THE HOUSES OF RADNORSHIRE By H. BROOKSBY Introduction1 Influences THE type of house found in Radnorshire reflects, as in other parts of Wales, the geographical environment in which it is situated, Highland and Lowland influences being clearly distinguishable. In the mainly mountainous county of Radnorshire (55% over 1000 ft.) there are large central ranges. These ranges join the northern mountainous country to form a barrier between the east and west, with the south divided approximately equally between these two. This barrier leaves the influences on the type of house found in these eastern and western areas to stem from surrounding counties. It may be noted, however, that if the county boundaries were removed, leaving the country as it was before 1536, these areas of Radnorshire would be geographically included with similar areas of the surrounding counties. In each of these areas the main type of house differs. The river areas in the east and south-east are influenced by the Hereford types of house and the Lowland zone. Here we have a predominance of timber-framed houses, along with the three oldest "Hall" houses found so far in the county. The second area, influenced by Brecknock and the Highland zone, includes the south-west table on the old red sandstone and the western area following the Wye Valley. Here the two hall-houses are later and less ornate than their eastern counterparts. But in this south- western area the long-house (house and farmbuildings under one roof) and derivatives, seem to be the dominant type. Many good 17th-century stone houses with fine timber work are also found in this area. The only area now to be accounted for is the mountainous barrier. The highland zone has no direct influences from sources outside the county. In isolated cases a house influenced by an outside source is found, as in the north-eastern corner of the area, where some houses are influenced by Montgomeryshire. The earliest type of house remaining in this area is the "cruck" built house. These are mainly found on a platform site down the slope of a hill. No predominance in house types really shows in this area until the 18th century when the standardisation of design became popular. It is unfortunate that many houses in the county are no longer in occupation, the largest number being in these mountain regions. In the History of Radnorshire, by the Reverend J. Williams, it is observed that small farms were being compelled by economic circumstances to sell out to larger units. This tendency seems to have continued up until the present day, the government grants to farmers in the mountains helping the process. When these farms are purchased by a near neighbour for increase of acreage, the houses are often left to decay, as their use for farm purposes is limited. Medieval HALL-HOUSES Few houses of the 14th and 15th century remain in Radnorshire. This may be due to the troubled times in the 15th century. Owen Glyndwr's rebellion took a large toll on the Marcher Lordships, certainly burning