Details of my great grandfather, Alderman Evan Jones J.P., son of Robert and Jane Jones

 

 

Alderman Evan Jones, JP

My great grandfather, Evan Jones, was the second son of Robert Jones, Builder, and his wife, Jane Jones. He was born in Bala, Merionethshire, Wales on 1 February 1830. The Baptism Register for Llanycil Parish (now in Gwynedd Archives, Dolgellau) records his baptism on 14 February 1830. Other indications were that he was born some time between 1829 and 1832:

  • His tombstone records his age as 80 years when he died on 23 December 1909, which suggests he was born in 1829. However that tombstone overstates his widow's age by a year.
      
  • A note made by his youngest daughter, Augusta Roberts, in 1909 (the year of his death) on the inside page of an Old Testament embossed on the front with "Mary Jones, Frith, 1822" says that he was born in 1829.  Mary Jones was Augusta's great grandmother (her mother's mother's mother). 

  •  However, an older note on the opposite page of that Old Testament says he was born 1 February 1830 (although this has been crossed out in pencil) and baptised 14 February 1830.

  • The 1881 Census gives Evan's age on 3 April 1881 as 49, which implies that he was born between 4 April 1831 and 3 April 1832!

1841 AND 1851 CENSUSES

The 1841 Census for Llanykil, Bala, records Evan as living with his mother, brothers and sisters in the High Street, Bala - similarly with the 1851 Census for Llanycil, except that his father was also at home that night.

MARRIAGE 

On 26 March 1861, Evan (described in the marriage certificate as a Builder, age 30, living in High Street, Bala, son of Robert Jones, Builder) married Mary Ann Puleston (age 28, living at Berth, Llanbedr, near Ruthin, daughter of John Puleston deceased, Farmer) in the English Independent Church, Ruthin, Denbighshire, Wales "according to the rites of the Lady Huntington's Connexion" (a Methodist rite championed by Lady Huntington). The witnesses were Hugh Richard Pughe and Anne Jones.

Evan Jones and his wife Mary Ann (nee Puleston) in the 1900s

1861 CENSUS

The 1861 Census for Llanycil (taken on the night of 7 April 1861, 12 days after their marriage) records Evan and Mary as a separate household in the High Street, Bala, next to Evan's parents:

 

Evan and Mary's first home was at Tremarran, Tegid Street, Bala (now no. 33 and called Tremaran).

TEGID CHAPEL,BALA

In 1866, Evan acted as Clerk of Works to the building of Tegid Chapel, Tegid Street, Bala, Merionethshire, Wales - a Methodist Chapel (Looking at Bala, by Rhys Tudur, 1993). 

According to Augusta Roberts' 1909 note on the inside of the 1822 Old Testament belonging to Mary Jones of Frith, Evan was elected a deacon in 1878 and elected a magistrate in 1894. The records of Tegid Chapel, Bala now in the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth (Calvinistic Methodist Archives, CZ2/5/38) confirm that, together with 5 others (Evan Jones, Mount Place being the first named), he was appointed a Deacon of that Chapel.

1871 CENSUS

The 1871 Census for Llanycil records Evan, Mary and their family at London House, High Street, Bala:

  • Evan Jones, Head, age 40, Builder employing 8 men, born Bala, Merionethshire

  • Mary Anne Jones, age 39, Wife, born Llanfair, Denbighshire

  • John Puleston Jones, age 9, Son, born Llanbedr, Denbighshire, blind

  • Robert Lloyd Jones, age 7, Son, born Bala

  • Mary Emily Jones, age 6, Daughter, born Bala

  • Henry Puleston Jones, age 2, Son, born Bala

  • Edward Puleston Jones, under 6 months, Son, born Bala

  • Mary Williams, age 21, Domestic Servant, born Llanfawr, Merionethshire

  • Elizabeth Williams, age 13, Domestic Servant, born Llanfair, Denbighshire.                                      

BUSINESS DEALINGS

The Gwynedd Archives at Dolgellau contain:

