History of Mandinam
“But so I have seen the sun with a little ray of distant light challenge all the power of darkness, and without violence and noise climbing up the hill, hath made Night so to retire, that its memory was lost in the joyes and spritefulness of the morning….!”
Jeremy Taylor 1613 – 1667
A simile about the oppression of righteousness, these words of Jeremy Taylor could have been inspired by the dawn at Mandinam where he lived when he escaped after the execution of his king during the civil war.
In 1656, after the Civil War, Jeremy Taylor, Eminent Divine, Royal Priest and chaplain to the Earl of Carbery sought peace and sanctuary at the small country estate of Mandinam.
Edmund Gosse, writing about the life of Jeremy Taylor, described Mandinam as “A small country house, romantically situated on a hill above the south side of the Bran river, just where the stream narrows its gorge before spreading into the Vale of Towy. It commands a fine view south to the Rhiwe Hills and the Black Mountain“.
Reginald Askew, in his recently published book “Muskets and Alters” continues the eulogy: “Hidden Mandinam! It is exactly right: Hospitable, much loved today and undisturbed by 350 years. The spirit of contentment found Jeremy perched on a steep Welsh hill under Heaven”.
That is how it continues to be. Surrounded by its own fields and woods, sheltered by a grassy knoll to the east from which you can look for miles whichever way you turn. The present owners have not changed it in any way for thirty years, except for a small lake to the south which can be seen beyond the rolling lawns and then up and far away to the Iron age fort of Carn Goch and the hills beyond.
The meaning of the name Mandinam has two origins: The meaning derived from ancient Welsh is “Place of a small stone
fort”, but the meaning it would have held in 1650 and which is generally understood today is far more fitting. It means “place without blemish, untouched holy place”.
This is a hidden estate, quiet, unspoilt with a uniquely rugged elegance. It is a secret and magical place with three Sites of Special Scientific Interest on the farm.
Aerial photos have recently shown evidence of an Iron age fort at Mandinam. We are looking forward to hearing more about this from the archaelogical surveyers in the near future. But anthropolgical interest aside, Mandinam is built on the side of an outcrop of sedimentary rock, of extreme geological interest.
There is a long house on the farm in completely unspoiled state, of great interest to historians as it is one of very few left in this country complete with scarfed crucks and old stencilling. The house is currently being protected from the elements by a tin roof, but underneath, much of the thatch remains.