About this property
Orchard House is a handsome country house thought to date c1800s built in the format of a London town house on three floors, approached by a sweeping tarmacadam driveway leading to parking for numerous vehicles. It has an electronic gated entrance with grand pillars and lanterns. The house is built of local stone with a mellow brick façade with bath stone quoins under a slate roof.
The property has a rich and interesting history. A Henry Parnell built Orchard House in the grounds of the Darkway Estate, that he bought in c.1860. Henry and his brother Robert had their own successful drapery business in Bishopsgate Street, London and also gave strong monetary support to the maintenance and running of Llansteffan Church. Henry Parnell only enjoyed eight years living at the house before he passed away. Orchard House was put up for sale as part of the Cottage Estate and in its write up for the auction in Carmarthen on Saturday 3rd of August 1901 it was described as:
The very desirable and substantially erected Freehold Residence called Orchard House.
Comprising spacious Reception rooms, and Bedrooms with Conservatory, good Coach-house and Stabling, and usual out offices, well stocked Gardens, Orchard, and Lawn in front, and highly productive Meadow and Pasture Land, the whole containing an area of 7a or thereabouts, situate about quarter of a mile from Llanstephan, about 1½ miles (by ferry) from Ferryside Station on the Great Western Railway, and about eight miles from Carmarthen, in the occupation of G.L. de Ferry, at the annual rent of £52 10s.
The house was also home to a young poet called Edmund Coedfryn Davies whose work includes Woodland Breezes and Passion Flowers. He sadly died very young at the age of 22 in 1927.
The talented husband and wife Stanley Lewis MBE and Min Lewis also lived here. Min Lewis was an author while Stanley was an artist. One of his oil paintings of the kitchen at Orchard house was exhibited in the Royal Academy of Arts in London. They were friends with the famous poet Dylan Thomas and Min Lewis also wrote a book about him and Laugharne titled Laugharne & Dylan Thomas’ (published 1967) with Stanley producing the illustrations. The animals that they kept at Orchard House (including milking cows), inspired the children’s stories that Min wrote in the Evening Post with Stanley supplying the sketches and illustrations.
Over the years the property has been sympathetically refurbished and upgraded but still retaining and preserving a fine period property in a Georgian style. Internally the majority of the original features have been retained. The property enjoys character features throughout e.g., tall ceilings, original sash windows (part secondary glazed), marble fireplaces to the principal reception rooms, panelled doors with panelled reveals, high skirting boards, restored working servants bells, locally handmade bespoke radiator covers, shower room cabinetry, wall panelling, polished wood floorboards, fireplaces and decorative plasterwork, together with some modern touches (e.g. part hard wired music system to house and terrace), to provide a homely ambience.
The house sits in manicured landscaped grounds and gardens with excellent traditional stone and modern outbuildings providing ample space to enjoy. In all, the property is set in about seven acres (stms subject to measured survey) with two useful pasture fields.
Accommodation Ground Floor
Fine stone steps lead up to the welcoming front entrance. Two large lanterns flank the outside doors with original servants’ bell pull. Front entrance double half glazed door opens into the panelled porch. This then leads to the original large oak front door with fan light above that opens into a light reception hall with the elegant, panelled staircase and doors that open into the principal reception rooms.
On the left is the morning room enjoying views across the front gardens, a stunning bespoke bookcase with exterior lighting, bespoke radiator cabinetry, restored servants’ bell pull, brass electric floor sockets, original Carrera marble chimney piece, cast iron fireplace and slate hearth, original cornicing and wall light points. On the right is the drawing room with bespoke radiator cabinetry, restored servants bell pull, brass electric floor sockets, original Carrera marble fireplace, cast iron surround with electric fire, wall light points and original oak leaf filigree cornicing.
Moving further along the hall to the rear of the house, on the left is the kitchen breakfast room with Scottwood of Nottingham hand-made and hand-painted kitchen with freestanding dresser, handmade tiles, granite worktops, integral fridge and dishwasher, centrally plumbed for central island unit and a smart Aga taking centre stage. It enjoys views across the rear gardens. At the end of the hall a bespoke radiator cover and window seat overlook the rear garden.
