Snowdonia holiday cottage

Bwthyn Mawr is a fascinating historic cottage in Snowdonia

Our Quality Cottages are all privately owned. When we meet with the owners we often hear some great stories such as how the houses were found or inherited, why they were bought, how they were renovated, etc. Here is our latest story, shared by owner Mr J Waite, about Bwthyn Mair, a fascinating 17th century Snowdonia holiday cottage near Portmeirion in Snowdonia.

Snowdonia holiday cottage

Welcome to Bwthyn Mair

The property was dated by the Gwynedd County Architect. It was built about 1630 based on the features such as the windows, stone spiral staircase, bressamer beam over the inglenook and the chamfer stops on the big beams. All of these features changed frequently according to fashion in those days and our mix enabled him to date the building fairly accurately. It was originally an inn built in the standard layout in Snowdonia at that time and was probably used by cattle drovers on their way to London from Lleyn Peninsula and Anglesey.

Snowdonia holiday cottage

Characterful country kitchen with exposed beams

We have had the house since 1991 and have done a lot of work and we have attempted to retain and restore the original character. Works have included new drains, shower room, bathroom, central heating and plumbing, electrical wiring, water treatment plant and oak front door and banisters.

Snowdonia holiday cottage

Bwthyn Mair has a log burning stove standing in the original inglenook fireplace

The ground floor was replaced with the riven slate floor and all walls were plastered with lime plaster. We used old pine where we had to replace floorboards upstairs.

Snowdonia holiday cottage

BwthynMair has a solid stone staircase.

The huge inglenook and the solid stone spiral staircase are special and our favourites because they are so unusual and reflect the quality of the original building.

Snowdonia holiday cottage

The original wood panelling was discovered under 10 layers of wall paper.

We discovered our house as we restored it. Many features had been covered over in an attempt to make it look more modern! The original panelling was covered by more than 10 layers of wall paper. The stone staircase was completely concealed under a wooden staircase. Otherwise the whole house was lined with pine boarding from about 1900. This hid many features such as window ledges and fireplaces. Even the inglenook was bricked up with a modern fireplace in the wall. Gradually as work progressed everything fell into place and we used suitable hinges and door furniture and a skylight that copied earlier designs. No screws were used if we could use period nails instead. Wires and pipes were concealed as much as possible taxing our ingenuity.

spacer-25x25The Grade 2 listing was awarded after we had finished.

spacer-25x25The two local pubs are quite different. In Maentwrog village “The Grapes” is an old coaching inn, mentioned in Wild Wales by George Borrow. Now converted into a gastro pub it has a contemporary menu with Welsh beers. Nearer, just down the hill, “The Oakley Arms“ is more family friendly with a child’s play area and typical pub grub with no frills.

spacer-25x25There is a local pottery in Tan y Bwlch where we have bought items for the cottage and our permanent home.

12774Bwthyn Mair is a Snowdonia holiday cottage straight out of a fairytale. It sleeps 4 guests in 2 bedrooms and has wifi. For more information about  the cottage and how to book a holiday click on Bwthyn Mair.

spacer-25x25‘The Story of our Houses’ is a regular feature researched by Hayley Gerry. Look out for the next one, coming soon…