Friday, 3 May 2019

Pembrokeshire County Council - Review of Local Development Plan - Episode 2

In Episode 1 I gave a brief outline of how you can look up the details of proposed Candidate Sites for the Local Development Plan Review (LDP2).

We looked at Site 324 on the Barrack Hill in Pembroke Dock. To read this article again see:

Pembrokeshire County Council - Review of Local Development Plan - Episode 1

Since publishing this post, I looked up the owners of this land at the Land Registry. The owners are Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC), who own the freehold title to this former Ordnance Board land. For the sum of £3 you can download the title of the property, along any restrictive covenants. Another £3 gives you a map of the area covered by the title, but unfortunately none is available for this property, it not having been provided when the title was transferred to PCC many moons ago.

In this post We will look at some other properties around The Barrack Hill.

Initially, I will look at Candidate Site 323.

This site, on the western edge of The Barrack Hill, near the car park and bus stop, is near where there was in WW II a barrage balloon site. I remember some of the old mooring blocks and rings being there in the 1960s. (Sorry - a diversion! - Oops!)

The description of the site goes as follows: (Information taken form the Candidate Site Register)
  • Name of Site: SGPC Site 3 - Adjacent to carpark and Chapel Road
  • Nearest Settlement: Pembroke Dock
  • Proposer Name: John Parsons
  • Proposer Organisation:  South Pembrokeshire Golf Club
  • Current Use: Leisure - Golf Course
  • Proposed Use: Housing
  • Site Area (Ha): 0.25
  • Preferred Strategic Compatibility Category: Green

Up until now, I have not mentioned the red boundary line on the maps of Pembroke Dock. This line demarks the present settlement boundary. Planners like to keep development within the settlement boundary, (as I do!) and I expect that you would be able to find many planning applications that were turned down because they were outside the settlement boundary of a particular....settlement. Search at PCC Planning if motivated enough.

If you are not able to pin down where Candidate Site 323 is, this larger area map might help.

The eagle-eyed reader will have noticed the line of the present public right of way that crosses the proposed site diagonally. This follows one of the original tracks laid out when the barracks were built.

Who owns this site?

This is land that comes under the Land Registry title CYM281495. It is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council.

The difficulty with this is the notion of precedent.  Some of you will have remembered the planning application for a house at the other end of the Barrack Hill. That is:

  • Land Register title: CYM676847, land on the north side of 10 Presely View, Pembroke Dock, SA72 6NP (£40,000, title transferred to present owner of 5 May 2016 from Pembrokeshire County Council).

This piece of land, which from recollection took a while to sell, was part of the former Ordnance Land  described for Candidate Site 242 and Candidate Site 344 that I have mentioned above and in my last post.

This sale set a precedent, a very useful thing in planning matters, that it is reasonable to sell off plots of land that lie outside the settlement boundary of Pembroke Dock (the red line) and are on what was The Barrack Hill.

This is worth bearing in mind when thinking about the motives that may lie behind lands sales and subsequent planning applications. One needs to think long term - what are the consequences of an application being granted?

Another precedent that was set by the above grant of planning consent is that the site was within (and still is within) the Pembroke Dock Conservation Area (PDCA). In fact, the whole of the original Barrack Hill Area is within the PDCA, but outside the settlement boundary. See my effort at mapping below:

The pink area with the green border is the Conservation Area and the red border marks the settlement boundary. The Barrack Hill is within the Conservation Area and outside the settlement boundary.

I must point out here that I have no particular issue with anyone who gets permission to build on The Barrack Hill as long as the correct procedures are followed and the intention is made plain from the outset.  I would, of course, hope that the planning authority would  refuse such an application because of the special nature of the place and its justifiable location within the Conservation Area. It is important that everyone takes notice of the way in which their surroundings can change. If you disagree with a plan, then object as early as you can.

I have made no strong comment so far about any of the proposals so far discussed. Opinions will follow later I would imagine....

Again, please feel free to comment if you wish. I will moderate the comments, but will publish all, but will redact swear words or insulting material. Be polite - it is the best way to be - politely assertive.

To be continued......

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Pembrokeshire County Council - Review of Local Development Plan - Episode 1

This series (?!) of  posts will focus on the Local Development Plan Review (LDP2) for Pembrokeshire County Council.

