Paxton's Tower Lodge

Llanarthney, Carmarthenshire

Overview

This is an early 19th-century Welsh cottage, not far from the Gower peninsula, built for the caretaker of Paxton's Tower, which stands on the hill behind. 

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • MicrowaveMicrowave

Beds 1 Double, 1 Triple room

Sleeps
5
4 nights from
£223 equivalent to £11.15 per person, per night

Surveying an immense expanse of country

We acquired this building as part of a joint scheme with the National Trust to preserve Paxton’s Tower and its surroundings. It is an early 19th-century cottage of well above average quality, built for the Tower’s caretaker, looking over an immense expanse of country. It is difficult to imagine a finer view than from its south-facing slope. If, however, you walk a hundred yards or so up the small green hill behind, to the foot of the Tower, there, in the opposite direction, is the finer view. Surely one of the best in Britain, a prospect extensive and rich, it embraces the whole vale of the Tywi, whose green windings your eye can follow for 30 miles or more.

Paxton’s Tower, which attracts its share of summertime visitors, was built in about 1811, as a memorial to Nelson but also as an eye-catcher for Middleton Hall. The hall is long since demolished, but its footprint is now preserved at the heart of the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. Our cottage has an interesting arrangement inside, partly due to remodelling by us, and a handsome, very low-beamed attic.

An ideal base to explore South Wales

There is much to do within a day trip from the cottage. Walking in the Black Mountains or on the Gower, surfing at Rhossili, the Gothic fantasy of Burges’s Castell Coch – all are within easy reach. But you may find it just as pleasant to stay put, and reacquaint yourselves with the pleasure of reading, jigsaws and conversation beside an open fire within solid old walls, whatever the weather outside.

Floor Plans

‘Our camera memory cards are as full as our hearts of breathtaking views.’

‘On Wednesday morning nine deer were in the wood next to the cottage.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

Paxton's Tower Lodge stands in a picturesque location close to Paxton’s Tower on the hill behind. Climb to the top of the hill to look out over the stunning views of the Vale of  Tywi. Aberglasney Garden in the Tywi valley is claimed to be one of the finest in Wales.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales, which covers a large expanse of the Carmarthenshire countryside, is within easy reach of the cottage by car for a visit. 

Hawk Adventures, also close to Llanarthney, is the place to visit for those seeking a richly varied choice of outdoor challenges and activities. Llanarthney is near to the Brecon Beacons National Park, which is dominated by the Black Mountains, a great place to explore.

Visit the home of the great Welsh poet, the Dylan Thomas Boathouse at Laugharne on the estuary of the River Taf, just over half an hour from Llanarthney. Follow in the steps of the poet on the Dylan Thomas Walk around this charming town with its ancient castle ruins. 

For more information on things to do during your stay at Paxton's Tower Lodge, please see our Pinterest page. 

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Paxton's Tower Lodge
Llanarthney, Carmarthenshire
Clear directions

‘Our camera memory cards are as full as our hearts of breathtaking views.’

‘On Wednesday morning nine deer were in the wood next to the cottage.’

From the logbook

FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    From the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Ffairfach – 6 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There is one parking space beside the property. 
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There is oil fired central heating and an open fire.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Logs may be purchased and delivered under a private arrangement. Further details will be provided with your booking confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is an electric cooker and a dishwasher.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom with a bath.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    The stairs are not particularly steep.
  • Does this Landmark have low headroom?

    Yes, there are low beams in the triple bedded room.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There is an enclosed garden. There is a public foothpath which runs up to Paxton’s Tower – this passes to one side of the lodge.

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact webmaster@landmarktrust.org.uk.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

A good example of the type of cottages being built in West Wales

In the middle of the 18th century the rural population began to increase quite rapidly. At the same time a new approach to the housing of this population began to take tangible shape. The result was the kind of cottage of which Paxton's Tower Lodge is a very good example, whose brothers and sisters were built in great numbers in the later 18th century, and throughout the 19th century, in the counties of West Wales.

