Gentrified families encircled the town of Llantrisant for centuries, building their mansion houses on ever increasing estates.
The principal landowners in 14th century Llantrisant were all desceneded from Iestyn ap Gwrgan, Einon ap Gollwyn and Rhys Goch. They held their lands of the Norman Lord of Meisgyn and Glynrhondda by the Welsh law of Cyfran.
The great territorial lords of the 14th century were succeeded by the gentry of the 15th century and the yeomen freeholders in the 16th century. A professional class of bards had the task of maintaining the pedigress of these landed families so their rights to land were clear. This system came to an end with the Act of Union and some yeoman remained after marrying the heiress of land where she had no brothers.
In Llantrisant no one family gained the dominant landholding while the Mathews of Castell y Mynach and Jenkins of Hensol acquired substantial lands in the parish. Between 1540 and 1840 much of the land was still owned by the descendants of the three patriachs family from Einon ap Gollwyn was the Prichards of Collenna. The Bevans of Treferig Isaf, descended from Iestyn ap Gwrgan.
Today those mighty buildings have survived, even if in some cases the family fortunes have not. They help to remind us of a time when class structure was paramount, everyone knew their place in it and Llantrisant high society was formed through several powerful families.
None of them remain at those large, majestic homes, but their legacy continues in the very fabric of the old town. The Bassetts of Miskin, the Mathews of Lanelay, the Trahernes of Castellau and the Talbots of Hensol are just some of those families whose names will never be forgotten.