Throughout the post(s) I will be using information from a variety of sources, but mostly from Pembrokeshire County Council's own website. I believe that my use of this is allowable under the terms of their copyright. If this is not correct, then I would be grateful if someone from the council would get in touch.

I will add in a few photographs that will add interest to what might be a lot of text!!

I cannot possibly cope with looking at the entire county so will focus, initially, on my own town of Pembroke Dock.

OK, let's start! If you want to read about the history of  LDP2, then the best place to go is here. This link is the overview page for LDP2. I would suggest that you have a look at this first as it explains the reasoning for the review...…..

There are lots of links from the above page, but perhaps you might leave exploring those until a little later.

PCC has kindly produced many maps to illustrate the suggestions for LDP2. The map for Pembroke Dock is here. This link will allow you to download maps of the Pembroke Dock area. These maps show the locations of Candidate Sites that have been suggested by a variety of contributors.  These are numbered. The numbering refers to a table of the sites (Sites Table is here). The candidate sites are grouped by Parish/Town Council.

More on Candidate Sites a bit later!

What I suggest you do now is download the maps and the table from the links above and have a quick read! At the start of the Table booklet (110 pages!) there is an explanation of the colours and content of the tables that follow. There is also mention of the "Preferred Strategy" that tries to explain the criteria for the coloured categorisation of sites in the table. Despite being a council tax payer who has a passionate interest in Pembrokeshire, I missed the initial "informal" consultations for LDP2. 

One important rule in these matters is ALWAYS take an active interest in local plans. Also, remember that "informal" means that discussions have taken place that might possibly be binding, but no minutes etc have been taken. It never means "nothing has been decided".

To start with we will look at the Barrack Hill in Pembroke Dock. The Barrack Hill was named after the Defensible Barracks that were built on this dominating high point overlooking the old Royal Dockyard, Pembroke.

This was open land with very few trees or bushes whilst the dockyard was in operation. There could be no hiding places for attacking troops to sneak up on the Barracks - indeed, when the Barracks were built, many of the houses in Cross Park were cleared to provide an open field of fire from the fort.

Anyway, I am digressing wildly... on to business!

If you look at the maps for Pembroke Dock from the PCC web pages mentioned above, pages 6 and 7 cover the area of the Barrack Hill and the former Oil Tanks Depot above Llanreath. Page 7 shows a greyed out area on the lower northern slopes of "The Hill", allocated the number 324.

The description of this site can be found on page 71(of 110) of the Candidate Site Register. See the cutting below.

So let's see what they say about Site 324.

Working from left to right, we see that this is "SPGC site 5 - Between the 10th fairway of the golf" - this entry leaves us hanging. Hopefully it will be finshed off at some point, but the map shows us where it is. Next, the nearest settlement is given as "Pembroke Dock/Doc Penfro". Fair enough.

Then we are given the name of the person who has proposed this site (Site 324) - "John Parsons" - I know not who this is.

No agent or agent organisation is mentioned, but the Current Use is "Leisure - Golf Course and scrubland".

The proposed use is proposed as "Holiday Accommodation" - (Tents? Caravans? Houses? - who knows), has an area of 1.48 acres and is coloured Grey - the colour of fog, I suppose. If you refer back to the top of the Candidate Site Register there is a key to the colours used in the table. In their words...


So that is your starter. Please feel free to comment if you wish. I will moderate the comments, but will publish all, but will redact swear words or insulting material. Be polite - it is the best way to be - politely assertive.

In the next instalment, I will look at some of the other Candidate Sites and mention other sources that can be used to find out a little more about the LDP2.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Thomas Evans Rees and the The Little Place in PD

In the context of the parish of St. Mary’s, Pembroke, in West Wales, 30 North Street, Bufferland, Pembroke Dock is not a particularly old house. Nonetheless it encapsulates part of the story of the new town of Pater, or Pembroke Dock as it soon became known, from the middle of the 19th Century until today.
On 8 August 1864, Thomas Evans Rees, shipwright, of Pembroke Dock took out a 60 year lease on a plot of land on the south side of North Street, Bufferland, a new suburb of the burgeoning town.
Ordnance Survey map for Bufferland, Pembroke Dock laid over an extract from  Bush Estate Map book c1830now in Pembrokeshire Archives.

