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Pant y Ffynnon
Llanfynydd, Carmarthenshire£1,200,000 Freehold

Pant y Ffynnon

Designer: Hilton Marlton
Riotously colourful and textured mature gardens are a haven for wildlife

Set in the gently rolling hills with bucolic views in all directions, this 18th-century farmhouse has undergone an astounding restoration by the current owner, designer Hilton Marlton. Built c.1796, the house is wonderfully intact and stretches to close to 2500 sq ft. Stunning period barns provide scope for a variety of uses, with planning permission in place for further extension to the main house. Surrounded by 12 acres of ancient woodland and meadows, rare native species abound. Little touched by modern farming practices, the only intervention on the surrounding land has been the beneficial grazing of the rare breed White Park cattle. Further land is available by separate negotiation.

Setting the Scene

This pocket of the West Wales countryside is exceptionally unspoilt. Crisscrossed with ancient footpaths, Bronze Age barrows and Iron Age earthworks, the hills and valleys are steeped in an ancient sense of the landscape. Unaffected by mining in the 18th and 19th centuries unlike surrounding areas, it has remained largely agrarian since its earliest settlement. Likely built on part of the footprint of an early Welsh longhouse, the house was remodelled and extended in the 18th century, resulting in much of the genteel façade we see today. Subtle expert modern interventions have enhanced the house’s charm, with the potential for further development in place. For more information, please see the History section below. 

The Grand Tour

The approach to the house is via a country lane lined with oaks, along an ancient farm track that rises gently into the surrounding hills. Framed by age-old woodland, the striking yellow ochre limewash façade comes into view. The house and barns are nestled on the lower rises of the Mynydd Figyn, one of the many hills that make up the lower Cambrian range which forms the backbone of much of West Wales.

Entry is through a period wrought iron gate, where a sheltered courtyard with a porch veranda along three sides is cobbled with stones from the river. Designed and implemented by the current owner, the reorienting of the 18th-century house provides a wonderful indoor/outdoor space.

A half-glazed timber door leads inside to the spacious country kitchen. Warmed by a cream Aga, the kitchen has been carefully conceived to mesh seamlessly with the period pedigree of the original structure. Flagstones stretch out underfoot and the lime-plastered walls have been washed in neutral tones. A period stone sink with reclaimed brass taps sits atop a modern dishwasher, bringing together new and old. Windows along three sides flood the room with natural light.

A dining room lies beyond, within the footprint of the earliest part of the house. A fireplace with vestiges of the 19th-century cast-iron range still centres the room. Well-worn original flags line the floor and a deep-set casement window with early hand blown glass frames incredible views of the surrounding hills. There is a door to the central courtyard for breezy access in warmer months.

Through a door to the right of the hearth is a passage leading on to the dairy and stairs to the first floor. Cleverly conceived, the walk-in larder dairy has been constructed as a large food store with slate shelves and flagstone floor. Shelf brackets have been carefully re-created following the original design of the old kitchen mantlepiece. Virtually indiscernible from the fabric of the original house, the current owner’s intuitive understanding of period houses has revitalised this space.

On the south side of the house is a pretty sitting room with a large, open hearth, most likely in what was the original 18th-century kitchen. The room is airy and light with views of the stunningly planted front garden from one side and distant hills in the other. Wide oak floorboards run underfoot and lime plaster, as with much of the ground floor, is washed in neutral, creamy tones.

A more formal hall lies beyond, with striking black and red quarry tiles in a chequerboard pattern. Plank panelling with an under-stair door painted in traditional grey-green tones provides storage for plenty of coats. There is also room here for a bench, to kick off muddy footwear after a walk in the surrounding countryside.

The music room is across the hall. Here, panelling is painted in ‘Coachella’ by Craig and Rose and provides extra insulation, both acoustic and thermal. Dark slate flooring underneath contrasts with the walls, while a deep, original window overlooks the mature front garden. A handsome cast-iron hob grate completes the room’s gentle air of Georgian refinement.

Ascending the front staircase, two large bedrooms are reached, arranged at either side of a central landing. The green bedroom has generous proportions and is painted in a vibrant leafy-toned traditional chalk soft distemper, made to match historic paint samples found under layers of ancient wallpaper in this room. The original period cast-iron hob grate sits within a vernacular fire surround. An en suite with an early cast-iron reclaimed bath has a perfectly placed window for woodland views during a relaxing soak, and a lead toilet cistern was sourced from Laycock Abbey.

The duck-egg bedroom lies across the hall. Painted in a traditional chalk soft distemper in an elegant shade of blue, the bedroom looks to the front garden and has interconnecting doors to a pink bedroom beyond.

Accessed via the back stairs, a first-floor corridor is lined with a built-in linen press and has ample storage and a laundry-drying cupboard. From here is a pretty bedroom washed in madder pink lime paint with spectacular views.

The primary bedroom is at the rear of the plan. Panelled and painted in restful tones of deep blue, this bedroom is part of the newer addition to the house expertly integrated by the current owner. A thoughtfully designed cabinet along one wall contains a perfectly compact en suite shower room.

