Craftsmanship & Planning Of The Old House
Pantyrhwch, Llanwnnen, Ceredigion
‘Cottage’ is rather a catch-all term for a number of different types of dwelling which it is useful to distinguish. These included permitted cottages on common land; squatters’ cottages erected without permission, often as ‘one-night’ houses; summer dairies (hafod, lluest) attached to farms; industrial cottages, ‘home-made homes’ built by craftsmen and small-holders (like Wig-wen-fach), and estate-built cottages and small farmhouses. These are all discussed in Eurwyn Wiliam’s book on The Welsh Cottage (RCAHMW, 2010).
Pantyrhwch, Llanwnnen, Ceredigion, is a good example of a purpose-built cottage-farmhouse. The plan is unusual but characteristic of the older type of cottage. The house is entered from the gable end in the manner of a longhouse although the ‘outer room’ is an added back kitchen rather than a cowhouse. The main room (kitchen) is dominated by a huge fireplace hood made of plaster, timber and wattle. The inner room was probably a parlour bedroom. The house is fully storeyed but the stairs are designed not to take up much space and there are two half-steps to each riser. Going upstairs to the first-floor chambers without thinking about the steps required some practise.
Pantyrhwch has been restored rather than modernised. The old features have been preserved because of the quality of the materials and the workmanship. The owners respect the craftsmanship and planning of the old house and this happily coexists with a contemporary lifestyle.
▶️ The Oldest House In Wales
▶️ Survival of Vernacular Building Traditions