The name “Trefloyne” has evolved much like the Manor itself. Supposedly Saint Teilo, cousin and disciple of St David the patron saint of Wales, was born in Penally, it was probable that the original name was Tref Llwyn Teilo “Farm of Teilo's Grove” in welsh, which could have been later shortened to Trefllwyn. This then altered to Trellwyn and ultimately an anglicised Trefloyne.
In the 15th century Owen Fychan married Jenet, daughter and heiress of Ievan Harry Llewelyn of Gumfreston. Their third son Thomas Bowen received Trefloyne and was the first to settle there, he then passed the house to his son Charles then passing it to his son Thomas.
Queen Elizabeth 1st leased the entire manor to the Bowens in 1601.
During the civil war Thomas Bowen was a Royalist like many of the gentlemen in Wales. Thomas was one of 24 Pembrokeshire gentlemen who signed a protestation of loyalty to the king and of opposition to parliament. Trefloyne was then garrisoned and held for the king by Richard Vaughan, the Earl of Carberry with 150 foot soldiers, 50 horse soldiers and one piece of ordnance.
On February 3rd Colonel Rowland Laugharne who was the parliamentary commander in the area, marched to Trefloyne. At this time the sizeable mansion of Trefloyne was separated from Tenby by a tidal estuary. As Laugharne drew near, Vaughn led a body of about 100 horse and foot soldiers from Tenby towards the ford over the Ritec river but led them back when the parliamentarian gunners sent cannon balls across the water. There was no hand to hand fighting or any loss of men or horses. Writers at the time commentated on this singulary futile display of force by Vaughan despite having troops to outnumber those attacking Trefloyne, leaving it to its fate.
Laugharne & Vaughan
Despite resistance from the garrisoned troops at Trefloyne, the parliamentary soldiers breached the outbuildings and took over the mansion. Two of Laugharne’s men were killed and 6 were wounded during the fight which resulted in the damage to Trefloyne. Laugharne then withdrew to Pembroke planning his next assault on Pill Fort in Milford Haven.
After the siege of Trefloyne the fortunes of the Bowen family were in decline, so much so that a petition was sent to parliament in 1646, signed by a number of influential persons in Pembrokeshire in the hope that they could acquire some money for the Bowen family based on Thomas Bowen’s heroic involvement in the civil war.
Thomas Bowen had a son, also named Thomas who was last of the main family line married Anne of Picton Castle. Upon his death in 1677 the estate passed into the possession of his wife’s family the Philippses who only lived occasionally in Trefloyne but ultimately letting the house out to tenants over the years. By the 1840s the mansion fell into disrepair and was largely a ruin which can be seen by the sketches drawn by Fanny Price Gwynne who was a wife of a former town clerk of Tenby.
By The 1840s the 16th century house was in ruins, however a new house and a farm was constructed in the 1850s using the old stonework to be incorporated in the new farm building. However adjacent to the house is the remains of the dovecote now used as a store room.
In the 19th century Trefloyne farm was busy and well-staffed. The house an estate of 344 acres, was sold by Sir Henry Erasmus Edward Philipps of Picton Castle to Mr Thomas Thomas in September 1936 for £6000. At that time the farms tenant was William Carey Evans, to be replaced in 1938 by John Henry Phillips.
The last owner occupants of Trefloyne were Dr William Thomas and his family who took up residence some time after the Second World War. In 1965 he gifted Trefloyne to the University College of Wales to be used for experimental field studies by the department of agriculture. Dr Thomas and his wife both studied at Aberystwyth doing chemistry.
Their son Ian Thomas was on the threshold of a successful professional career when he was overtaken with blindness. However, undaunted he turned to farming and achieved great success
The legacy of Dr Thomas lives on in research papers still available on comparative studies of the growth of early potatoes, as well as one of the halls of residence at the university being named “Trefloyne”.
After the death of Dr Williams and his wife, Trefloyne was then sold and converted to a golf course. In the recent years Trefloyne is now further developed with a restaurant, holiday accommodation, terrace, orangery and pine lodges.
Trefloyne would like to thank our neighbour Judy Williams for providing us with her records and knowledge of the history at Trefloyne.