Across the rear hallway is a cloakroom with WC with vanity unit, radiator and window to rear and then a door leading into the grand dining room with a cast iron fireplace, slate surround and Jotul wood burner, original cornice, bespoke radiator cover, wall light points and locally handcrafted half panelled walls. This room has views across the rear garden. Steps lead down off this room to a relaxing conservatory with a slate tiled floor, ceiling blinds and French doors that open out to the garden. A perfect room to bring the outside in’ to the house and for dining in during the warmer times of year.
Lower Ground Floor
The lower ground floor offers generous extra living accommodation. If required, this floor could easily be adapted into a one/two-bedroom self-contained annexe/apartment (stp subject to any necessary planning).
A separate front entrance porch leads into a panelled reception hall with stone floor and doors leading off to the main reception rooms. There are original wall mounted servants bells and a half-panelled staircase with integral lowlights. At the front of the floor is a light sitting room with ceiling cornice, a large Morso wood burning stove with slate surround on slate hearth and views over the front garden.
Across the hallway is a light study, again overlooking the front gardens with original slate fireplace and cast-iron grate. Off the hallway is a useful storage/pantry area while at the rear of the floor is another large room that is currently used a home gym with storeroom. Adjacent is a bathroom with WC, panelled bath, pedestal basin and airing cupboard with bespoke radiator cover. Finally, there is a separate utility room with central heating boiler and rear hall with secondary access to outside.
A grand panelled staircase with polished handrail with understairs storage, original egg and dart cornice, lead up from the ground floor reception hall to the first-floor galleried landing with original carved arches. The principal bedroom features a cast iron fireplace with original slate fire surround, servants bell pull, wall lighting points, wall lighting over bed, cornicing and enjoys excellent views across the front gardens. Across the landing is the second en suite bedroom with servants bells, cornicing, cast iron fireplace and a roll top bath with views across the front gardens. A door leads off to an en suite shower room with WC. The shower room has a locally made vanity unit, Carrera marble top, housing integral mirror and lighting and cornicing.
The shower room also has separate access to the landing. At the rear of the house are two further generous size bedrooms (one with fitted wardrobes) both with cornicing, slate fireplaces, bespoke vanity units and overlook the rear gardens and land. These bedrooms flank another shower room with WC with cornicing, handmade vanity unit with granite top and mirror with integral lighting, ceiling lowlighting, mirrored window panelling and door.
Further details below Local Information.
- Orchard House is located only about a quarter of a mile from the pretty coastal village of Llansteffan in west Wales. The village has a wealth of local amenities including a primary school, village store, delicatessen, post office, restaurants, cafes, beach shop and tearoom. There is a newly operated Glansteffan ferry crossing between Llansteffan and Ferryside reconnecting the villages for the first time in 60 years. There are also recreational facilities including two football pitches, a cricket club plus pavilion with fitness suite, all overlooked by the impressive Norman ruins of Llansteffan Castle.
- The Wales Coastal Path and a variety of walking routes are nearby. There are a plethora of delights both on and offshore including an abundance of wildlife habitats, diverse marine ecosystems, local cocklers out on the estuary, boats skimming the sparkling water and the twinkle of evening lights across the bay in Ferryside.
- Carmarthen is about eight miles away, the oldest town in Wales which is proud of its Roman origins. Carmarthen town offers the perfect blend of quaint, independent boutiques selling local produce and individually designed arts and crafts along with your usual high street department stores. With medieval, narrow, cobbled side streets and array of traditional pubs, cafes and restaurants serving a mixture of local produce to more exotic flavours with choices to suit every palate.
- The town also boasts a modern shopping centre with its many high street stores, independent shops, numerous restaurants and a multiplex cinema. Educational facilities are excellent with the Queen Elizabeth high school, the Welsh media school at Bro Myrddin and a primary school with an excellent reputation can be found in the nearby village of Peniel. Next to the high school is the town leisure centre with its swimming pool, gym and athletics track.