  • a Conveyance dated 2 April 1875 between (1) Richard Jones of Plasyracre, Bala, merchant; John Lloyd Griffith of Holyhead, co. Anglesey, gentleman; and William Pryce Jones of Surbiton, co. Surrey, Doctor of Medicine (acting as executors of the will of Bridgetta Dorothea Lloyd of Plasyracre, Bala) and (2) Evan Jones of Bala, builder, conveying to Evan for £2,000 (a very large sum of money in those days) 7 messuages or dwellinghouses and shops with the outbuildings and yards situate in High Street, Bala (occupied by William Hughes, Edward Jones, Rowland Rowlands, Ellinor Jones, Evan Jones and Mary Jones as yearly tenants), containing 1348 square yards and backing onto Mount Street - the land was at the east end of the High Street, at the junction with Mount Street - a plan is attached to the Conveyance 

  • a draft dated 27 June 1877 of a Conveyance by Evan Jones, Mount Place, Bala, builder of a messuage and  shop with outbuildings, garden and yard, occupied by John Evans, Draper, situated in High Street, Bala and backing onto Mount placefor a consideration of £800 - a plan is attached to the draft Conveyance

  • a Memorandum of Agreement dated 26 August 1878 between (1) Evan Jones, Auctioneers, Bala, as the agent of Robert Evans of Cwmtylo, and Edward Morris of Bala and Catherine his wife and (2) John Owen of the Blue Lion, Bala to purchase the Blue Lion, Bala, together with 3 cottages at Arenig Street, Bala for £1,500

  • a valuation of farm cattle dated 3 March 1886 by Evan Jones, Land & Estate Agent, Auctioneer & Valuer of Mount Place, Bala
  • a Mortgage dated 12 November 1886 by (1) Thomas Jones, Tyncerrig, farmer to (2) John Jones, Penbrynbach, Llanycil parish, Farmer and Evan Jones, Bala, Auctioneer (the latter acting as trustee of the Will of Catherine Jones pursuant to a court order) of the messuage, farm and lands called Tynycerrig, in the parish of Llanycil to secure £250 and interest (included is a plan and a schedule).

 
Evan Jones's signature and seal on a document
 
1881 CENSUS
 

The 1881 Census records the family as living at 12 Mount Street, Llanycil, Bala, Merionethshire, Wales. Those living at that address on the night of the census (3 April 1881) were:

  • Evan Jones, Head, age 49, Builder, Auctioneer & Contractor, born Bala, Merionethshire
     
  • Mary Ann Jones, Wife, age 49, born Llanfair DC, Denbighshire, Wales
     
  • Mary Emily Jones, Daughter, age 16, Scholar, born Bala 

  • Henry Puleston Jones, Son, age 12, Scholar, born Bala
     
  • Edward Puleston Jones, Son, age 10, Scholar, born Bala

  • Jane Augusta Jones, Daughter, age 6, Scholar, born Bala
     
  • Sarah Ann Jones, Visitor, age 41, single, Lodging House Keeper, born Llanfair DC
     
  • Mary Williams, Servant, age 20, single, General Domestic Servant, born Llandrillo, Merionethshire

Their first and second sons, John Puleston Jones, age 19, Theological Student, born in Llanbedr, Denbighshire and Robert Lloyd Jones, age 17, born in Bala, are recorded in the 1881 Census as visitors at the home of Martha Jones (a farmer of 39 acres employing 2 men)and her family at Little Marcott Lane, Hawarden, Flint, Wales (any relation to Evan?).

On 3 February 1882, the Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard reported:

 

The Flintshire Record Office has a conveyance (reference D/LJ/1182) dated 20 November 1886 between (1) Reverend Josiah Thomas of Liverpool, MA, Presbyterian Minister, and Margaret, his wife, (2) John Herbert Roberts of Bryngwenallt, Abergele, esquire, (3) John Roberts of Bryngwenallt, esquire, MP, (4) the said Margaret Thomas, (5)Evan Jones of Mount Place, Bala, contractor, and Josiah Thomas of Liverpool, marine superintenden,t and (6) Thomas Jones Lloyd of Toxteth Park, co. Lancaster, commercial traveller. It relates to a house and land knbown as Pengelli at Llanfor, near Bala, for which consideration of £41 13s 4d was paid to each of the first and second parties and a further £83 6s 8d to Evan Jones and Josiah Thomas. This suggests that Evan and Josiah jointly owned a half share of the property sold.

