The current property is set in about 2 acres. Back in Landshipping...Having negotiated a fantastic fee as a workboat skipper, finally, it seemed, regular year-round money was going to reduce the strain and allow us to make some tangible progress towards a solid roof to live under, but that simply didn't happen. I enjoyed getting out on the water whenever I could, having been bitten by the boating bug when I lived abroad. Low moments include removing a dead rat from the excited clutches of my two year old; finding my toddler son dangling by one boot - 20 feet up a ladder; and dealing with the squalid conditions that crept up around us as the years rolled by and I was still a land-lubber! Alun and I first met when I was researching fishing methods in Pembrokeshire in 1996 for a BBC radio series I was producing in Cardiff about Welsh food traditions 'County Fayre'. The house remained occupied until the late 1800s when it fell into disrepair and by 1890 it was a ruin. He and his son Hugh were both Members of Parliament and needed a great deal of money to retain their seats.

[7], The altered house became the residence of Sir John’s son Hugh Owen (1803-1891)[8] Hugh Owen was born in 1803. If the fire went out overnight, the water in the taps would freeze and we experienced the pipes bursting once the temperatures rose. We created an image of ourselves living off the land and the river, with wildfowl, fish and freshly-shot squirrel for the pot and blackberries we spent night after night picking for home-made pies and jams. I took on freelance work - through my old contacts from the BBC - and also took a part-time post as project manager for PembrokeshireTourism. In 2002 Big House appeared in This Land, a network BBC TV series directed by Richard Traylor-Smith, as Alun Lewis and then partner Sarah Hoss and their children moved to the site to begin the project; then again in 2005 the family were featured with their project in the BBC TV series Magic Harbours presented by Jamie Owen. The children and I had lived in the shadow of the house through many difficulties, loyally waiting and believing, but now, with no other option, and with our unofficial access at the back blocked with barbed wire, I arranged to retrieve what we could and agreed to have our caravan home dismantled. Major hurdles need to be tackled, such as handling sewage waste in such a sensitive location on a SSSI. During the 19th century he was one of Pembrokeshire's biggest landowners with estates at Poyston and Withybush. On a daily basis I watched Alun leave and return on board the 'Cleddau King' (as well as the regular boat club members) from my vantage point, holding onto the ambition that one day we would step off it and onto our own sailing boat to head off. Sometime after this sale the Landshipping Estate was bought by the Stanley family.

[3] The house is drawn as a dwelling house near the river (red arrow) while the Owens’ much larger residence called “Great House” is to the right of it. This building would have been a simple rectangular design with an entrance facing South-West, before several alterations occurred. [1], In 2002 Big House appeared in This Land, a network BBC TV series directed by Richard Traylor-Smith, as Alun Lewis and then partner Sarah Hoss and their children moved to the site to begin the project;[25] then again in 2005 the family were featured with their project in the BBC TV series Magic Harbours presented by Jamie Owen. He had two male and three female servants. The house was then bought by Alun Lewis and then partner Sarah Hoss.

The website for Big House indicates that progress has been largely stalled since 2012, due to financial constraints, and the proposed bed and breakfast is still not open. 3. The main industry on the waterway is energy - oil and gas - the refineries are significant local employers and punctuate the distant horizon as one approaches the village. His design was inspired by Slebech Hall and Picton Castle. [22] In 1888 a new seam of coal was discovered at Landshipping[23] but little was done to reactivate the mines. South Wales Daily News, 19 March 1883, p. 2. Potters Electric News, 13 May 1868, p. 4. The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser, 22 June 1866, p. 3. I just concentrated on keeping the kids safe and hoped things would improve. Ray and Watkin were unconvinced. Im a travel junky who loves to gain And that, as they say, was that. But with no accommodation available for people to stay in, and the project no more than a building site by a tidal estuary, reality was endless trips up and down to town for access to supermarkets, fast-food outlets and schools to provide the real things children needed - like clothes, breakfast cereals, nappies and an education away from the remote caravan where we were sleeping each night. Photos on a Facebook page for the area show the current state of the building. His first wife died. One woman, Catherine Davies, was employed to act as custodian of the property. The boat business would work as an extra service once an income from accommodation was created, but the boat business itself was more of a hobby activity - great fun but not financially viable. I came to Pembrokeshire in search of a compass-net fisherman - and found Alun. YouTube (7 January 2006). The couple had two sons, Edmond born in 1818 and James Talbot born in 1819. A third storey was added to the western wing, and the entrance was moved to the North facade between two bow-fronted full height extensions. Progress was still painfully slow. 731 likes. The house was constructed using stone and roof materials from an older, ruined inland mansion. It'll be a huge task to ever reach a standard required for commercial or domestic use. The final alterations occurred in 1830 by architect William Owen.

