Pear Tree Miniatures

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St.Fagan's Museum of Welsh Life.

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Click on any of the pictures for a larger image.

Nant Wallter Cottage

Nant Wallter Cottage was built in 1770 in Carmarthenshire. In the backward rural wilds, the cottage was as primitive as one built 200 years earlier

Hall.
Half the cottage has open rafters and a cottage-sized open hearth, providing the living, working and cooking space

 

Spoon Rack.
Furniture is primitive. Welsh houses often had racks, usually fretted and polished, to hold wooden spoons. This one is much simpler.

 

Chest.
Storage was the simplest possible although, in this case, well made

 

Spinning wheel.
Wales was famous for its hard-wearing woollen tweed and flannel and spinning on a basic great wheel was a cottage industry

Wattle
A loft at one end of the cottage allowed part to be partitioned off to provide more private sleeping space. A partition wall was provided by white-washed wattle.

 Bed.
Beds could provide posts and rails to support curtains without being at all grand or elaborate. This is as simple as they come

  

Loft
The loft with extra sleeping and storage space was reached by a simple ladder

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Llainfadyn Cottage

Llainfadyn Cottage was a one roomed cottage built of boulders in Snowdonia. It was inhabited with a family of 12 in the 20th Century

 

Box Bed.
Two such beds, placed back to back at one end provided tiny bedrooms.

 

Cradle.
The box beds support a half loft which provided extra sleeping space inc luding, here, a cradle.

 

Dresser.
A fine North Wales Dresser stands against the partition wall created by the box beds

Hearth.
At the other end of the cottage is the usual open hearth for cooking

 Shelves
Storage for china and cooking implements.

  

Furniture
Plain but well made and cared for, a table, ventilated food cupboard and long-case clock

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Abernodwydd Farmhouse

 

Abernodwydd was built in the late 17th century. Houses in the western highlands were built of readily available stone and slate. In the east, as with this from Montgomeryshire, timber framing and thatch was more usual

 

Hearth.
In this case the "inglenook" has plank panelled sides rather than stone

Table
Detailed fretwork and carving on the frame show that the table was important and prized, whereas the bench is plain and primitive

Coffer.
Some carving gives the coffer a little elegance but it is simply constructed of 6 boards.

 

Chests
Chests and coffers of all shapes and sized were the commonest form of storage. Later examples usually have fine but plain panelling. The rather clumsy design on the upper chest is typical of Welsh carving.

 

 Cupboard.
A more substantial storage unit, with simple frieze carving and plain panels.

 

Cwpwrdd Deuddarn.
The two-tier press cupboard common in Wales, with two chairs. The one on the left is a plain frame chair common in the 16th and 17th centuries. The one on the right is late 17th century.

 

Dairy
As a farmhouse, Abernodwydd had its own dairy, with cheese press, butter churn and cool slate table

Tester bed.
Attempts have been made to give this bed some grandeur, although the carving is primitive.

Tester Bed.
A less convincing attempt has been made with this one. The posts have ideas of imitating turning, but they appear to have been hacked into shape with an axe

 


The carving on the headboard is as primitive, with randomly placed cartwheels and a cheery image of Death

Ysgol Meister (School house)


The School house, from Lampeter in Mid-Wales, was built in the 19th century when schooling became compulsory and remained in use into the 20th century. One classroom was sufficient for all the pupils

 

Desk and high chair.
Probably used by the older pupils who helped to teach the younger ones

 

Forms and tables
For the young ones.

 

Display cupboard.
For books and nature study

Stove.
A seat near it would have been the favourite place in winter

 Teaching Aids
pre PCs and Windows, a chalk board and abacus

  

Desk.
The teacher's desk was slightly grander than the pupils'.

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Grateful thanks to Carolyn Cassady for the photographs
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