TRADE DIRECTORIES

The Merionethshire & Montgomeryshire Postal Directory for 1886, page 85 records in the entry for Bala: "Builders and Joiners. Jones, Evan, Mount place". It also records that Alderman Evan Jones was a member of the Local board and an officer of the University.

Sutton's Directory of North Wales, comprising the counties of Anglesey, Carnarvon, Denbigh, Flint, Merioneth and Montgomery and the City of Chester, for 1889-90, compiled by the late Alfred Sutton  and published by his executors, has on page 294 an alphabetical list of Residents, Traders etc of Bala. These include, Evan Jones, builder, auctioneer and estate agent, Mount Place. He is also listed under "Auctioneers", "Builders" and "Estate Agents", and under "Insurance Agents" as an agent for the Norwich.

1891 CENSUS

 

In the 1891 Census for Llanycil, Bala, Evan Jones and his family are recorded as living at 12 Mount Street:

  • Evan Jones, Head, age 59, Builder and Farmer, born Bala, Merionethshire
     
  • Mary Ann Jones, Wife, age 59, born Plasnewydd, Denbighshire
     
  • Mary Emily Jones, Daughter, age 25, single, born Bala, Merionethshire
     
  • Jane Augusta Jones, Daughter, age 16, born Bala, Merionethshire
     
  • Grace Williams, Servant, age 13, Domestic Servant, born Dolgelley, Merionethshire.

All members of the household were bilingual.

On 7 January 1891, the Western Mail reported:

 

 

THE ARENIG ESTATE

On 26 March 1887, Evan bought a freehold property at Arenig, near Bala for £700 from the Reverend Lewis Gilbertson of Braunston Rectory, Northamptonshire.

In the conveyance, the property is described as "all that messuage tenement farm lands and hereditaments commonly called or known by the name of Bwich y Buarth in the parish of Llanycil in the County of Merioneth late in the occupation of Edward Jones and now of William Jones containing by admeasurement according to the Tithe Commutation map 356 acres 2 roods 27 perches or thereabouts be the same more or less with the sheep walls rights members and appurtenances thereto belonging."

In the early 1890s, he built a family house called Bodrenig at Arenig. From at least 1894, he and Mary lived there for the rest of their lives.

Bodrenig, built by Evan Jones on his Arenig estate

MERIONETHSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

The Minute Books of Merionethshire County Council (now in Gwynedd Archives, Dolgellau) record that on 17 March 1892 (3 years after the formation of the Council in 1889), Evan was elected by 33 votes an Alderman of the Council and was appointed to the Finance Committee. He remained an Alderman for the rest of his life, hardly ever missing a meeting, whether of the full Council or of one of the many Committees or Sub-Committees to which he was appointed. These include:

  •  the Standing Joint Committee the Standing Committee under the Allotments Act
     
  • the Mains roads etc Committee (which he chaired for many years)

  • the Committee appointed to consider appointments to other Committees

  •  the Executive Committee (for Penllyn Petty Sessional Division) to carry out the provisions of the Diseases of Animals Acts

  • the County Rating Committee

  • the Rivers Pollution Committee

  • the Joint Committee to deal with matters arising between the Counties of Merioneth and Denbigh

  • a Committee to consider the urgent need for another bridge over the River Dovey

  • the Education Committee

  • the Sanitary Committee and
  • the Committee under the Unemployed Workmen Act 1905.

 Evan was much involved with opposing the operation of the Balfour Education Act of 1902. On 21 April 1905, the Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent reported:

 

 

A printed card reading: "First Revolt School, Llawrybettws, Merionethshire, opened August 15th [sic] 1905, together with the present staff, and E Jones Esq, JP, Bala, standing at the right hand corner of the picture." (The 'Revolt School' was established as a direct response to the Balfour Education Act passed in 1902. The debate surrounding its establishment centred on the decision taken in 1902 to transfer responsibility of all schools to county councils - this meant that local education authorities would be responsible for financing all schools, including Church schools and other voluntary schools. Given the tensions which existed between Nonconformists and members of the Church at this period, it was not surprising that a number of Welsh councils were opposed to this decision. In Merionethshire, it became evident that the local authority was unwilling to conform to the 1902 Education Act. Merionethshire County Council decided to open a new school (which became known as the 'Revolt School'). Eventually, the government was forced to concede defeat and acknowledge the success of the 'Revolt School'.)

