Spite Cottage is a very comfortably appointed, detached holiday home, and its name originates from fascinating history. On the pilgrim routes it was tradition that land was sometimes set aside for the pilgrims, and the local story goes that a new chapel was built on the other side of the road using local stone, on a field that was named ‘spite’, which is a derivative of ’hospitium’ or ’ysbytty’, meaning hospital in Welsh. There are still many buildings, ruins and sites that have the name ’ysbytty’ or the derivatives of spite or spittal. In the region of Llanbadarn Fawr, once a major medieval monastery (just outside Aberystwyth), is an area known as Spytty Hal, on land granted to the Knights Hospitaller, and suggesting some sort of hospice was here. Welsh hospices provided hospitality to travellers and pilgrims, giving much needed shelter or catering for the elderly, sick or poor.
The owners of Spite Cottage continue to research to find out more information about the cottage’s specific use in those days of old, but there are indications it may have been a toll house as it is on the old Roman road. The height of the doorways, approximately 5ft 6in at the front and 5ft at the back, suggest a time when the average height of people was much less than now. The threshold of such cottages were often used for threshing corn by hand. By opening both doors, there would be a through draft which would make separating the wheat, barley or oats from the chaff much easier. Originally, the cottage would probably have had a thatched roof and consisted of one room where everyone cooked and slept, possibly including some animals which would be kept at the back. The attached outbuilding is now a bedroom. There was originally a platform over the back half of the room where people could have slept, and heat from the animals would have helped to keep them warm. Today, the quaint cottage has been thoughtfully renovated without losing any of its charm. Central heating and a delightful wood burner makes the open plan living space warm and cosy, when a night in with a glass of wine is a must.
The cottage is within easy travelling distance of the abbey of Strata Florida, a Cistercian monastery and abbey considered as the Westminster Abbey of Wales before the dissolution of the monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII. The university and Victorian seaside town of Aberystwyth is only a 20-minute drive, and here you will find the Electric Cliff Railway, with its fabulous views over the bay looking towards the pier and long promenade. Take the steam train from Aberystwyth to Devils Bridge Falls, steeped in legend, or visit Bwlch Nant yr Arian on the edge of the Cambrian Mountains, where hundreds of majestic red kites feed daily. The whole region is criss-crossed with beautiful walks and is perfect for cycling as well as various outdoor activities, such as fishing and wildlife spotting. A short drive will open up the wilderness of Wales and the Cambrian Mountains Park, meaning you’re perfectly situated to explore this wonderfully diverse landscape. You are also close to the Wales Coastal Path, stretching in both directions from Aberystwyth, and the coastal towns of New Quay and Aberaeron are well worth a visit, as are the many stunning beaches and coves that make up Cardigan Bay. Shop 3 miles, pub 2 miles, restaurant 6 miles.
Ground Floor: All on the ground floor.
Open plan living space: With beams and wooden floors.
Living area: With wood burner, 32" Freeview TV and DVD player.
Kitchen area: With electric oven, electric hob, microwave/oven/grill combi, fridge/freezer, dishwasher and washing machine.
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Bedroom 1: With kingsize bed.
Bedroom 2: With bunk bed.
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Bathroom: With shower over bath, and toilet.
Oil central heating, electricity, bed linen, towels and Wi-Fi included. Initial logs for wood burner included. Travel cot.
Small lawned garden with patio and garden furniture. Private parking for 2 cars. No smoking.