Memories of Hendrefigillt

By D. R. Hughes

It was with great interest that I read a full-page article in the Cymro for June 23rd 1999 about the Lloyd family of Hendrefigillt entitled ‘0 Hendrefigillt i Livorno’ [From Hendrefigillt to Livorno]. I had heard of this farm many years ago, since I was brought up on a nearby one.

Hendrefigillt stood just north of the Mold / Denbigh road near the hamlet now known as Hendre but formerly called Glan-yr-afon. Its position is shown on the 1871 O.S. map extract reproduced by courtesy of Flintshire Record Office. Its grid reference on modern OS. maps would have been 194679. The old farmhouse has completely disappeared due to the exiension of the quarry workings, but a painting of it appears in the book reviewed by Philip Lloyd on the previous pages.

The lane passing the farm was still in existence in the 1960s, and a few stones from the ruins of the old buildings could be seen. The limekiln, just north of the farm, was still standing, as was a stretch of the path between them.

Hendrefigillt is mentioned in records from the 13th century onwards. ‘Figillt’ appears to be derived from a personal name whose various forms include ‘Bugil’, ‘Bugail’ and ‘Bigel’. This name became attached to ‘Hendref’ (meaning ‘old or ancestral home’), giving rise to ‘Henrdrefigillt’. ‘Hendrefigllt’ also gave its name to the township in the parish of Halkyn, where it was situated.

A branch of the Pennant family lived at Hendrefigillt, according to Thomas Pennant in his History of the Parishes of Whitford and Holywell. He states that there were several inscriptions referring to the branch in Cilcain churchyard. The earliest referred to the burial of Angharad Pennant on September 25th 1588, Pennant also states that its last member was Peter Pennant, who was living in 1664.

The Lloyd family under consideration in Philip Lloyd’s review of O Hendrefeigillt i Livorno elsewhere in this publication had lived at Hendrefigillt from 1750 at the earliest until the death of Robert Lloyd in 1873. The farm was occupied after this time, but was finally abandoned in the 1920s due to quarry expansion, and it is probable that the smallholding close to Gwrachen farm became known as Hendre farm at this time.

The site of Hendrefigillt farmhouse has disappeared completely. The surrounding land is inaccessible due to quarry workings, and the old road up to Gwrachen has been diverted several times

Ellis, B. History of Halkyn Mountain. 1998
Owen, H.W. Enwau Lleoedd Bro Dyfrdwy ac Alun. 1991
Pennant, T. History of the Parishes of Whitford and Holywell. 1796

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