 

Evan was appointed by the Council as a Conservator of the Dee Fishery District (1892), local

organiser for the Maesywern centre of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth (1892)

and a Representative Governor for Bala to represent the Council on the Local Governing Body

of the County's District Schools (1903).

 

Evan Jones's copy of a booklet issued to him in 1895 by Merioneth County Council, on which he served as Councillor, Alderman and eventually Chairman
 
On 7 December 1900, the Cambrian News and Merioneth Standard reported:

 

 1901 CENSUS 

 

At the time of the 1901 Census for Llanycil, Evan Jones and his family were still living at Bodrenig, in the Civil Parish of Llanycil and the Ecclesiastical Parish of Frongoch St Mark:

 

  • Alderman Evan Jones JP, Head, age 71, Farmer (Retired Builder), born Llanycil,  Merionethshire
     
  • Mary Ann Jones, Wife, age 70, born Llanfair, Denbighshire
     
  • Mary Emily Jones, Daughter, age 31, single, born Bala, Merionethshire
     
  • Mary Essyllt Puleston Jones, Granddaughter, age 7, born Bala, Merionethshire
     
  • Jane Augusta Jones, Daughter, age 27, single, born Bala, Merionethshire

  • Margaret Jennet Jones, servant, age 46, General Housemaid, born Cynwyd, Merionethshire
     
  • David Roberts, servant, age 14, General Servant Farm, born Llanwyddyn, Trefaldwyn (i.e. Montgomeryshire)

On 15 March 1906, Evan was elected Vice Chairman of the County Council and 12 months

later he was elected its Chairman for a year. At the end of his term of office on 11 March

1908, "upon the Motion of Ald. John Jones, seconded by Councillor J Maethlon Jones, it was

resolved unanimously that the cordial thanks of the Council be accorded to Alderman Evan

Jones for the able and courteous manner in which he had presided over the Council during the

past year."

On 5 January 1906, the Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard reported: 

  

CHILDREN

The inside page of Mary Jones's 1822 Old Testament records Evan and Mary as having the following children:

  • John Puleston Jones, born 26 February 1862 at Berth, baptised by Rev John Wynne Llwynedd at Berth [Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd, Denbighshire]

  • Robert Lloyd Jones, born 28 August 1863 at Tremarran, Bala, baptised by Rev J Parry in the house [Tremaran is no 33 Tegid Street]

  • Mary Emily and Harriet Jane, twin sisters born 21 November 1864 at London House, Bala, baptised by Rev L Edwards M.A. in the house on 13 December 1864. Harriet Jane died 29 August 1865 and was buried in Bala churchyard [London House is in the High Street, with a plaque at first floor level recording the fact that John Puleston Jones lived there]

  • Ann Matilda Jones, born 8 October 1866. Baptised in Bala Chapel on 7 November 1866 by Rev Dr Edwards. Died 8 October 1868, age 2. Buried in Bala churchyard

  • Henry Puleston Jones, born 9 May 1868, baptised by Rev Lewis Ellis, Runcorn on 10 June 1868

  • Edward Puleston Jones, born 15 October 1870, baptised by Rev John Parry in the house. Died 14 January 1887. Buried in Bala churchyard [Entry number 834 in the Burial Register for Llanycil Church records the burial of Edward Puleston Jones of Mount Place, Bala on 18 January 1887, age 17, ceremony performed by Edward Jones, undertaker]

  • Jane Augusta Jones, born 19 December 1874, baptised at Mount Place on 23 January 1875 by Dr Edwards, the Principal of Bala College.

 Thus they had a total of 8 children, 3 of whom died in infancy.

