Near the quay is to be seen an old building known as "Ty gwyn yn Bermo", where Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, according to tradition, lay concealed with his ward, afterwards Henry VII.
According to some authorities, Jasper and Henry were concealed in an ancient tower which has since entirely disappeared.
Mr. W. W. E. Wynne says of this old building:
"The old house called 'Ty gwyn yn Bermo' near the quay, is said to have been built by Gruffydd Fychan, of Corsygedol, to enable him to communicate more safely, relative to the invasion of England, with Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, uncle of the young Henry of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII, as the Earl might land there from Pembroke and in case of danger again be immediately at sea, whereas at Corsygedol the difficulty of escape would be greater. This must have been some time between the years 1460 and 1485. The old roof of 'Ty gwyn' may, from its form, have been built within the named period."
From an old manuscript, in the possession of Mr. Wynne of Peniarth, which is entitled "A History of the Corsygedol Family" is the following:
"This Gruffydd was in great credit with Jasper, Earl of Pembroke, who lay at his house at Corsygedol, whence he absconded with Henry, Earl of Richmond, from Edward IV and went to France. (Wynne notes: "This is probably incorrect, as it is generally supposed that from Tenby they fled to France")
They show you the apartment where Henry, Earl of Richmond, lay concealed. Gruffydd, before this, built a convienient house at Barmouth, close to the entrance of the river into the sea, which now remains in good order and is called 'Ty gwyn yn Bermo' on the building of which, an elegant poem was written by an eminent bard of those days, which is now extant.
This house was built purposely for the convenience of corresponding with the Earl more privately than at his house Corsygedol, for here the Earl might come secretly by water from Pembroke in a few hours, and conveniently they might there consult the welfare of Richmond in great privacy. It is not unlikely that it was from hence they fled to France."
This manuscript was written in 1654.
The following is the poem referred to:
"CYWYDD I'R TY GWYN YN Y BERMO, EIDDO
GRUFFYDD FYCHAN AP GRUFFYDD AP EINION"
Pwy a wnaeth ond un pen iau Tŷ a'i haner mewn tonau? Pwy a wnai glos fel pen glàn Uchel ond Gruffyddd Fychan? Mawr yw'r glud yn Ardudwy; Ni bu'n Llundain fain oedd fwy. Saer da a fesurai dŷ Hyd wrth wybr o draeth obry, Yn un rowndwal a Chalais; Nid er bost yn wydr ei bais, Ai fur fel gwisgo curias, Oi nen i lawr yn iaeu lâs, Ai grys o galch gwresog iawn, Ai wregys o for eigiawn. Ni all dyn, na allo dau, Frad i lys frawd Elisau: Mae uchder twr yr eryr: Mae iw loft gan mil o wŷr. Mae'r ystaer fel ym Mrysto A thri gris yn eitha gro. Seler a modd-der medd-dawd; Sieb ar ael Ynys y Brawd: Tair gradd ar neuadd fy nêr, Nês i'r heulwen na'r seler, A lle uwch y draethell hallt, Tri anedd fel twr Rheinallt, A llyn burmwyn Abermo Obry'n dri aber yn dro, Ac ar hyd y gaer hon I'w priffyrdd longau preiffion: Aberoedd llawn a bwrdd llys Aber Osber yn hysbys. Yno y daw'n Argylwydd llawen, Oddiyno ydd aeth, gwae Wynedd wen! Delwyf pan fynwyf f'anwyl: Yno yr aeth yn ngwin yr wyl. Fy lluniaeth, fy llawenydd, Yn Nghaer Dro y Bermo bydd, Fy nef rhag clwyf pan wyf wan Fy iechyd, Gruffydd Fychan. Tri pharlwr ar un twr oedd, Ty ar awyr ill trioedd. Tair Simnai Burlai, nai'r Bâdd, Twr nai Owain, tair neuadd, Twr Bronwen a orphenwyd Ach ty fewn Harlech lwyd; Twr grissial, caer y dalaith, Twr gwyn,-bendigid Duw'r gwaith!TUDUR PENNLLYN
The following translation is by Professor E. Anwyl, M.A.
Who but one who is head of the team has made a house, the half of which is in the waves ? Who would make a high cloister like the top of a bank but Gruffydd Fychan?
Great is the traffic in Ardudwy; even in London there were no larger stones. An excellent craftsman measured a house reaching to the sky from the beach below, of like foundation with that of Calais; (I say it not for boasting), with its covering of glass, and its wall like the wearing of a cuirass, from its roof down like a blue sheet of ice, and its inner garment of exceeding hot lime, and its girdle of the ocean.
No single man (and may two fail!) can compass treachery against the court of the brother of Elisiau: there is the height of the eagle's tower to reckon with: there are in his upper room a hundred thousand men.
The stair is like that in Bristol with three steps at the end of the gravel. There is a cellar with the means of carousal; there is a very Cheapside on the brow of Ynys-y-Brawd; three steps on the hall of my lord, nearer to the sunlight than the cellar, and a place above the briny beach; three dwellings like the tower of Rheinallt, and the pure and gentle pool of Abermo below with three winding estuaries, and along this fortified wall there are capacious ships on their high ways: there are full estuaries and the table of the court of Aber Osber clearly seen.
There he shall come as a joyous lord, thence he has gone, then woe to fair Gwynedd!
May I arrive, my kind friend, when I choose: there he has gone in the midst of the wine of the feast.
My sustenance, my joy, shall be in the Troy of Bermo, my heaven against sickness when I am weak, my health, Gruffydd Fychan.
There were three parlours on the one tower, all three forming a house suspended in air. the three chimneys of Burleigh, or the bath, the tower of Owain's nephew, three halls, the tower of Bronwen, that was completed, and your house within grey Harlech; a crystal tower, the fortress of the district, a white tower, - God bless the work!
The Earl of Richmond's plots, needless to say, were crowned with success, and in 1485, Henry Tudor, one of the truest sons of Cambria, was crowned King of England on the field of Bosworth. Wales was satisfied and rejoiced, and if any credence is to be placed in the legends that affirm his having watched the progress of events in "Ty gwyn yn Bermo," the inhabitants of Barmouth must have hailed with exuberant delight indeed the coronation of the man to whom they had given shelter.
Reproduced from "History of Barmouth and Vicinity" by E. Rosalie Jones, published 1909.