A closer view of Bufferland, Pembroke Dock, in about 1850
The western end of North Street had been laid out across some of the fields of Hill Farm from about 1840, and from 1864 The Bush Estate leased out further plots of land in what had formally been  a field on the land of  Hill Farm overlooking the Pembroke River.
Who was Thomas Evans Rees? First, let us look at his father.

His father was Daniel Rees, a master watchmaker, born in about 1806 in Narberth. Daniel’s wife was Jane Evans, of Haverfordwest, and it is likely that Thomas gained his middle name of Evans from his mother’s maiden name – a tradition that persisted amongst many families at this time.

In 1841 Daniel Rees and his family lived in a house at the southern end of Pembroke Street, number 22. He appears in the Pigot and Co. directory for 1844 as a watchmaker. In 1851, Daniel is still in Pembroke Street, but by 1861 he seems to have moved his home to the street parallel and next west to Pembroke Street  – Market Street. In the directory he is referred to as David Rees, but the 1861 census for the town shows him occupying premises next to the Farmers Arms in Market Street, living with his wife, daughter and grand-daughter. In 1868 Daniel (aka Daniel M Rees) was still practising his trade as a watchmaker,  but, according to Slater’s directory for that year, he had returned to Pembroke Street. He died in the summer of 1870 and was buried on 20 June. His grave is recorded as that of David Morgan Rees, watchmaker.

Daniel, as a clock and watchmaker,  was involved in the installation of the Clock in the tower of St John’s Church in Pembroke Dock in March 1865. The local press announced the plans in October 1864 saying that the clock “when completed will be a very great boon to the inhabitants of the town.”

St John's Church, Pembroke Dock showing the clock installed in 1865 by Daniel Rees.

The installation of the clock was reported in the Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser for 17 March 1865.

Thomas Evans Rees was Daniel and Jane’s second child. The oldest child was William Humphreys Rees, born in Narberth in 1829, who disappears from the family home after 1841, probably joining the Royal Engineers in 1850. Another brother of Thomas Evans was James Valentine Rees, born in Milford in 1833. The youngest of his siblings was a sister, Arabella Esther Rees, born in Pembroke Dock in about 1836.  Thomas Evans Rees was baptised in Tenby on 23 March 1831.

By 1851, still living in the family home, Thomas Evans was an apprentice shipwright, working in The Royal Dockyard Pembroke. On the 13 March 1858 he married Bridget Day. Bridget had been born in Ireland in about 1833. They were married in St John’s Church, Pembroke Dock. When the census enumerator called,  for the census of 1861, they were visiting their friends, George and Jane Sutton in Laws Street, Pembroke Dock. George, like Thomas Evans, was a shipwright, but much older than both his Irish wife Jane and her friend Bridget. Thomas George Rees - Thomas Evans’ and Bridget’s first child - was 1 year of age and Bridget and Thomas Evans may well have been showing him off to their friends for the first time. 
It seems as though the relationship between these two families developed further as one of Thomas Evans' later children’s mother seems to have had the surname Sutton, not Day.
The dockyard at Pembroke Dock, in the 1860’s, had for a while, an uncertain future. The era of the wooden sailing ship as a vessel of war was ending, and as Pembroke was distant from other centres of production, some in high office wished to see the place closed. However, in the end, it was decided to modernise the dockyard to build the new iron, steam powered ships. 

Consequently, new steam mills and forges had to be built and working techniques adapted to metal. A by-product of this was that large stocks of timber, intended for wooden ships, lay surplus to requirements over most of the area of the yard. There were concerns at government level that all the dockyards were being run inefficiently with much wastage of materials, and indeed in some places the stockpiles of wood were just left to rot in the open.

One way of reducing the stockpile of timber was for the dockyards to sell it off at auction. This happened on a regular basis at Pembroke, starting from about 1870.

However, there must have been “unofficial” sales or disposal of timber before this date, as was witnessed by the quality of timber used in the building of the houses of Pembroke Dock. Local lore has it that timber was dropped surreptitiously into the waters of the haven and then collected later from wherever the tide (or a rowing boat!) might take it. It is highly likely that much use was made of dockyard facilities for the making of wooden (and metal) items for the households of local craftsmen.

