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WHEN I was honoured by your invitation to address you today I was
somewhat at a loss for a topic. Although I lived for so many years in
this neighbourhood I am ashamed to admit that I am shockingly
ignorant of its antiquities. Then it occurred to me that as, lately, I
have been writing down what I know about Derry-Ormond, which
belonged to my family for so long, this should form the basis of my
I can find no reference to it earlier than 1741, which is a good point
from which to start. The next thirty years witnessed a succession of
changes in the country round Lampeter as, one after another, the old
families disappeared and their houses fell in ruins, only to be replaced
after a long hiatus by landowners of a very different stamp. It struck
me that it might be interesting to follow the fortunes of these different
estates from the middle of the eighteenth to the middle of the nine-
teenth century.
Yet, many years before 1741, someone named Ormond must have
planted those groves of oaktrees which were such a magnificent feature
of my home. In spite of this splendid legacy of large-scale planting
that has preserved his name to this day, I have never succeeded in
finding a word about him in any of the books about Cardiganshire.
The only attempted explanation is contained in a letter written by one
S. Ormond from London to my father in 1905. He writes Thank you
so much for answering my query with reference derivation of the name
of your place so fully. I cannot help thinking that my ancestor planted
those oaks. He fought at the Battle of the Boyne and his sister was
Dame Poynder, whose husband Sir R. Poynder was hung by Cromwell
at the gate of Carmarthen when it fell.'
The trees must have been a fair size in 1741 when a well-known
cattle-dealer, David Jones, described as a wealthy man, came to live
at Derry-Ormond. Whether he bought or inherited it history does not
reveal. His brother Theophilus Jones was farming then at Blaenplwyf,
a few miles away. Both the brothers were earnest Methodists and
locally took a leading part in the great Revival which was then at its
height in Cardiganshire. David's wife, Sarah, belonged to a well-
known Nonconformist family for she was a daughter of Jenkin Jones of
Glyn, Llangeitho, and the grand-daughter of old John Jones of Llwyn-
rhys, who was the first Nonconformist minister in Cardiganshire.
JAn address given to the Society at Lampeter, 3 July 1954.
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