aspirations of George Owen manifested in material form?
  • To what ways are the end of feudalism and the development of capitalism manifested in West Wales?
  • How did tenants from the 18th century onwards cope with the large and unsuitable building?
  • In what ways did tenant farmers use material culture differently from farm workers studied on previous sites in the region?


This research programme, led by  funded by the University of York, made a significant contribution to current debates in historical archaeology, with particular reference to:

the effects of nascent capitalism

the changing role of material culture in an increasingly consumerist culture

the study of individuals and their impact on change.

The project It forms part of the long-term North Pembrokeshire Historical Archaeology Project integrating settlement and graveyard archaeology in the region.

The final season of excavations at Henllys farm took place in 2008, and post-excavation work has commenced. Further fieldwork in the area on other historic sites will commence once the Henllys Farm site has been submitted for publication.


The first printed output from this project was published in 2010: 'Biographies of projects, people and places: archaeologists and William and Martha Harries at Henllys Farm, Pembrokeshire', by Harold Mytum.


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