The imposing gated entrance was added in the 1970s, salvaged from a demolition job Ray had in Birmingham. A thin caravan roof and walls lends little protection from stair-rod rain, snow, hail and storms. Photos on the website from across the river, and on a Facebook page for the area, show the current state of the building. In 2012, the house was again featured in an episode of "Restoration Home: One Year On", Episode Three when the second bay was partially restored. These alterations were very similar to the larger Picton Castle on the opposite side of the river. London Evening Standard - Tuesday 27 June 1865, p. 7. The current owner, Mr Alun Lewis and his partner at the time, purchased the house in 2000. However these terminated in 1865 when he encountered serious personal financial difficulties. When we found that parts of our home structure had been removed while we were away in work and school, staying overnight became impossible and the fear of what would happen next became too great to bear.

Sara Hoss kept a blog of her findings and memories of the Big Hoss. In 1845, Hugh remarried Henrietta Fraser Rodney, daughter of Captain Edward Rodney. He was a self-taught architect and finally invested in a railway business. I first saw the ruin in 1999 when we were out fishing. I did some number-crunching and discovered this fairly early on. One night, a group of teenagers congregated and lit a fire by setting light to some old dinghies in the boat pound. Though I'd love to see the placed finished I'm relieved to no longer be carrying the burden of it. In 2011 The project featured on episode six of the BBC television series Restoration Home, presented by Caroline Quentin. He lived in the house until 1856. People would congregate at a public vantage point on the other side looking straight across the water at us. They partied by the gates all night, while the children and I stayed in the caravans, listening and hoping we wouldn't be discovered. In 1922 the Landshipping Estate, including Big House, was sold at auction. He had inherited the property from his cousin Sir Hugh Owen[4] who had died young and unmarried. This part of Pembrokeshire boasts many beautiful old castles, mansion houses and 'Big' houses (Ty Mawr). The current property is set in about 2 acres.[2]. This building would have been a simple rectangular design with an entrance facing South-West, before several alterations occurred. Alun's parents said we were 'completely mad'. By this time Big House was a complete ruin and had not been inhabited for decades. As a result of a chance meeting while doing some reporting for the BBC in Pembrokeshire, I ended up considering Landshipping's Big House ruin my home for the best part of a decade. For a few years in the early 1860s John Talbot Stanley, one of the beneficiaries of the Trust, lived in Big House (then called Landshipping House) and started some mining activities. The Big House, also known as Landshipping House, is a house in Landshipping, Pembrokeshire on the banks of the River Cleddau which was originally built in 1750 and owned by the Owens of Orielton who were the Landshipping Coal Agents.The house was constructed using stone and roof materials from an older, ruined inland mansion. The Aberystwith Observer, 13 July 1867, p. 4. The advertisement for Big House describes it as "Beautifully situated on the banks of the River Cleddy and opposite Picton Castle containing - sundry Bed Rooms, Hall, Parlour, Dining Room, Drawing Room, Nursery, Library, Servants Offices, Range of Stabling, Coach House, Saddle Room & Granary Over Yard, External Walled Garden, Orchards, Wood etc.". It was the former owners, Watkin Jones - along with Ray Leavesley, (now in his 80s) who saved this one from falling down any further by undertaking massive remedial and reconstruction works on the quay wall and the house - stabilising the main walls . At time of writing, there are still no toileting, bathroom or kitchen facilities in the house itself. I gave up my career to work full-time on the project. It was that, or uproot the children and go back to the city and my previous life and put this Pembrokeshire adventure down to experience. In November 2001, we moved in with our collection of children, dogs, chickens, ducks, geese, ferrets and a pony and established a 'temporary' home for  made from two large old caravans I'd purchased that we linked with an interconnecting room and veranda, (that can be seen next to the Big House, to the rear) and began what was planned to be a 10 year restoration project to develop the entire site. In 1868 Isaac John who was a farmer was reported in a newspaper to be living in the house[20] and in 1878 John Thomas was the resident in the property. They were a lot less scary when half-drowned in the light of day. Before moving in, we had spoken to the then Wales Tourist Board and were hopeful about securing some grant assistance to develop the holiday lets (though our application was ultimately unsuccessful and the scheme has since closed). He later married Henrietta and had two more children, Augustus and George, and his household had increased to include a live-in Nurse and five house servants.

The Big House, also known as Landshipping House, is a historic house on the banks of the River Cleddau in Landshipping, Pembrokeshire, Wales.



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