What does this have to do with a little end of terrace cottage in North Street, Pembroke Dock? The answer is, of course, plenty! The men who worked in the dockyard included many with highly developed and – in modern parlance – “transferable” skills. These were applied to the building of houses, particularly the flooring and “fitting out” of these houses.
Thomas Rees Evans was a shipwright, which meant he was very skilled in the use and working of wood, so when he took on the lease of one of the first building plots on the eastern extension of North Street, he had access to the materials, the connections and skills to undertake his own home build.

In the next post I will talk about the terms of the lease that Thomas Evans....and many like him ... took on in the summer of 1864.

An abstract of the lease for Thomas Evans Rees' building plot in North Street, Pembroke Dock, from a Bush Estate lease book held by Pembrokeshire Archives.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

A Little Place in PD...........

There was very little at Pembroke Dock before 1814. In fact, the place did not exist. Admittedly there were a few scattered cottages, a ruinous, but formerly grand, late medieval house and the scant remains of a chapel. It was probably an idyllic spot....level, well drained land at the foot of the Old Red Sandstone mass of St Patricks Hill. There was good access to the deep waters of Milford Haven via some muddy pills and rock strewn beaches.

In 1814 that all changed. Like Dire Strait's song "Telegraph Road", the Admiralty decided to put down its pack on the shore to build fighting ships and in the words of the song.....

The new town grew quickly and its residents were a highly skilled and hard working community. Shipwright, joiners, carpenters, metal workers, stonemasons  - all brought there skills to bear on the building of their own houses and the local land owner made a killing from, initially, selling off plots, to the Admiralty and latterly issuing leases to townspeople for strips of land with a 30 feet street frontage........with conditions attached.

For some streets in the town, in particular those built in the mid-nineteenth century, these plots accommodated single storey cottages, with large, long gardens. I have just bought one such house. Why??

My next series of postings will include an explanation about why I chose to do this and the story behind this "Little Place in PD".

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Creeping Planning Applications - A Masterclass (Part 2)

First Attempt Tuctaway in 2010

Read Part 1 first here.

The first planning application on the site was lodged on 15 July 2010 with Tendring District Council. The documents relating to this application (10/00819/FUL) can be found here. It is worth noting that the trees on the western end of the plot were subject to Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).

Tuctaway in 2013
 There were 26 formal comments and of these 25 were to object to the plans. Those that were made available online at the time can be viewed here.

One correspondent,  (the elderly resident of Tuctaway, Jaywick Lane, Clacton On Sea, Essex CO15 2DR), wrote in with a NEUTRAL comment, but the basis for this neutral stance is not clear as their comment is marked as being unavailable.

Tuctaway was sold on 23 October 2013 for £143,000. Interestingly, Tuctaway has since become part of the scheme involving Grove Cottage and Willow Park Farm.

To return to the planning application of 2010 (10/00819/FUL).  A sketch plan of the proposed building works is shown below.

This application, for the "demolition of existing dwelling and erection of 12 x 3 Bed detached bungalows and garages thereto",  was refused. The officers decision report is date June 2011, so it took nearly a year for a a decision to be made.

This may partly have been due to the number of comments received from the public. As mentioned above, the application was refused. If would would like to see the reasons in detail for this, please see the documents on the Tendring District Council Planning web pages.The main reasons given for refusal were:

"This proposed design solution is bland and fails to create a sense of place."

"No tree survey or report has been submitted with this application to allow a proper assessment of the immediate impact of the proposal on protected trees or the extent to which obstruction to daylight and sunlight reaching the proposed residential properties has the potential to harm the long-term viability of the trees (taking into account future growth). A drawing entitled 'Root Protection Plan' has been submitted, but this does not mark Root Protection Zones in the correct position."

"....the development also fails to respect the existing character of the area."

The fact that there was no ecological survey of the site did not bode well either.

This was all summarised as:

"...the proposal is unattractively designed, not in keeping with the surrounding area, and threatens trees protected by Tree preservation Order. Consequently the proposal would harm visual amenity....."


"..that "an initial scoping or extended Phase 1 habitat survey should be conducted to assess the site and the results  of this used to inform (the need for) subsequent species specific surveys". No such information has been provided with this application." 

