Location & amenities
The dwelling is situated within the quaint, but busy market town of Newcastle Emlyn. The market square in Newcastle Emlyn has recently been carefully restored, in keeping with the nearby town hall and elegant clock tower, which was built in 1892. Within a very short walking distance of the shops is the medieval castle, which benefits from breath-taking views of the river Teifi and surrounding countryside. Local facilities include shops, building societies, a post office, schools, a hotel, a leisure centre, indoor swimming pool, places of worship, coffee shops, public houses and restaurants. No directions are given in this portfolio, as viewers are accompanied.
Measurements, capacities & appliances
The information in this brochure is for rough guidance only; accurate measurements etc. Have not been taken. Philip Ling Estates have not formally verified any appliances, fixtures, or fittings that may be included in the asking price. We strongly advise that the prospective purchaser validate all information before any legal binding contract be signed.
The accommodation (with approximate measurements) comprises:
Via porch to the front door leading through to the vestibule.
Mosaic tiled floor. Door leading through to the main hall.
Panelled doors to the accommodation on the ground floor. Thermostatically controlled radiator. Exposed beam. Staircase accessing the 1st floor.
16’ 2” x 10’ 11”. Presently used as a study. Large window with window seat overlooking the front of the dwelling & original timber lintels. Fireplace. Feature pointed stonewall. Exposed beams. Flagstone flooring. Telephone point. Thermostatically controlled radiator.
18’ 4” x 16’ 2” inc. Inglenook. Large window with window seat & timber lintel overlooking the front of the dwelling. Inglenook fireplace set under a large oak beam inset with a log burning stove. Exposed beamed ceiling. Flagstone flooring. Thermostatically controlled radiator. Television point.
14’ 6” x 13’ 1”. Velux windows allowing the flood of natural light and a small window overlooking the courtyard. Free-standing kitchen cupboards with Belfast sink. Quarry tiled floor. Jøtul Log burner sitting on a slate hearth. Thermostatically controlled radiator. Trap door accessing the loft area. Opening through to the scullery.
Plumbing for washing machine. Ample room for fridge/freezer etc. Door to the rear hall.
Door accessing the courtyard. Store room with thermostatically controlled radiator & housing for the Economy 10 heating system.
1st floor landing
Window on the landing. Doors accessing the bedrooms & bathroom. Trap door accessing the loft area.
16’ 1” x 9’ 4”. Window with seat overlooking the front of the dwelling. Thermostatically controlled radiator. Partly exposed A frames.
11’ 8” x 6’. Window to the front. Thermostatically controlled radiator. Partly exposed A frames.
16’ 2” x 8’ 10” + 9’ 4” x 4’ 6” (L shaped). Window with seat overlooking the front of the dwelling. Thermostatically controlled radiator. Partly exposed A frames.
7’ 2” x 6’ 7”. Window overlooking the rear. Three piece suite incorporating bath with shower unit & screen above, WC & wash hand basin. Quarry tiled floor. Tiled splashback. Heated towel rail.
Access from the road is via two steps with wall & railing boundary to the front door. Perhaps the ‘jewel in the crown’ of this delightful town house is the rear courtyard with original outbuildings including the crogloft, still largely in its original condition and could be used for many purposes i.e. A workshop, gallery, exhibition space, in fact the utilisation of this fascinating room offers exciting possibilities. The courtyard is gravelled and outbuildings white-washed to offer the most appealing of outdoor spaces. A door from the brew house leads to the rear garden area with mature trees & a slated area (photograph below).
The crogloft measuring 20’ 5” X 14’ 4”, the brew house measuring 15’ 6” x 13’ 3” stable and bake house, all of which are original to this former inn.
Mains Electricity Water & Drainage.
By appointment, via sole agents Philip Ling Estates.
The owner writes:
The premises for sale under the title Swan House are a continuing surprise package. A guided tour reveals four parts. Immediately behind the residential house itself lies a roughly l-shaped courtyard. Cross this and you arrive at a totally unexpected hidden treasure, a big rustic built and rugged Brewhouse/bakehouse/stables comprising two parts – each with its own entrance and housed under one roof. It is an old crogloft where the family slept above the animals making best use of their heat during the winter months.
And then, with just one step, a change of atmosphere and a breath of fresh air, for behind the bulk of this ancient building and shielding it from the bustle of the town lies another surprise, a large garden stretching some thirty yards to a row of trees.
From front gate to tree line lie a good sixty yards encompassing both town and country where busy today exists side by side with living history. In a matter of moments you have just walked the small journey from a delightful West Wales town and all it has to offer through five centuries of social and domestic history to the peace and tranquillity of your own garden. And all that in a town centre site.
The house itself is a two-storey, double-fronted town house, formerly the Swan Inn on the main street of the small town of Newcastle Emlyn in West Wales. According to a report by Cadw the house is Georgian in origin though much altered over the 270 years since then. It may have started life as a single-storey house well before 1740 with a second storey added in early Victorian times.
It is a house which has great character, lots of charm and, along with the building behind the house, unique potential. The solid 2’6” thick stone walls ensure the house is cool in summer and warm in winter. Add to those thick walls double glazed windows and a fully insulated loft, plus a log fire, and it all means Swan House stays warm and cosy throughout the winter months – not just a lovely old house but a home, a welcoming home. My home for over twenty years. Rising heat also warms the bedrooms above – in a way perhaps a modern tribute to the similar transfer of useful heating which occurred within the crogloft centuries ago.
