Looking back, it was a mauve sort of a day, the day we went to visit the old Welsh farmhouse of Plas yn Rhiw on the Llyn Peninsula. The sea in the bay below the house was peaceful, and the air still and dreamy. If you listened hard you might hear echoes of the past along this ancient pilgrims’ path to Bardsey Island, the place the Welsh call Island of Currents. It was late September, and Wales was very much in end-of-season mode with many places closed; or if they were open, then looking as if they wished they were closed. It’s often like that in Wales. Even the stalwart National Trust, that now has care of Plas yn Rhiw, was slow to open up. We had to go away and come back. In fact that was a bit of good luck. Further down the peninsula in Aberdaron we were taken by surprise at Y Gegin Fawr, The Big Kitchen cafe, where the owner was enthusiastically hospitable.
It turned out that she was keen to uphold a 700 year-old tradition of feeding pilgrims. We had some very excellent hot chocolate there, not something the saints would have recognised. Or if they had, and if they had seen Graham’s mug overtopping with whipped cream, they would surely have pronounced it a sin of the flesh, and to be eschewed at all costs.
Back at Plas yn Rhiw we stepped into another time-warp.
Here, the seventeenth century farmhouse had been lovingly restored from ruin by the three Keating sisters, who at the urging of friend and architect, Clough Williams-Ellis (he of Portmeirion fame) scraped up the funds to buy the place in 1938. They lived there until they died, filling the house with personal treasures. When you wander from room to room, there is a feeling of benign, if eccentric spirits. They don’t seem to mind us peering at their books and nick-nacks…
copyright 2015 Tish Farrell
For more of this story:
Gazing into Hell’s Mouth at Plas yn Rhiw
41 thoughts on “Kind of Mauve not Blue at Plas yn Rhiw”
Wonderful Wales…..thank you so much for this. I love the idea of a mauve sort of a day:)
Yes! I was just thinking I need to use/steal that 😛 “A mauve sort of day”
Be my guest, Izzy 🙂
Tish that is beautiful of course from the blog you should be able to tell I love my flowers and that looks like a Hydrangea, a beautiful one at that! You are so lucky to get to all of these places and take these photographs, you have taken me to so many different places through your photography that I will never get to see, Thank You!
Yes, that is a hydrangea. I love the way the flower heads change through the seasons. Even the dead ones are often very beautiful, I’m glad you can come along on my trips, albeit by virtual travel arrangements 🙂
That is the beautiful thing about photography we can go anyplace in the world with other peoples photography and I am so glad that you blog about it all.
Loved this trip to Wales with very beautiful photos (especially the hydrangea), Tish.
Ah- you make me want to go there. I especially like how you describe the feel of the late September air and yes, there’s something dreamy about that. I will go there in fact, write about it, and hear what you think. That will be good.
Absolutely it will be good 🙂
I want to live where you live. Sadly, that doesn’t seem likely to happen. I will have to continue to live vicariously.
I’m glad to share. Of course I’m only showing you the best bits 🙂
Wonderful article, again. What a lovely trip. I thought you would need to travel all the way to Holland to find names spelled so funny. i know I shouldn’t ask , but how do the Welsh spell mauve?
You’ve stumped me there, Bumba. The best thing about Welsh, though, is how it sounds. A well known Welsh poet describes some of the vowel sounds, the double ‘ll’ for instance which is a sort of ‘thcl’, (with some air between the tongue and the palette), as the sea on the rocks. Once you know that it all becomes much clearer. It’s a language born of landscape.
And a beautiful landscape it is. Sorry about my joke.
I like your jokes. 🙂
Beautiful 17th century farmhouse, lovely garden!
That was such a wonderful story and pictures of the sister’s rooms and the house. I did read it again and enjoyed as much. A mauve sort of day is a good one!
A mauve day…ooh
Enjoyed the trip.
It’s difficult to tell you how I envy you Poms, living there where you can experience history at every turn of your heads. I looked up Portmeiron and fell back, gasping … 🙂
A history tour with dear Tish,
Is always more than one could wish
for there are bound to be pictures too,
and every visit will seem brand new,
no matter how many times you read a post,
she always plays the gracious host.
Dear Ark, I’m lost for words…:)
I am just keeping myself in good stead for a cup of tea. 😉
Sounds good to me 🙂
Chocolate and cream a ‘sin of the flesh’ – I am damned (or at the least my arteries :-)). Entertaining post Tish.
Oh dear, Robin. Is some fasting called for? Probably not if you’re like G.
Like G, not a chance 🙂
I can feel the roots in these places, going so deep….
I was thinking that too when I wrote the post, all those layers of time, not so much stretching out behind us, but rising up beneath our feet.
A lovely mauve post, Tish, and such a beautiful old farmhouse. That hot chocolate sounds delicious, especially with the sinful whipped cream. 🙂
Was sorely tempted to post pic of other half grappling with his whipped cream, but thought it best left to the imagination 🙂
Really pretty. Makes me want to go there!
The Llyn Peninsula is a very special place and well worth a visit. Thanks for dropping in here 🙂
So so beautiful. You’ve made me want to visit this place immediately.
Well that’s a real compliment, Jennifer. It’s time we had a ‘beam me up Scottie/take me there’ facility on wordpress. Now that would be something 🙂
Oh gosh, I’ve been waiting on a teleportation machine to be invented all my life!
These are so nice! 🙂
What a lovely old place. I can feel that sense of peace, Tish. 🙂