On the evening of Monday 6th September 2010 the ‘Club were very pleased to hear a talk Mr Gerald Morgan, Teacher, Historian and Author. This was noteworthy in that prior to this meeting he had compiled some additional research so that his original title ‘Pillars of the community? Cardiganshire Gentry, families in power.’ was focussed specifically on those relevant to Cilcennin.
We heard of the parish emerging from the C16 with parts being sold to external investors including significantly the Stedmans of Strata Florida and Plas Cilcennin. This investment eventually early in the C18 led to the involvement of the Vaughans of Trawsgoed through marriage. This in turn led to a complex period of ‘land acquiring manoeuvres’ over several generations of that family involving, marriages, lack of male heirs, legal machinations and a well intended leasehold bequest which caused considerable complication on its expiry.
The early C19 records show a total of sixteen landowners involved in the village area, Thomas Johnes of Hafod being one. In that mid century the name Saunders appears which moves us on into the living memory of their descendants at TyMawr.
The whole atmosphere was one of enthusiasm generated by our speaker but also in the two way exchange particularly with Mr Dai Lewis advising on his direct involvement in the conservation rebuilding of a gable of the Stedman house at Strata Florida. This last information being particularly appreciated by Mr Gerald Morgan who expressed his own particular enjoyment in being part of such a receptive exchange between speaker and audience for the entire evening.
One website describes Mr Gerald Morgan as ‘an enthusiast for Cardiganshire,’ I believe that on the evidence of that evening and of his authorship of ‘Ceredigion, a Wealth of History’ that his enthusiasm would apply to the past, present and future of this county.