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 views by which it truly earns its original title (The Prospect House).'