Carmarthenshire hills

East Carswell medieval farm

A late medieval farmhouse

Medieval farmhouse at East Carswell

The old farmhouse at Carswell is small but sturdily built, typical of the homes of late medieval yeoman farmers. After the famines and plagues of the fourteenth century, there was no shortage of land, and life for the survivors in the fifteenth century was more comfortable.

The ground floor of the house is vaulted, with a huge chimney and open hearth (later walled up to make it smaller, and with a bread oven added). This is the working room, the farm kitchen. You can imagine it decorated with smoked hams and huge cheeses. Upstairs is the living room, with its decorative fireplace and small windows. Oddly, the only access from kitchen to living room is outside and up an external stair.

This may have been the whole house, or it may have had other rooms built on. There are timbers projecting from the end of the house opposite the chimney which may have carried the roof of an extension. There is also another vaulted building at the other side of the farmyard which may have been an outhouse or even another farmhouse.

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