The peninsula of Gower was the first area
in Britain to be designated as an ‘Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty’, an accolade jealously guarded since
its award in 1957. The peninsula is located immediately to
the West of Swansea and is approximately 14 miles in length
and 7 miles in width. The coastline of the peninsula contains
over 70 registered beaches, bays and coves ranging from the
five mile sweep of Rhossilli
Bay to the secluded cove of Mewslade
in the South, or the tidal
flats of Penclawdd rich in cockles and fish in the North.
Within the heart of the peninsula are 4
golf courses and over 100 miles of footpaths traversing the
open moors, grazed common land, cliff tops, salt marshes and
dune banks. There are over 35 family farms yielding some of
the finest fresh produce in the country and supplying local
supermarkets, restaurants and fresh markets.
The city centre of Swansea is within 20
minutes and provides an interesting range of museums and art
galleries, which reflect Swansea’s prominence as the
worldwide centre for copper production and fine porcelain
in the 19th century. There is also an attractive marina, the
Waterfront Museum, Wales National Pool, ten pin bowling and
many other attractions. For an evening out visit the vibrant
restaurant and bar quarter in Wind Street.
Burry Court with the ‘Longhouse’
and 'Cottage' holiday cottages is located on the green of
the quiet hamlet of Burry Green nestling between the open
common lands of Cefn Bryn and Hardings Down. To the West (two
miles) is the village of Llangennith
and the expanse of Rhossilli Bay and Broughton
Bay, both renowned as among the best surfing and body
boarding beaches in Britain. To the North (one mile) is the
little visited coast line of North Gower with its salt marshes
and low lying countryside. To the South (4 to 5 miles are
the coves and beaches of South Gower, a coastline that equals
Cornwall in landscape but without the summer crowds.
For those ‘quiet days’ you
are welcome to relax in your cottage and to enjoy the three
acres of mature gardens that surround it. Or to explore the
numerous footpaths that pass through the village of Burry
Green and that will take you on the the thousands of acres
of moor land which make up the adjacent Cefn Bryn, Ryer's
Down and Hardings Down common lands.
For 'eating out' there are several excellent
local hostelries within a few minutes drive including The
King Arthur Hotel in Reynoldston (restaurant and bar meals),
The Greyhound in Old Walls, The Kings Head in Llangennith
and The Britannia in Llanmadoc. All offer quality meals featuring
local produce. If a pub is not your choice try Eddy's Restaurant
in Hill End Caravan Site, Llangennith or the restaurant at
the Holiday Park between Llanrhidian and Penclawdd. Also for
a Sunday carvery meal try The North Gower Hotel in Llanrhidian.
For that special night out or lunch try The Welcome To Town,
a small Michelin award winning restaurant in Llanrhidian and
for that very special event, the highly acclaimed Fairy Hill
Hotel is our close neighbour in Burry Green, rub shoulders
here with stars of stage and screen while you enjoy the best
in food and wine that can be found anywhere in Britain.
The 'Longhouse’ takes its name from
the form of the 15th century farm buildings which were located
in Gower and of which there are only a few surviving examples,
one of which is now a prime feature in the Museum of Welsh
Life in Cardiff. On the ground floor of 'The Longhouse' there
was a barn for cattle and other animals, together with living
accommodation at the West end for the farmer and an additional
'room' which is thought to have been a dairy. The 'living'
space was a single room with a 'cockloft' or sleeping platform
above (now the double bedroom in the holiday cottage. On the
ground level, between the living room and the (possible) dairy
is a massive 6 foot deep inglenook fireplace and bread oven.
Above the cattle area would have been a hayloft, now the living
and kitchen area of the holiday cottage.
The 'Cottage' is believed to have been
built shortly after the 'Longhouse' to accommodate working
farm horses, it originally opened onto the road, where there
is now a window in the lounge area. The stepped wall still
evident on teh outer corner of 'The Cottage' would have been
used as a mounting point to horses.
The main house is thought to have been
added in the 18th century as the principal farm house, when
'The Longhouse' would have reverted solely to use as a barn.
The original walls of the early farm house are incorporated
in the present house. It must have been a substantial building
as in 1851 it was recorded as accommodating a family of father,
mother and five 'children' ranging from 34 to 11 years old.
Census records also indicate that Burry Court and the two
holiday cottages were originally Burry Green Farm which comprised
over 200 acres of prime farmland on the lower slopes of Ryer's
Down, a substantial farm for the 19th century.
At that time the village of Burry Green
consisted of two substantial farms, Burry Green Farm and Tile
House Farm (on the opposite side of the green) and four, probably
'tied,' cottages. The green and its two ponds are recorded
as providing a valuable watering point for haulage horses
as they passed between the working port of Penclawdd and the
villages to the South and West of Gower.
For information on where to eat in Gower and Swansea visit www.food-passion.co.uk