The Ellis Oaks of Treflach

These two oak tree at Ty Tegwych (Fair House in Welsh) are 135 years old.  The one is a Sessile or Irish Oak, the other is a Common or English Oak, the former identified by having stalk-less acorns.

You may be surprised to learn that before WW1 the cornfields of Treflach were gleaned by the villagers for any unharvested grain to make ends meet.  Today wheat is not grown in the village but a field at Treflach Farm is named the wheat field. The right to glean still exists today as are the footpaths to walk on.  However they hark back to hard times that created resilient, independent pioneers who created something from nothing.  Where community was close knit and life was all about survival.

Thomas and Charlotte Ellis of Ty Tegwych had seven children: John, Ann, Thomas, Ellis, Elliot, Harriet and Jess.  They owned Treflach Quarry but it became uneconomic in the 1880s due to the rock strata going the wrong way meaning it had to be levered out to be extracted. The sons went to work in construction on the Lake Vyrnwy development at Llanwyddyn, transporting pipes with horse and cart and bringing stone back from homes to be flooded.  One of the brothers found a wife there too.  Wyddyn House, Wyddyn Cottage and Glanaber (on the shore of a stream in Welsh) were all built by the family in Treflach.  Ellis and Jess emigrated to Australia in The Gold Rush and two acorns they planted were something the family could remember them by as they never returned.

My Great Grand Mother was Harriet Ellis.

Hard times create strong men – Strong men create good times – Good times create weak men – Weak men create hard times.  An old saying and these two trees have seen them all come and go.


Note by Ian Steele: The field at Treflach Farm mentioned by Andrew has had many names.  In the 1841 tithe map it was called Maes ych wyn (White ox field).  The Jones' moved to Treflach Farm in 1904 and since the post war period 'Big Bob' Jones (my great uncle) would call it the harvest or wheat field.  Later Bob Steele (my father) renamed it the Bungalow Field as it is overlooked by the bungalow he build for his uncle to retire to.