A further bathroom is down the hall that also houses a reclaimed cast-iron bath and a second lead cistern from Laycock Abbey. Views from the window above the bath look across barn roofs to the woodland beyond; when left open, the stream in the valley below can be heard.

The Great Outdoors

Mature gardens fan out around the house. A formal plan is laid out towards the front in a quadripartite arrangement with rustic brick paths. Borders chock-full of herbaceous perennials thrive among their hardy neighbours, creating a riot of colour and texture – a haven for bees and other pollinating insects.

Wide stone and brick paving immediately along the front south-facing façade is the perfect space to enjoy a sunny day. The current owner has created a central courtyard with verandas to the rear of the plan that allows for outdoor living even on the rainiest of days. A large stone sink with hot and cold taps here has a variety of uses, from potting plants and arranging flowers to cleaning off muddy dogs.

Outside the courtyard, a large farmyard provides ample parking and access for the house and barn. The recent addition of a wood-fired bread oven here has set the scene for many a pizza evening. Up a short flight of stairs, set into the long range of woodshed and outbuildings, is a kitchen garden planted with soft fruit, asparagus and rhubarb. Rising further up the slope, there is a thriving orchard made up of apples, pears, medlars and walnuts, both old varietals and newer additions. The fields and woodland surrounding the house support a complex natural ecosystem and are home to rare and listed plants and insects.

There is also a range of interconnected 18th and 19th-century stone barns (with their origins described in greater detail in the History section) with electricity and water supplies and dedicated soil systems for potential conversion to residential accommodation.

The land around the house stretches to around 12 acres. There is a further 15 acres available by separate negotiation.

Out and About

The landscape is a blend of valleys rising to windswept Rhos uplands. Around 3,000 years ago, a significant clearing of woodland made way for the variety of rough grasslands, pastures, ancient hedgerows, and planted forests which have created a flourishing ecosystem and breathtaking scenery to boot.

Past the scattering of idyllic farms and hamlets, it is a 17-minute drive to Llandeilo, a town famed for its brightly coloured houses and outstanding collection of boutiques, bookshops, and cafes. It is the birthplace of the prominent brand, Toast, and their flagship shop lives on in town. Davies & Co. is an award-winning interior design shop and café, packed with a wonderful range of traditional Welsh blankets and other home furnishings. Pitchford & Provision began as a craft bakery and has expanded as a deli with delicious gourmet produce.

The 12th-century Dinefwr Castle is located on the edge of the town; from its hilltop are panoramic views of the valley below. Further afield, the beautiful coastlines of Cardigan Bay and Pembrokeshire are approximately an hour’s drive, offering a host of wild and unpopulated beaches with excellent surfing and sea kayaking. In the opposite direction lies the Brecon Beacons AONB.

The bustling cities of Cardiff and Newport are just under 2 hours away by car, with a rich array of cultural offerings. Llandeilo Station is an 18-minute drive away and offers train connections with London or Manchester in around four and a half hours and Bristol in three and a half.

Council Tax Band: E

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


Pant y Ffynnon is one of many farms making up this vast countryside. The oldest section of the house is 17th century in origin with thoughtful additions being completed in the 21st century.

The surrounding area is home to a bounty of archaeological remains evidencing a lot of prehistoric activity; proof of Bronze Age settlements can be found in the round barrows and Carreg Castell y Gwynt (Windy Rock), an ancient monument believed to be a stone-chambered tomb. The barrows indicate a location for agriculture, sheltered in the lower valleys. Inhabitants likely used the greater hills like Windy Rock to bury their dead. Another nearby hill is known as Banc y Rhyfel (War Bank), chosen by settlers from the Iron Age as their stronghold.

Llanfynydd has deep Christian roots and is often associated with the Dark Ages or ‘Age of the Saints’ which preceded Roman rule. A historical stone cross carved with intricate Celtic knots
(10th c.) named ‘The Cross of Eiudon’ used to stand at the southernmost point of the parish. The parish church, Llanfynydd Church, was dedicated to St Egwad, a Celtic saint of the Dark Ages, and dates back to the 13th century. Closer to the building of Pant y Ffynnon Farm and positioned to the south-east of Llanfynydd is Isaac Chapel, constructed in 1790 making it one of the first Anabaptist churches in Wales.

Within the house’s garden is a range of large 18th and 19th-century stone barns, lime-washed in the same striking ochre yellow as the house.  The large hay barn, with integral horse stables and hayloft to its right, is thought to date to the later part of the 18th century when Carmarthenshire benefitted from the agricultural advancements of the agrarian revolution. The long and low barn attached to its south was, until the 1980s the dairy where cattle were not only milked but also housed over the long winter months. More recently it has been used for calving heifers and as farm workshops. A Dutch barn of wavy corrugated iron set beyond the house and barns to the south, is an important element of the farm’s history. Dutch barns were constructed by the Ministry of Agriculture during the food shortages of World War II, when domestic production needed boosting. Today, there is plenty of scope for reimagining the barns.

Pant y Ffynnon — Llanfynydd, Carmarthenshire
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