The architects for the scheme were Paul Newbold Planning and Building Design Services of Clacton-on-Sea.

The developers were not to be put off, however, and they returned with a different scheme some time later. This will be the subject of my next post......

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Creeping Planning Applications - a Masterclass (Part 1)

I have a friend who has had to move into supported living in the Clacton-on-Sea area.

As a good citizen, (rights and responsibilities etc.), I thought I would look into the background of the brand new premises that my friend would be moving into. It was a revelation and it introduced me to the concept of the "Creeping Planning Application" (CPA).

To make use of this approach to getting round all sorts of planning rules and regulations you must be patient, superbly prepared and not at all impulsive. Success also relies upon the local planning officers being overworked and local residents being indifferent or unaware about how planning applications come to be successful.

It is a complicated story, perhaps not an easy read, but it will fill you with admiration for the focus and determination of those making the application to get what they want.

Here goes....... Oh, by the way, I will publish this in several instalments. Just like the "Creeping Planning Application" technique.... an exemplar of deferred gratification.

One more thing before I start. Although this is about a plot of land in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, it can be universally applied across the UK....and indeed it is!

The property I have chosen for this exemplar of a CPA is (or was!) Grove Cottage, Jaywick Lane, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 2DR. It was an attractive, thatched building in its own considerable grounds. See the aerial view here:

Aerial View of Grove Cottage

The label at the end of the above link is placed by Google in the wrong place (I think!). I am not a local, so I may be mistaken. Anyway, the building and its grounds that I am interested in is the one I have marked and roughly indicated in red below. I will come back to the blue line later!

Grove Cottage from Google Maps (see link above)

Whilst preparing this post I came across the Street View photograph of the building as in the picture below (at the end of the link too). I was fairly shocked to see what a lovely building this was! In fact, I would have thought it should have been listed. Sadly, that horse has bolted.

Grove Cottage in October 2012 from Google Street View (see link below)

Grove Cottage before its demise.

The "birds eye" view from Bing Maps, at the end of the link here, shows the house in better times, before it had been sold in 2010. The next picture is an extract from the Bing Maps view.

Grove Cottage - a birds eye view from Bing Maps - pre-2010(?)

On 31 March 2010 the property was sold for £650,000 and was purchased by, according to the title at The Land Registry (EX804229):

06821377) of 92 Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex CO15
1SG and of Willow Park, The Street, Weeley, Essex CO16

This is where the blue line on the illustration above comes into play...I think. We will look at that in a later post.

For the moment, a final caveat.. I may be entirely wrong about this whole thing and I am hopeful that readers will take the time to enter debate, via comments, about the process and my understanding of it.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

36 Main Street, Pembroke - An Appeal Against a Refused Planning Application

An application was made last year to make an opening in the town wall at the rear of the above property. Summary particulars are:


Validated Date:13-Mar-2017
Decision Date:19-Jun-2017
Application Type:List Bld
Site Notice End:14-Apr-2017
Publicity Notice End:19-Apr-2017
Area:Pembroke Town Council
Community:Pembroke: St Mary South
Main Location:36, Main Street, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, SA71 4NP
Full Description:Formation of opening in existing town wall to permit pedestrian access
Status:Decision Made

This link allows you to view and download all the documents associated with the application:

The above documents include:

Location Plans here and here
+other items.

The applicant has decided to appeal against the decision to refuse this application. The appeal is to be determined by written submissions to the Welsh Assemby. The letter below gives information about the procedure for the appeal. If you wish to comment, please note the deadline for submissions - 29 September 2017.

Below is my submission to Pembrokeshire County Council in response to the original planning application.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Park - A Rare Gem at Merrion - Part 8

A Rare Survival of a Seventeenth Century Cottage in the Parish of St. Twynnells, Pembrokeshire

The Roof....a little more revealed.

In part 7 I tried to describe the construction of the roof under the thatched part of The Park. In this instalment I said that I would try and explain the roof structure under the slated part of the house. However, new revelations under the thatched roof mean that the slated roof will have to wait! Since my last post I have been able to return to the cottage where the owner again kindly allowed me to look inside. Much work has been carried out to prevent the roof from blowing off in this winter's storms. Indeed, at times one corner of the roof was seen to lift by about one foot in the teeth of a gale!