ARENIG GRANITE QUARRY

 

 

Evan let the granite quarry (covering about 210 acres) on his land at Arenig to the Arenig Granite Quarry Limited. On 21 April 1904, its registered office was at 10 Egerton Street, Wrexham and its Managing Director and Secretary were H Croom-Johnson and Frederick Panes. Arenig Granite Quarry Limited (Registered number 78710) was bought by ARC and was dissolved in 1974. As late as the 1980s, the quarry was still being worked by ARC and rent paid to Evan's Will Trust, but it was distributed among so many of his descendants that the amount received by each was relatively small. For more information on the history of the quarry after Evan's death, see the page regarding his son Robert Lloyd Jones.



The letterhead of The Arenig Granite Company Limited, which leased the quarry from Evan Jones.

 

Arenig Quarry in the 1960s 



Arenig Quarry in January 2006, no longer worked



 Arenig Quarry Workmen




 Arenig Station

PUBLIC LIFE

Evan was a Justice of the Peace, a Magistrate and Treasurer of the Welsh National Liberal Council.

 

CAPEL CELYN

He was also closely involved with the new chapel at Capel Celyn, near Arenig, which was destroyed when the Tryweryn reservoir flooded the Celyn valley in the 1960s. The following is an English translation of part of the information on Capel Celyn on rootsweb:

"Despite several changes the last thirteen years of the chapel were not unfruitful.  In the period between Mr R Jones leaving and the arrival of Mr T Jones, plans were made to build a new chapel.  The architect was Mr Robert Lloyd Jones [Evan's second son] from Bala and the builders were Mr D Roberts and his son.  Building began in 1892 and finished in 1893.  The building is worth £800.  It was opened at the monthly meeting in June 1893.  At the opening ceremony the ministers who gave sermons were the Reverends J. Puleston Jones MA [Evan's eldest son], J Williams, Brynsiencyn, E J Williams, Llandrillo, J Williams, Corwen and J Howell Hughes, Ysbyty.

Around the time the new chapel was built, Sunday Schools were also started in the district of Arenig, near to the highest valley of the neighbourhood.  Soon after starting a school at Filldirgerrig in 1889, a move was made to a more convenient building in the valley of Bodrenig, the home of Squire Evan Jones, Justice of the Peace, and the Bodrenig family have given a great deal of support in the area.  Preachers are frequently found to preach there on Sunday nights and that without extra expense to the members of Capel Celyn."

The chapel at Capel Celyn, designed by Evan's son, Robert Lloyd Jones
 
Even though they were not members of Capel Celyn, Evan and Mary often provided accommodation for visiting preachers. The chapel's records in the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth (Calvinistic Methodist Archives, EZ1/59/9) record their gratitude to Mr and Mrs Jones, Bodarenig, for all that they hasd done for the chapel and for putting up preachers and that they will be unable to do so after 1908.

Evan, Mary and their daughter Augusta signed the Temperance Register at Capel Celyn on 10 March 1898, in 1901 and in 1904. The records for 1901 also include Maggie J Jones and David Roberts of Bodrenig, their servants (David also signed in 1904). In 1904, their tenants at Bodrenig Farm also signed the Temperance Register - Thomas, Gwen, Edward and Laura Ellis (Edward also signed in 1906, giving his address again as Bodrenig Farm).

On 19 November 1898, the North Wales Times reported:

 

EXTRACT FROM A PATCHWORK OF PULESTONS

The following is taken from A Patchwork of Pulestons, pages 10-11, by Mrs Sunter Harrison, 1977:

"ALDERMAN EVAN JONES was born in Bala in 1831 and lived to be 80 years of age. From a very early age he took a keen interest in his 'Chapel', particularly the Band of Hope. He became a Deacon and soon the Leader of the monthly meeting. He was a member of Bala Theological College committee, and after his marriage to Mary Ann Puleston in 1861, their home became 'open house' to students, Ministers and Deacons. He helped to strengthen the weak chapels of the Calvinistic Methodists in North Wales, always believing the strong should help the weak. He was the most faithful Calvinistic Methodist of his day.

