Almost 400 years ago, ‘Blaen Y Forest’ (front of the forest) was reputedly a hunting lodge totally surrounded by dense, natural woodland, not the pastures and pine that you see nowadays pretty much everywhere in Wales.The house formed part of the extensive Vaughan family 'Golden Grove' Estate which stretched from Carmarthen to Pembrokeshire.
Blaenfforest first appears in a rent roll register dated December 10th 1635 which listed the ‘Manor and Lordships of Newcastle Emlyn and Kennarth’ belonging to Sir Richard Vaughan, the second Earl of Carbery. The Earl of Carbery was a title created by King Charles I for Sir Richard’s father, John Vaughan, who was born in Carmarthenshire and was both a politician and a member of the King’s Court.
By 1754 Blaenfforest was a 100 acre farm, the woodland having been cleared in favour of pasture for arable and animal agriculture.It was still owned by the Vaughan family but rented to a David Lewis for the grand sum of £5 and 15 shillings a year! The Lease agreement – pictured here - was discovered in local Archives; note on the Lease that Mr Lewis was required to plant ’12 oakes and 12 ash, yearly’ as part of his tenancy. If you go down into our woods look for the 3 very large oaks - their trunks have a circumference of approx. 4.5m which ages them at just under 300 years old, so they were very likely planted by Mr Lewis.
Blaenfforest remained a 100 acre farm for the next 200 years and it wasn’t until the late 1970’s that it was reduced to a 10 acre smallholding – the holiday cottages were then introduced in 2010.