- There is a main line railway station that provides you with access to Swansea, Cardiff and London Paddington. By road, the nearby A48 M4 link road at Carmarthen also links you with south Wales (Swansea about 35 miles, Cardiff about 78 miles), the Severn Bridge and into England (about 98 miles).
- The wider Carmarthenshire countryside is blessed with some of the most varied landscapes, stunning scenery and spectacular beaches. The area is adorned with historic castles, splendid gardens and iconic monuments. The River Towy is the longest river that flows entirely through Wales. Nearby is the idyllic village of Laugharne, the former home of the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas where it has been suggested that he wrote many of his famous pieces including Under Milk Wood.
- This area of west Wales boasts a wealth of interests including, historical sites, world class gardens at Aberglasney and the National Botanical Garden of Wales. Superb beaches offered by the Towy and its tributaries. The area is steeped in history with Welsh and Norman Castles, grand country houses and historic towns and villages. The Gwili, which is located nearby, and the Towy River is renowned for its sea trout and salmon fishing. The beautiful Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion coastline with stunning beaches are all within easy driving distance.
- The property sits in magical landscaped grounds and gardens and include a smart electric gated entrance, sweeping entrance drive up to the house, perfect brick paved courtyard to the rear, large lawned tiered gardens, mature trees, orchard, bushes, shrubs, flower borders, croquet lawn, sun terrace, patio areas and an exciting summerhouse that is perfect to relax in while enjoying the garden. There are lanterns in front lawns/drive, side terrace, rear courtyard. Outdoor speakers to terrace.
- Swimming pool and pool house pavilion
- Adjacent to the gardens behind a sheltering wall is an impressive outdoor heated swimming pool together with a striking columned pool house pavilion providing a shaded relaxation area, changing room and plant room. There is lighting to the swimming pool and surrounding area. The pavilion has an atrium with ceiling lowlights, decorative lit lead fountain and a grand feature fireplace.
- The Outbuildings
- Set around an immaculate brick paved rear courtyard are a fine collection of outbuildings including an old stone agricultural barn that is currently used as a workshop and wood store, with loft over. Attached is an old stone carriage house that is now a garage. These buildings have conversion potential (stp subject to planning). There is also a purpose-built timber cladded triple garage and garden machinery workshop with useful first floor over for a home office/studio etc.
- The Land
- Two productive pasture fields extend beyond the gardens and these are perfect for those that wish to keep a pony, horse or some small livestock. Equally ideal for amenity use and a playground for younger members of the family and dogs etc. Together with the extensive grounds and gardens, the whole property extends to about seven acres (stms).
- Photographs taken summer and winter 2022. Details summer 2023.
- General Remarks and Stipulations
- Services , Council Tax Banding & EPC Rating
- Mains electricity, water and private drainage. Oil central heating with separate boiler and Aga range. The Aga also heats hot water and few radiators. Heating zones enable each floor to be separately heated off boiler. Council Tax band I. EPC Rating E.
- Machinery, Fittings & Contents
- Unless specifically described in these particulars, all machinery, fittings and contents are excluded from the sale though some may be available by separate negotiation. Further information is available from the vendor’s agents.
- Wayleaves, Easements and Rights of Way
- The property is sold subject to and with the benefit of all rights, including rights of way, whether public or private, light, support, drainage, water, and electricity supplies and any other rights and obligations, easements and proposed wayleaves for masts, pylons, stays, cables, drains and water, gas and other pipes, whether referred to in the Conditions of Sale or not. Please check with the Highways Department at the local County Council for the exact location of public footpaths/ bridleways.
- Plans, Areas and Schedules
- Any available plans, areas, and schedules are for identification and reference purposes only. The purchaser(s) shall be deemed to have satisfied himself as to the description of the property. Any error or mis-statement shall not annul a sale or entitle any party to compensation in respect thereof.
- Strictly by appointment with Savills.
- EPC Rating: E
- Tenure: Freehold
- Council Tax Band: I