Cefn y Dre Country House
Considering that our home was occupied even before Henry VIII came to the throne, and almost 100 years before the Spanish Armada, it is no surprise to find Cefn-y-Dre listed as one of the Historic Homes of Pembrokeshire. In 1512, William Dyer, described as a gentleman of Fishguard, was recorded as living here as well as owning the neighbouring farms, making Cefn-y-Dre one of the most important properties in north Pembrokeshire at the time.
In 1910 Anita Williams from Cefn-y-dre married William George, younger brother of David Lloyd George, then Chancellor of the Exchequer and soon to become Prime Minister. He attended the wedding and we have photographs of the reception taken here in the garden together with newspaper cuttings of what was reported as being the most exciting event the area had seen since the Last Invasion of Britain in 1797!
Today, whatever your interest, be it outdoor activities or exploring the cultural and architectural heritage of the region, Cefn-y-Dre offers a base where you will experience tranquillity while feeling the history of 500 years all around.
Both the dining room and the guest sitting room face south overlooking the garden; the latter is a place to relax and enjoy open fires during the winter months and sun-kissed views across the lawns in the summer. If music is your forte, feel free to raise the lid of the piano and draw inspiration from what is around you.
From the main entrance hall a wide staircase with shallow treads leads to three distinctive bedrooms, all with private facilities, hospitality trays, televisions and hair dryers,
Pembrokeshire is alive with professional artists and crafts people and their skills play an important part in the interior design at Cefn-y-Dre. While many of the pictures and decorative items have been in our families for years, we are also building a collection of Pembrokeshire pictures, Welsh lovespoons, landscapes and other work to share the pleasure of place with our guests - along with plenty of information on where to seek out the best bargains to take back home.
A new gallery in Fishguard Town Hall celebrates and explains the Last Invasion of Britain in 1797. As well as historical displays, an internationally acclaimed embroidered 30-metre long tapestry tells the story of the 1797 invasion of mainland Britain. One of only ten proof sections (produced for a royal visit to Pembrokeshire before the main work of art was completed) hangs in the house and tells of drunken French soldiers firing into a longcase clock at Brestgarn Farm (both farm and clock still exist on Strumble Head). Also in royal vein, you will find one of the chairs designed by Lord Snowdon and used at the 1969 Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in Caernarfon Castle.
In front of the house are one and a half acres of south-facing garden, surrounded by mature ash, holm oak, copper beech, sycamore and yew trees, and looking across to the distant Preseli mountains. Originally laid out around 1900, we are adding new trees, shrubs, perennials and an array of springtime bulbs. The kitchen garden (completely overgrown when we arrived) now provides an almost constant supply of fresh produce for the dining room and serves as a propagating area for the new plantings we are undertaking.
Wildlife abounds. Badgers invade us most nights and the variety of birds nesting in the grounds is amazing. The red kite has recently extended its territory to this area and it is no longer unusual to see these majestic birds soaring above our garden.
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This page was last updated: 27 September 2010