Happily, the roof has been saved, but removal of the tongued and grooved panelling under the roof timbers has revealed how precarious the roof timbers are! It is excellent to see the efforts that have been made to preserve this fascinating structure.

Figure 1 shows that the roof timbers seem to have been repaired on several occasions. The rough, crudely shaped timber truss is probably part of an early roof. The truss behind this is of sawn timber and looks to be a late-19th /early 20thcentury repair by an estate carpenter, designed to relieve the strain on the earlier work. These trusses are bolted together.  It is surprising that the whole roof was not replaced instead of this piecemeal approach to repair. The timbers of the earlier truss are similar in nature to the slight and irregular pieces used as battens to support the thatch. These trusses are pegged.
Fig. 1 Roof timbers looking towards the parlour end of the house. These had been concealed behind tongued and grooved boarding.
Figure 2 again shows the hotchpotch nature of repair to the thatched roof. The rafters, in nearly every case have rotted where they meet the wall plate on the limestone walls. This is looking south-east.
Fig. 2. Another view of the mixed roof timbers under the thatched roof. Note the metal jacks used to prevent the roof collapsing during the last winter's storms.

In Figure 3 we can see how the trusses meet up with the upper wall of the lateral out shut.
Fig. 3. Looking south west at the roof timbers revealed by the removal of the "ceiling cladding".

Figure 4 seems to show a third effort at repairing the support for the roof. In the centre of the photograph is a nineteenth century truss, alongside a much earlier - (pre-estate?) roughly hewn timber truss. Beyond this a another truss of sawn timber, but of a much slighter design, possibly dating from between the times when  two other trusses were put in place. This truss is very similar to those at the north end of the house.
Fig 4. Looking north west from parlour door.

In Figure 5 the 19th/20th century roof timbers can be identified by the bolts holding them together. The roof timbers dating from an earlier period are slighter and have a chamfer. The earliest timbers are rough hewn with, in some cases, the bark still attached.

Fig. 5. A closer view of the truss discussed above, showing how it was fixed into the wall and the subsequent failure of this. This is the west wall of the house.

Fortunately, the date of some repairs made to the roof structure has been written, in pencil on a small piece of wood within the roof, formerly hidden behind boarding. The date is 1930. This may well correspond to the date that the tonged and grooved boarding was inserted or replaced beneath the thatch.

Figure 6 below shows some of the very modern looking pieces of batten that were affixed to the much older partition for the possible "crogloft" . These battens supported this tongued and grooved boarding. The boarding was then whitewashed.

Fig. 6. Battens (on partition) to support the (now removed) tonged and grooved boarding that ceiled the main living room of the house.

The figures below show some more detail of the fascinating structure of this rare survival of a vernacular roof!

Fig. 7

Fig. 8

Fig. 9

There will be many readers who know far more about old roofs than I do! Comments and thoughts would be much welcomed.

Next time, the roof structure under the slated part of the cottage.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Park - A Rare Gem at Merrion - Part 7

A Rare Survival of a Seventeenth Century Cottage in the Parish of St. Twynnells, Pembrokeshire

The Roof

Many of the old buildings in Pembrokeshire are difficult to date. This largely because of the lack of features that can be dated  stylistically. In the case of wooden features this is largely because for many buildings, whilst the stonework survives, any timber work has long been replaced or just rotted away when exposed to the wild, windy and wet elements.

In rural Pembrokeshire, thatched roofs of one sort or another were ubiquitous, particularly in rural areas. Many of the sketches and paintings by Charles Norris of buildings in and around Tenby, and elsewhere in South Pembrokeshire, show such roofs, many even then in decay. This early nineteenth century watercolour by Norris of St Florence, near Tenby, shows such houses.

The tin roof on the northern end of The Park is an indicator that at some point the house was thatched, and indeed the much decayed thatch beneath the tin is still there. There are other buildings, with tin roofs covering old thatch elsewhere in west Wales. The picture below is of a very small semi-detached cottage at Henllan Amgoed just over the border in Carmarthenshire. This building is on the market as I write this and needs listing and saving. It is another gem.
 Loving the tin shed too!

