It always rains when we visit Penarth Fawr and today was no exception. We sat outside in the small layby waiting for the house to open. Although in the care of CADW, the freehold belongs to the owner of the adjacent Penarth Fawr Farmhouse.
The house is a rare survival of a stone built aisled truss hall house. It was thought to have been built by Madoc of Penarth in 1416. It is unusual as it was built in stone rather than timber. It is a small rectangular building with massive stone walls made from large boulders and a tiled roof. It is set in a walled area with a huge ash tree, rhododendrons and laurels making photography of the outside difficult.
A small wooden doorway under a round arch leads into the central corridor with the pantry and buttery on the right with a wooden stairway to a floor above. The cellar and steps into it are later additions. On the left were the private quarters which would have had a moveable screen to stop draughts. This would originally have been heated by a central hearth and the smoke vent is still visible in the roof. The large fireplace with a carved stone shield above it was added in the 17thC. The large window is a later addition.
The kitchens would have been in a separate building behind to reduce the chance of fire.
There is a stone slab floor and the walls are covered with plaster which has been recently whitewashed. Above is a sturdy wood truss roof.
The building is now licensed for weddings (a fact the owner was very proud of) and has rather out of place candlesticks. Adverts for the sale of the adjacent Penarth Fawr farmhouse, the tea room and Curio shop in the grounds as well as information about weddings and the owner did rather destroy the ambience of what used to be a delightfully unspoilt building.
Entry is free.