Brynglas is a 19th century detached stone cottage in an elevated position, with spectacular views all around.
It is located in a tranquil valley overlooking the river Towy, on the edge of the wild Cambrian Mountains, area of astounding natural beauty, and near the stunning Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons).
Brynglas cottage is perfectly situated to explore the fabulous counties of Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion,
with charming market towns, idyllic coast lines, romantic wilderness and historic monuments.
This delightful cottage sleeps four people, in two bedrooms, and has recently been renovated to a high standard
and is full of period charm.
The interior marries period Welsh antiques with timeless contemporary furniture.
The Welsh paintings and art on the walls have been carefully selected to complete this wonderful holiday home.
The Guardian listed Brynglas cottage on their '20 Best cosy UK cottages for a winter break'.
Bella Magazine mentions Brynglas cottage as a rural retreat in Wales in their article Remote Escapes.
The gorgeous Alex Jones from the BBC The One Show together with her family certainly enjoyed her stay at Brynglas cottage last year!
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Sink into the plush sofas in front of the stylish Jøtul wood burner,
watch a film on the smart TV
and enjoy a glass of wine.
Prepare a meal in the well-equipped kitchen, with induction hob, microwave, electric oven, fridge/freezer,
dishwasher and washing machine.
Sleep in comfortable beds,
one king and two singles, dressed with the softest organic fairtrade bed linen.
Enjoy unlimited broadband and the blue tooth radio/speaker. Play some board games, read a book or make a jigsaw puzzle.
Relax outside in the garden, overlooking the beautiful valley and enjoy the coal BBQ. Perfect for Red Kite spotting
and star gazing in this Dark Sky Area.
Store your bikes safely in the lockable garage. Park one car on the driveway, the other one on the quiet country road.
SEE + DO
Rhandirmwyn is a small village with two good country pubs, the The Royal Oak Inn and the Towy Bridge Inn,
both within walking distance of the cottage. It is also home to Wales Tree of the Year 2018! Nearby is the cave where Twm Siôn Cati, the Welsh Robin Hood, once hid. Many walking trails and biking tracks start nearby, plenty suitable for families. There are two Mountain Biking events held locally each year, Grit Fest and Cross Mountain. There are plenty of fishing opportunities with the river Towy nearby, permits can be purchased at the local pubs. Every September is the yearly Llandovery Sheep Festival and in 2023 the Urdd Eisteddfod, one of Europe’s largest youth touring festivals, will be held in Llandovery.
On the website http://www.rhandirmwyn.net you can read all about the history of this lovely village, which had a long connection with nearby Nantymwyn lead mine, one of the largest and most productive mines in southern Wales, in the late 1700's.
In the cottage we have the excellent Rhandir-mwyn book 'Photographic memories of a bygone age', for your reference.
deli's, bars and restaurants.
and family seaside towns.
Mountains + Lakes
the Usk reservoir.
Walk + Cycle
Flora + Fauna
dig for gold in Dolaucothi.
'so great to stay in an old cottage with all the modern luxuries'
'each evening we walked to the Towy Bridge Inn for fantastic food'
'the cottage was a delight to find, everything was spotless and tidy'
Brynglas cottage came into our life at the most unexpected time. In October 2017 a letter was delivered which said that Eilir had inherited a little cottage in Rhandirmwyn. Brynglas had belonged to Eilir's great aunt. Aunty Lil, as we called her, passed away in 2006 but through circumstances, the cottage only came to us 11 years later. When Eilir made his first visit a year later, he found a dark damp old cottage in a wet foggy valley. At that moment, he thought that it would probably be best to sell it. However when we returned together a couple of weeks later under a blue sunny sky, we could see how special this cottage and its location actually were.
So we set about arranging the finances to renovate Brynglas cottage.
The cottage desperately needed updating. We replaced the old rotten windows and doors, we painted all the dark interior wood work a light colour, we put in a new kitchen and bathroom, we replaced all the flooring, added new roof lights upstairs, replaced the heating and hot water system, and added a great new wood burner. We loved the interior design challenge as in our work as architects (VESP Architects), we normally design modern houses/spaces and specify mid-century furniture, rather than antiques.
As you can see from the photos, Brynglas has been transformed.
During the renovation, we found an old suitcase in the loft over the kitchen. In this suitcase were 15 years worth of diaries, old photos, postcards and newspaper cuttings. These had all belonged to Rhys, aunty Lil's brother. From these documents, together with old photos from aunty Lil, we pieced together the story of Eilir's distant family who had lived in Brynglas cottage, since the early 20th century. Aunty Lil died in 2006 and is buried at the small baptist church Seion, which is down the road from Brynglas cottage.
In the early 20th century Brynglas cottage was bought by Mary Jane (born 1883) and her husband Thomas Roderick Thomas (born 1881), who worked as a railwayman. Mary Jane was the sister of Eilir's great-grandmother. The couple had three children, Lili born in 1906, Meurig born in 1909 and
Rodrick (called Rhys) born in 1914.
Thomas Roderick was quite well known, it turns out. He was a musician and a bard of no mean repute, one of the old newspaper articles tells us. He was a member of the bardic circle. Thomas composed many hymns and won at least 14 bardic chairs. He gave each of his children one bardic chair, and the remainder to different chapels including Seion, in Rhandirmwyn.
Lili married Jack in 1933, Meurig married Gwladys in 1941 and Rhys married Catherine (called Penny because of her colour hair), around 1943. Of the three couples, only Rhys and Penny went on to have a child, a son called Rhydian, who was born in 1945.
Thomas dies in 1961, followed by his wife Mary Jane in 1974. Jack died in 1994, and Lili in 2006.
Both are buried at the Seion church, in the same grave as Thomas and Mary Jane.
Rhydian and his parents went to live in Bradford on Avon, where he met Julia at the grammar school they both attended. From the age of 15 they became inseparable. After university, they both worked in London. In 1974 they got married in Bath. Tragically two years later, in February 1976, Rhydian died. He got instantly killed on his way to work when his car hit black ice, skidded and hit another vehicle. Julia was left completely heartbroken, and so were his parents. Julia remained close to Rhydian's parents, Catherine and Rhys. Catherine passed away in 1998. Julia cared for Rhys until his death in 2004. After Rhys' death Julia became a 'life tenant' of Brynglas cottage. She treasured the cottage and would go there for her holidays together with her beloved sheep dog Bess.
In many ways Brynglas cottage was her connection to Rhydian, the love of her life. Julia passed away in August 2017 after a short illness. Her dog Bess now lives at Bryntowy, the neighbours of Brynglas.
Trawling through the suitcase full of memories, we learned about the love story of Rhydian and Julia, which ended so early. We set about finding out more about Julia when we realised that she had been the last person to have lived in Brynglas cottage. We managed to track down one of Julia's sisters Amanda, who was kind enough to tell us more about Julia, Rhydian and his family . She was happy for us to use some her family photos.
To view old photos of the Thomas family, click on the arrow below.