Twr Mihangel is a beautiful cottage in the Brecon Beaacons that's been spectacularly decorated within — and has a self-contained annexe that can only be described as a baby castle.
When my other half and I first started looking at buying our own place, viewings quickly turned into a sort of Good Cop, Bad Cop routine. My wife is blessed and talented in many ways, but having a poker face is not among them; the result was that if she came across, say, a set of bright orange curtains, she couldn’t help but pull a face akin to that of a six-year-old being offered a plate of vegetables.
This, in turn, made my toes curl, and I invariably tried to make up for her all-too-evident disgust by affecting a particular delight in, say, the picture in the downstairs loo, or a kitchen table. That, of course, made her toes curl; the end result was that it took us several years and literally dozens of viewings (we probably made it to triple figures) before agreeing on somewhere. Even that compromise was only forced by the impending arrival of a baby.
How long would it have taken us, without the little one’s arrival, to find somewhere we agreed on? I’ve always supposed that it might be a decade or so; and now I have proof, since 10 years on here is a house which I think would have delighted us both: Twr Mihangel, a five-bedroom house in a medieval village near Abergavenny. It’s up at £875,000 with Taylor & Co via OnTheMarket.
Part cottage, part miniature castle, this beautiful little place is full of character and history, and so delightfully presented and furnished that it’s hard not to fall for it straight away. The ceiling beams, fireplaces, leaded windows and original floors — some wooden, some stone — all have huge amounts of character, and yet there are modern touches like lovely bathrooms, fibre broadband and decent mobile phone reception. There’s even a very good primary school in the village.
It’s a big house, at around 3,000sq ft, with the central hallway and staircases effectively splitting the property in half. A kitchen/breakfast room (with range cooker, of course), scullery and dining room are in one half of the ground floor, while a large living room and second kitchen are in the other. The latter leads through to the medieval tower, an octagonal space used as a sitting room.
Upstairs, there are four bedrooms (one en-suite, and one family bathroom) above the bulk of the house. The octagonal room, however, is a little bit special: it’s a brilliantly whimsical bedroom with a four-poster bed and its own bathroom; its accessed only from the kitchen stairs below, giving privacy — and meaning that it can be used as a self-contained holiday let. In fact that’s exactly what the present owners have been doing: this miniature castle was even picked out in a Sunday Times listicle as one of the best three romantic getaways in the country.
The gardens are just as charming as the main house, with a wisteria-clad pergola, various lawns and seating areas, a vegetable garden and patio area.
There’s even a paddock, complete with stone stable block to keep Dobbin in, while for those who prefer different horsepower there are two garages and a driveway big enough to park 20 cars.
The village of Llanvihangel Crucorney itself is an interesting place too, sitting within the Brecon Beacons National Park and boasting an historic pub, the Skirrid Moutain Inn, which claims to be the most haunted in Wales. For more in the way of entertainment the lovely town of Abergavenny is just five miles down the A465, with its independent shops, good restaurants and railway station.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.