White Horses

For day 16 of #blogjune, a stay at White Horses…

When I was organising our stay at Portmeirion we knew we wanted to stay at White Horses cottage and I stalked the booking web site for days until I got us in. While Portmeirion is set away from the humdrum world overlooking its lovely estuary, White Horses cottage is even more removed, sitting on its own at the very edge of the village overlooking the water.

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The name, of course, comes from the waves which sometimes do more than gently lap at the cottage and in years past have flooded it. The cottage is now protected by a flood proof wall and beautifully renovated.

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The original little fisherman’s cottage has quite a history…

White Horses (part C18, extended 1966; listed Grade II 1971) was originally a fisherman’s cottage. The old part is a single storey stone building with central chimney stack of traditional Welsh pattern. Clough’s addition links the Observatory Tower to the old cottage. It is constructed on arches over the path which overlooks an inset anchorage for boats. The cottage was inhabited for a time by Thomas Edwards, an infamous South Walian better known locally as yr Hwntw Mawr who worked as a labourer for William Maddocks on the Porthmadog embankment. In 1813 he was publicly hanged at Dolgellau for the murder during a robbery of Mary Jones, the maid at Penrhyn Isaf farm close to Portmeirion.

I had read stories that the cottage might be haunted but we never felt anything – it was perfectly peaceful.

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The original cottage was first expanded with the building of the Observatory Tower, and in 1966 with the addition of a second floor and two bedrooms built on arches over the path that leads to the “Lighthouse” at the farthest edge of the village.

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Patrick McGoohan stayed at White Horses when he was filming The Prisoner and there’s a plaque commemorating him on the cottage wall.

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We also had our own personal statue of Lord Nelson …

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