History of Sully
A Brief History of Sully
The Sully area was populated in the Bronze and Iron Ages evidenced by the remnants of many Hill Forts in the area. The County Treasures of South Glamorgan lists a “Native Roman Settlement” near Swanbridge Cross.
But the village of Sully (or Sili or Abersili – its original Welsh name is uncertain) started to appear when the Normans came to Glamorgan in 1093. Soon Sully Church was built and just behind it is the site of Sully Castle, built by the de Sully family who were Lords of the Manor. This fell into disuse towards the end of the 13th Century, when the local de Sully family died out.
From then until the 19th Century, Sully was owned by absentee landlords (including Richard III and Jasper Tudor) and was a small “backwater” rural community consisting of peasant and yeoman farmers, many of whom also supplemented their living with small fishing boats.
In the early 19th Century, Sully was bought by Evan Thomas, who then lived in the old Sully House (roughly where the Sea-Shore Grill in Swanbridge, is today). He was a pioneer of the Agrarian Revolution and consolidated all the farms in his ownership into 2 farms; Hayes Farm and Cog Farm. The Hayes farmhouse and Mill are now derelict and can be seen opposite the entrance to Hayes Point. Cog Farm is still a working farm today.
The village was then bought by Sir Josiah John Guest (of GKN fame). He used the old Sully House as his “Summer Cottage”. The Guests, being leaders of the Industrial Revolution, encouraged development. The railway line from Cardiff to Barry, via Sully opened in 1889 and was closed in 1968 as a result of the Beeching Report.
In 1914 the Guest family began selling off land, and in 1915 Alfred Thomas Yeld-Stephens, a successful entrepreneur, bought much of the land on either side of Swanbridge Road and created Home farm. He also bought de Sully Grange which he had built in 1902. Much of Sully was sold in small lots.
Cog has a long recorded agricultural history as evidenced by the following listed buildings: Nicells, a 17th Century farmhouse (believed to be the original farmhouse at Cog); a 19th Century stone barn at Home Farm; Cog Farm and outbuildings and 8 rickstands: and The Homestead. There is a system of wells at Cog, one of which can be seen on the grass triangle in the hamlet.
More on Local History:
The rickstands are classified as follows;
Description: Eight rickstands to N side of Cog Farm
Date Listed: 30 January 1992
Cadw Building ID: 13459
OS Grid Coordinates: 316262, 168885
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4123, -3.2042
Location: Sully, Penarth, The Vale of Glamorgan CF64 5UD