Evan Jones was a craftsman, a painter by trade, a carpenter, he became a shopkeeper, a builder and contractor. He was a member of the County Council from its formation, a member of the County Education Committee. He took part in the meetings of the Literary and Debating Society in Bala; few activities in the town of Bala were not dominated by this strong man. After his marriage to Mary Ann Puleston they lived for a few months at "The Berth", in the Vale of Clwyd, home of Mary Ann's mother. Here their son John Puleston Jones was born in 1862, later in life known as ' the blind Preacher '. From the 'Berth' Evan Jones and his wife and infant son went to Bala to live for about a year at a house named "Tremarran" in Tegid Street, just opposite the Welsh Presbyterian Chapel. They then moved to a house named "London House", in the High Street,  Bala, the ground floor being a shop where Evan Jones sold a variety of goods, household and building materials. They were at "London House" for about ten years, during which time their son met with the tragic accident which resulted in his being blind for life. Mary Ann's mother came to live with them at "London House", where she died in 1867 and was buried with her husband in Llanfair DC Churchyard. From "London House" the family moved to Mount Place near the Grammar School.

By now Alderman Evan Jones and his wife had a family of three boys and two girls. He was well established as a builder and contractor, and a highly respected townsman of Bala. As astute business man he turned his attention to developing the Arenig Quarry near Bala. He built a fine stone house named "Bod Arenig", to which he moved his family from Bala.

At first he converted an old stone barn (still standing 1976) on the opposite side of the road from his home into a Chapel meeting room, using the upstairs room for the meetings and for Sunday School. Later the family built the wooden Chapel nearby. After building "Bod Arenig" Evan Jones personally supervised the construction of a branch railway from his home at Arenig station to join the Bala-Ffestiniog Railway. He used this branch line to carry the materials mined at the quarry to their destination. Evan Jones died in 1918 [in fact, on 23 December 1909] and was buried at Bala. Augusta Puleston Jones attended Kingston House School, Wrexham where she was awarded a bronze medal. A piece of plate was presented to Mr. H. Puleston Jones of the North and South Wales Bank, Wrexham on taking up an appointment at Dolgelliau."

EXTRACT FROM Y CYMRU

The following is an English translation of an extract from on article on The Pulestons in the April 1917 edition of the Welsh magazine Y Cymru:

"Mair Clwyd was married to the late Alderman Evan Jones, architect and builder of Bala. They settled down at Mount Place, Bala, to wait the erection of Bodrenig to which they moved some thirty years ago. Mr Jones was full of life and service with all parochial and county affairs, and was a member of the County Council from its inception, where he was of great service. He passed away December 23 1909."

1 LLANFAIR VILLAS, LLANFAIR DC

Only 8 months before his death, Evan sold the unencumbered freehold of a house he owned next to the church in Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, Denbighshire. On 30 March 1909, he sold the property (then called 1 Llanfair Villas) for £1200 to his daughter in law, Annie Puleston Jones (wife of the Rev Dr John Puleston Jones M.A., Calvinistic Methodist Minister) of Meirion View, Pwllhelli, Carnarfonshire.

On 14 November 1921, Annie (then living with her husband at Llanfair Caereinion near Welshpool, Montgomeryshire) sold the property for only £310 to Gomer Roberts (who was living at 1 Llanfair Villas at the time of the sale).

 In 2011, the house is called Bryn Llyfn and is owned by David Greenhalgh, who kindly supply me with this and other information on his property.

DEATH

On 24 September 1909, the Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent reported:

 

On 1 December 1909, Merionethshire County Council minutes ask that "the cordial sympathy of the Council be expressed to Alderman Evan Jones and Councillor W Foulkes Jones in their illnesses".

Evan died at his home at Bodrenig, Arenig, near Bala on 23 December 1909, age 80. His death certificate describes him as a retired Builder and Contractor and gives the cause of death as Cerebral Haemorrhage.

His death was reported in the 31 December 1909 edition of The North Wales Weekly News:

 

On 16 March 1910, the minutes of the quarterly meeting of Merionethshire County Council

record that "upon the Motion of Councillor Maethlon James, seconded by Alderman H Haydn

Jones M.P., it was resolved unanimously that this Council desires to express its sense of the

great loss it has sustained through the death of Alderman Evan Jones of Bodrenig, Bala and to

place on record its appreciation of his long and valuable services to the County and to convey to his widow and his family its deep sympathy with them in their bereavement".