Thatched roofs could also be found up until not too long ago in the north of Pembrokeshire. The photographs below show two examples that I came across near Brawdy in North Pembrokeshire in the early 1980s. The photographs also serve to show the difference in building styles between this area and the good quality agricultural land around Castlemartin and Stackpole in the south of Pembrokeshire.

The cottage near Brawdy with the tin roof covering very decayed thatch. c1982

The crude roof timbers supporting the thatch. The hessian sacking hanging down once hid the thatch from view.

A view along the length of the cottage from the chimney end showing a timber an plaster partition and many collapsed floor boards from the crog loft(?).

Another view as above, but this time showing the darker remains of straw rope under-hatch nearer the camera

The house as it is today.

 Now to get back to The Park at St Twynnells. The northern end of the house, as mentioned above, still has the thatch in situ beneath the tin roof. As you go through the front door and look up, the thatch immediately catches your eye!

Looking towards the north gable of The Park. The large hearth area, as shown in Part 6, is just out of sight below this shot.

A closer look at the thatch under the west facing tin roof. The roof timbers seem slight, but the main rafters are chamfered, as are the collars pegged to the rafters. In places straw(?) rope securing the thatch can be seen looped around the very slight purlins.

The surviving timber framed lathe and plaster partition in the roof of The Park that separates the former loft space from the living area of the cottage. The slight remains of the floor of the loft can be seen on the right. The loft would have been reached by a ladder.

The main living room come kitchen of The Park. This is still under the thatched part of the house, but the thatch has been concealed behind plank boarding affixed to the roof trusses. The hooks hanging down by the range were used for curing bacon. The lateral outshut is on the right hand side, just behind the wooden pallet. Here the boarding has dropped from its original position.

The lateral outshut at at The Park showing the collapsing roof lining in this part of the house.
A reconstruction of the roofing arrangement of The Parke, in this view looking north from the southern end of the kitchen/living room.
The new owners of The Park are keen to restore the roof with thatch. The thatch may well give up secrets about the age of the roof and the type of straw used in its construction. They may even grow the specialist straw on one of the fields behind the house!

The winter storms have almost seen the roof finally succumb to the elements, but the determined efforts of the owners have seen that it will stay on for a little longer whilst it continues to give up the secrets of it construction.

In Part 8 of this series of posts, we will look at the roof over the southern "parlour". This is a slate roof, with a different construction style to that in the northern part of the house.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Short Changes at Gandish, East Bergholt Suffolk

Gandish Through Time

This is a brief post to experiment with the use of video in presenting a view of landscape changes over time.

The location shown is Gandish Road in East Bergholt, Suffolk. The short video is pretty much self explanatory!

Gandish Through Time Video

Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Park - A Rare Gem at Merrion - Part 6

The next few photographs show interior views of the fireplace and, oven and stack in the north gable of The Park.

The opening to the oven/fireplace is a about 4-5ft tall., with a wooden beam above. There is another wooden beam running across the floor of the opening. In this photograph a small stone platform is visible to the right of this opening. At the rear of the small "room" can be seen the doorway to the bread oven and to the right (not clearly visible here) is a fire grate with a "fitted" stone above.
The change in the colour of the lime wash on the gable wall betrays the level of an inserted ceiling and probable crog loft, now lost.

The oven visible today seems to have been a later insertion into the rear of the massive chimney

The oven has a circular domed top and is constructed from what appear to be cream coloured firebricks. The floor of the oven, where the burning wood would have been spread to heat the oven, seems to be of thick flagstone construction. There is no door surviving for the oven. To the right of the oven is a smoke blackened alcove with a small grate, again made of cream firebrick,  which may have been used for cooking or heating water. Now it seems to have a fitted stone shelf inserted above it of uncertain purpose.

The chimney stack is of massive limestone construction, blackened by smoke and soot. The western and back wall of the stack are vertical. The east and front walls taper until all meet to form a rectangular, near/y square flue. within the "fireplace" itself, on the western wall their is some irregular stonework, now covered in lime wash that might suggest the removal of an oven. the wall here seems, at first inspection, to be very thick. Perhaps with enough depth to accommodate an earlier oven? Similarly, the grate in the eastern wall seems to be a later insertion.

The build of the entire fireplace and stack has the appearance of being of better quality than much of the rest of the house.

In the next post I will look at the fireplace in relation to the northern part of the building.

See also:

The exterior of The Park