Monday, May 30, 2011


The Retreats Group is working in three magnificent properties around Pembrokeshire: Roch Castle and, in St. Davids, Twr-y-Felin, and the Penrhiw Priory.

In the Retreat Group website you can read this description of the last one:

"Penrhiw Priory was originally built in 1884 by the Church in Wales as a Vicarage. It was built on the site of a large longhouse farm building. The design was carried out by John Middleton and Son of Cheltenham.

Penrhiw is a fine example of high Victorian architecture, built in Tudorbethan style with squared Caerbwdi rubble stone, limestone ashlar dressings, steep slate roofs with bargeboards, terracotta ridge tiles and tall stone stacks. The interior woodwork is pitch pine; deep skirting boards. Large panelled doors, panelled window reveals and a lovely staircase. There are also two fine fireplaces with decorative tiles by William De Morgan the celebrated Arts and Crafts ceramics maker.

During the 20th Century Pen Rhiw ceased to be a vicarage and saw other uses. The local Doctor lived there and then Colonel and Mrs Weir ran it as a guest house for many years. During their tenure Anthony Eden [later Prime minister of the U.K.] stayed at Penrhiw a number of times.

In the 1960's the property became a Priory for the Community of St. John the Evangelist and was extended to 20 bedrooms, three reception rooms and a chapel. In 1985 the nuns left the Priory and it was sold by the Church in Wales in 1988 to Steve and Lis Cousens who ran it until 2000 as a centre for groups, hosting up to 30 people at a time. Tim Sime ran it as a Retreat for 4 years and then it was sold it to Adam Hill and Rachael Knott in 2004. Penrhiw was acquired by The Retreats Group Trust in 2009. A restoration contract was awarded to Carreg Construction in July 2009 under the design and supervision of Architects Acanthus Holden.

Penrhiw will re-open as a Retreat in May 2011."

This picture was taken today, May 30th.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


From 24th May to 6th June in St. Davids Cathedral Cloisters Gallery you can admire great paintings of Sarah Young & Graham Hurdwood.

This view of St. Davids is a masterpiece by our friend Graham: a brilliant and moving painting about the city.

Go there, you will enjoy a great art show!


Yesterday our friend Sheila found near St Noons a beautiful Corgi.

As nobody was around she came home and Tam David had the idea to post in one of our street windows a note about the Corgi.

This morning, Jane saw the note and said: "I have a friend that lost a Corgi yesterday. This must be her dog"

Yes, she was.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Pembrokeshire's National Park has been selected by National Geographic as the second of the 10 best coastal destination of the world, but today St. Davids is looking greener than ever.

These are pictures taken a few minutes ago during a dramatic sunset.

As the magazine said:

Visitors flock in droves each year to the Pembrokeshire Peninsula to take in the beauty of the castle-clad cliffs that line its coast. Thankfully, a "very mature and established tourism industry" has preserved, rather than eroded, the qualities that make this region so unique.

Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:

"Magnificent protected coastline from both ecological and geological perspectives. Land-based and marine-based conservation tourism appeals to all ages. Current stewardship practices maintain quality and integrity."

"Wales has done a terrific job of sustainable development, including its coastline. The newly linked coastal walk will be one of the most scenic hiking paths in Europe. Citizens work hard at making sure that their coastal environment remains authentic and unspoiled. The seafood and food grown in the adjoining fields are culinary treats."

"A future issue will be one of getting ‘loved to death,’ such as segments of the coastal path. But still magical."

"Fabulous example of coastal protection with a very established tourism industry."