There are two main rooms on the ground floor at the front of the house. First, to your left as you enter through an inner vestibule with mosaic tiled floor and past a small cloakroom, is a good-sized lounge. Centre of attention is a large ‘simnai fawr’, a great fireplace, underneath a solid oak beam with a log-burning stove in the middle. The floor is quarry tiled. There are two delightful recessed nooks whilst two heavy oak beams span the full length of the room. Two old rustic wooden doors with Suffolk latches, into and out of the lounge, add to the period detail.
Across the central passageway – used in the time of the inn to take horses through the house, through an internal set of double doors, and out to the stables behind – is a sitting room/study. It is also spanned by two oak beams including the biggest and heaviest of all. Here the floor is a clever patchwork jigsaw of large stone slabs and quarry tiles. A pair of nooks at each end of the outside wall add more interest to a room full of character – and books. Both these rooms have capacious window seat/storage boxes.
At the back of the lounge is the kitchen, a later addition fashioned from dropping a ceiling/roof to what was originally an equally thick outside stone wall to make a simple but effective extension. Two velux windows let into the ceiling and sash windows in the end wall make the kitchen light and airy. The kitchen has its own Norwegian Jotul, a classic but simple wood burning stove. Built up with anthracite coal from a bunker in the stables the Jotul will keep in overnight.
A small side extension to the kitchen houses a tall fridge, washing machine and big freezer. Across the central passageway is a useful storage room.
Kitchen, extension, central passageway and storage room are all tiled with small red farmhouse tiles.
Upstairs are three bedrooms – two double and one single.
In 2012 the house underwent a major £25,000 refurbishment. The main results were a complete rebuilding of the bathroom with a new bath and shower, new toilet, new wash basin, new towel heating rail, new ceiling and lighting and new Spanish tiling. It has been transformed, A new staircase with handrail was also built. A complete central heating system servicing nine new water-radiators installed round the house was located in the storage room. The heating makes use of an electrical ‘economy ten’ system with separate controls for bath water and radiators. The entire upstairs floor was strengthened with an iron stanchion.
After his visit to the property Cadw inspector, aj Parkinson, wrote a report, on Swan House. This is what he said:
‘A two-storey Georgian town house, formerly an inn, much altered. The windows have been replaced; the partitions may be replaced. The staircase is probably C19th [now rebuilt]. There seem to be heavy cross beams all boxed and plastered [now exposed]. The main (downhill) fireplace is reputed to have replaced or concealed a ‘simnai fawr – whether a stone inglenook or lighter construction is not now obvious.’ [Again now exposed and revealed as indeed a stone inglenook, a superb feature which dominates the room. 1950s’ ‘improvements’ have much to answer for! See photos of the lounge.]
‘Behind the house is an outbuilding of most ‘rural’ construction’ [the crogloft]. ‘ajp 17.1.90’
It is likely that this building, still largely in its original condition, is unique in Carmarthenshire. It could be a showpiece. A visit from an officer of the planning department of Carmarthenshire County Council in 2006 promised there will be no problem with restoration work though residential status was unlikely to get permission. However, use as a workshop, gallery, exhibition space or business office would be ideal, together with a restored loft and a view over the large garden. An imaginative restoration with the cleaned lath-and-plaster firehood as a sit-in centre-piece and, throughout the entire building, a four centuries-old cobbled floor, would create a unique asset as its own reward.
This building is not listed though if a buyer wanted it to be, listing almost certainly could be obtained from Cadw.
Swan House will suit anyone who values character in a home, but someone who has the funds (or the initiative to raise the funds through grants), the time, the skills, and above all, the enthusiasm, to oversee a restoration of the crogloft will also end up with a unique building and a valuable addition to the history of rural Welsh building construction.
Newcastle Emlyn is a delightful place to live. It is full of history all recorded by its own historical society – Hanes Emlyn, located in the clock tower – in an archive which tells and illustrates the story. It’s a former drovers’ town where sheep and cattle were gathered in preparation – feet dipped in tar – for the long drive to London and the Midlands. This was done by the accompanying cowmen (rather than the American cowboys!) who drove the herds and flocks on and walked alongside them. The cowmen’s pre-drive thirsts meant that at one time there were some fifty pubs serving the town. A good half dozen of the fifty inns still survive.
Nowadays the beautifully restored and prize-winning Gwesty‘r Emlyn Hotel – right across the road from Swan House – takes pride of place as the town’s principal hotel with excellent facilities including a separate function room, three bars, bar meals and fine dining through the week, and traditional Sunday roast lunches.
This is the town where the last pistol duel in Wales took place. It is where Isaac Carter set up the country’s first printing press. Early in the 20th century John Roger Parkington lit up the town with electric lighting using a hydro-electric source powered by the Teifi at a time when larger towns in South Wales were still using gas. And if all that is not enough, legend has it that this town is where the last dragon in Wales was slain.
The town is a magnet for tourists from Easter onwards. Many of whom come year after year. It’s a noted shopping centre with mainly owner-occupier shops lining both sides of the main street. It also houses three supermarkets, half a dozen pubs, numerous restaurants, chapels and a church, a library, a castle, a salmon-stocked river, the Teifi, which loops round the bailey of the old castle – one of the ruins which Cromwell ‘knocked about a bit’ – and the flat of the castle grounds beneath which today provide a pleasant riverside walk.
The town has thriving rugby and football teams – both with male and female teams – and each with its own ground and clubhouse. There are tennis courts, a bowling green and the well equiPped and safe King George v’s Playing Fields for youngsters. The town has its own leisure centre and a swimming pool. It has a junior school and a secondary school.
The Attic Theatre is housed in Cawdor Hall within the clock tower and plays are put on during the summer, with an annual Christmas pantomime, all produced by the am-dram society, the Attic Players. The town’s other big Christmas event, run to coincide with the switching on of the Christmas lights, is the very popular and well attended Victorian Evening.