 

WILL

Evan's last will was dated 8 February 1908, made when living at Bodrenig, and refers to Thomas Ellis as the then tenant of Evan's Bodrenig Farm. He appointed his wife Mary Ann and his sons John and Henry as the executors and trustees of his will, but only John and Henry in fact acted as such. They proved the will in the St Asaph District Probate Registry on 19 March 1910, recording the gross value of his Estate as £3,509 2 shillings and 2 pence. Evan left to his widow, Mary Ann:

  • all his personal estate (which had a net value of  £389 7 shillings and 3 pence) 

  • during her life "all the gain" from his real estate, including "the income from the Arenig Granite Quarry Company".

After Mary Ann's death, the real estate was devised to Evan's five surviving children in equal shares, with special provision made if any of the five wished to sell their interest in Bodrenig Farm. After Mary Ann's death in 1918, the  executors and trustees of Evan's will were uncertain as to whether Evan's surviving children then had only a life interest in Evan's real estate, or whether it belonged to them absolutely. They sought the opinion of Counsel, Mr Clement Davies of 2 Mitre Court Buildings, Temple, London, on the meaning of the will. Counsel concluded that "it is almost impossible to say what is the true meaning of the will" and advised applying to the courts for a ruling.

BODRENIG FARM

The farm was let to successive tenants. The last tenant failed to pay the rent on the farm for several years. Attempts were made to get him to at least keep the farmhouse in good repair, but he failed to do so. Eventually in 1959 it was sold to the tenant farmer for £1,500, just over £6 an acre (suggesting the farm covered about 250 acres in total).

BODRENIG

Bodrenig (or Plas Bodrenig as it was sometimes called) was let to tenants from about 1924. The tenant complained bitterly about the dust from the adjacent Arenig Granite Quarry and the increasingly poor state of repair of Bodrenig itself. One letter of complaint refers to rotting floorboards. The Trustees of Evan Jones's will obtained an estimate of £8,000 to put Bodrenig into full repair, far more than the house was worth and money that the trusts simply did not have. The last tenant, Mona (who had lived at Bodrenig all her life), left Bodrenig in early 1977 to live at 26 Cysgod y Coleg Bala.

ARENIG GRANITE QUARRY

From 1924, Arenig Quarry was let on a 21 year lease with a royalty of 2d a ton and a dead rent equal to 10,000 tons a year or about £80 a year. When that lease ended in 1945, Evan's daughter Augusta was the Trustee of his will and agreed a new lease to ARC of the quarry with an increased dead rent of £200 a year. The dead rent was increased to £250 a year in 1959 with a royalty of 2 1/2d (about 1p) a ton. Some years later, ARC discovered that, near the border with the neighbouring Rhiwlas estate, the granite ran out and the rock became slate instead.

In 1979, following numerous complaints about the dust caused by the quarrying, ARC bought Bodrenig for £2,500 and later demolished it. However, in 1998, ARC discovered that the planning permission for the quarry did not cover all of the 210 acres leased to it. To have sought an extended planning permission would have been expensive and would have required ARC to undertake extensive reinstatement works if they ceased to quarry the granite. In 1998, they announced that quarrying would end.

BURIAL

Evan is buried in the Churchyard of Christ Church, Bala with his widow. Their gravestone is an obelisk of polished dark grey granite (presumably from his quarry at Arenig). The inscription reads:

"Evan Jones, Bodrennig. Yr hwn ar hunodd Rhagfyr 23, 1909 yn 80 mlwydd oed. Beth bynnag a ymafael dy law ynddo i'w wneuthur, gwna a'th holl eghi. Pregethwr IX.10.Hefydd am ei briod Mary Ann Jones. Yr hon ar hunodd Gorffennaf 18, 1918 yn 87 mlwydd oed.Digonnaf ef a hir ddyddiau; a daghosaf iddo y iechydwriaeth. Salm XCI. 16.

 

                                 Evan Jones's gravestone at Christ Church, Bala

To the left of their gravestone in the above photo is that of Evan's father and mother, Robert and Jane Jones and his sister Catherine. Further left, out of the picture, is the gravestone of their eldest son, the Rev Dr John Puleston Jones and his wife Annie. Close by are stones commemorating their children Edward, Harriet and Ann Matilda. 

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Copyright: Haydn Puleston Jones, 2006-17