The change was not absolute, of course, and in the poorer and more remote areas of Carmarthenshire, for example, the older vernacular tradition continued well into the 19th century. Smallholders building a house and byre for themselves would still use the thatch, wattle chimneys and rounded quoins which had been characteristic of the area for centuries. But closer to the industrial centres and on the estates of improving landlords, especially those who had undergone an education in Classical architecture, a more progressive attitude towards cottage building prevailed.

In this change we can see the result of two rather different forces. The first of these was the natural and eventual effect of improvements in the planning of houses for the gentry two centuries earlier, when symmetrical designs with end chimneys and central doorways, and evenly-spaced windows, became popular, and these had gradually worked their way down through society. The second force was that of the Industrial Revolution, seen in new materials such as finely-worked slates, and the use of iron bolts rather than oak pegs in the construction of roofs. Sawn slates and iron bolts are both found at Tower Hill Lodge, which was built in the first half of the 19th century, and is not unlike the lower half of an urban house, transported and given some saving rural touches.

The comparative modernity and generous proportions of these buildings also reflects a conscious desire for more permanent structures, for greater security and comfort. This is born out by the fact that there survive almost none of the traditional peasant dwellings, whereas the countryside is heavily populated with the square, solid, stuccoed farmhouses and cottages of the 19th century, still agreeable to live in a century or more later. The continued use of stucco, with the glazing bars found in the windows of Tower Hill Lodge, is particularly characteristic of West Wales where late 18th-century fashions lasted well into the following century, until they almost constituted a revival.

It seems reasonably certain that the main purpose for building the Lodge was to house a caretaker for Paxton's Tower. This could have been done by Sir William Paxton who built the tower; or by his successor at Middleton Hall, Edwin Adams, whom we know to have employed 70 to 80 carpenters in 1841, and to have built a large number of new houses on the estate. It probably went with a small tenant farm or smallholding, but continued to house the custodian as well, as is shown by the following letter from Dorothy Stroud to Country Life attention to Paxton's Tower in 1954 on the bicentenary of the birth of its architect, S. P. Cockerell. She describes the approach to it thus:

'After climbing a steep lane the visitor stops just short of a farmhouse by a notice which reads "To Trespass 3d". Having settled this little matter at the farm, or by perching coins on the gate-post, a further climb of a hundred yards or so brings him to the tower and the magnificent vews by which it truly earns its original title (The Prospect House).'

Restoration

Helping to preserve Paxton's Tower and its surroundings

The Landmark Trust bought Paxton's Tower Lodge in 1966 as part of a scheme with the National Trust to preserve Paxton's Tower and its surroundings. It was then in a very dilapidated state, with a corrugated-iron lean-to against one end and a tatty porch. These were taken down, so that only the original structure was left.

This was probably much as it had always been, with two rooms on the ground floor (kitchen/living room and parlour, but in reverse order to the present arrangement), divided by a central passage with board partitions. Above was the single loft bedroom, reached by a ladderlike stair and lit by one small window which, as can be seen on the plan, we enlarged. The wing running out behind was added by Landmark to increase accommodation and fit in the necessary services.

The walls of the cottage are built of rubble masonry with a lot of clay, which is easily washed away in bad weather. To prevent this happening, and in accordance with local tradition, the exterior has to be lime-washed. In spite of this the west gable still let in the wet, and a solution was only found in another local practice, that of slate-hanging which, although it had not actually been done on the Lodge before, we felt to be in sympathy with it.

The fireplace also presented problems. This originally had a wide opening under an oak lintel with an oven tucked in one side, as one would expect to find in an old cottage or farmhouse. Later a range had been inserted, and the intention was to remove this and have once again a large open fire. Unfortunately this turned out to smoke so badly that it could not be left; instead the small fireplace there now was fitted, and this has proved more successful. The slate flagstones making up the hearth are also new, but like much else in the house, are similar to what might originally have been there.

The new floorboards in the sitting room are of Cilgerran oak, replacing the tiles that were there before.

The most endearing characteristic of Paxton's Tower Lodge is its straightforwardness, its Industrial Revolution lack of fuss; and it is this quality that we have tried to honour in the methods and materials used for its repair.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.