Hoping to be open in June…

We’re still planning for an early summer opening and despite appearances to the contrary, we are reasonably on track.

Most of the messy external work was completed in March. This included drains and a package plant, courtesy of Peacock Drains, and stonemasonry by Eilir Rowlands and Aled Jones (not that one). We now have holes in both buildings ready for the Richard to make the window frames and doors for as well as being a lover of bicycles and mud, he is also a fairly competent cabinet maker. Some of his more interesting creations, which may find their way into the cottages, can be found on www.catchweasel.com. Apologies for the blatant advertising.

Towards the end of the month the internal timber frames in the barn and stable were built. Gwyn is now off site for a few days building the timber frame for the extension which will house the entrance and staircase for the barn.

Some pictorial evidence of March’s work….

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The most momentous event in March was the arrival of Jac:

Jac, Head of Marketing

Everyone’s work rate has decreased since his arrival but the distraction is a welcome one and I’m not complaining.

A little piece of history

I have been following with interest the daily tweets from St Fagan’s from the diary of Kate Rowlands who lived at Ty Hen a hundred years ago.

The history of our house, the farm buildings we are converting and the land around is very important to us.  We feel incredibly lucky to live here and be part of a Welsh community that is so rooted in history.  To be able to find out something about the people who lived here a century ago is not only fascinating but helps us to understand something about where we live.  Our aim has always been to restore some of the original character to the main house and to convert the barns as sympathetically as possible.  Helping us to do this is, is Eilir Rowlands.  Kate’s grandson.

The diary tweets can be a little dry.  Endless visits to the chapel and prayer meetings and constant talk about “big weather” or “tywydd mawr”.  The obsession with the weather is still very much in evidence today and understandably so.

There is a blog on the St Fagan’s website which summarises the diary entries and also provides historical context and background information.  This is a far more interesting read.  It is in Cymraeg so provides good practise for me and with a little help from google translate I can usually understand it.

The blog entry from 13 January is particularly interesting. ‘Pwy ‘di pwy’, or ‘Who’s Who’ tells us that Kate, with her mother and step father, moved to Ty Hen in the 1890’s.  Kate’s mother was from Hendre, Cefnddwysarn where Eilir now lives.

Kate was an only child and left school early aged 14 to work on the farm.

Here’s a picture of Kate as a child:

dyddiadurkate

and here’s one taken in 1969: dyddiadurkate

That’s not outside Ty Hen.

As well as updates on building works, I will also from time to time update on the trials and travails of Kate Rowlands.