Windows can tell the story of a building – the eyes into the soul of a place.
Here are a few favourites from the Under the Thatch collection.
Farmhouses often reflect the peaks and troughs of agricultural incomes, and Trehilyn in Pembrokeshire is no different. The main house here is much earlier than it first appears (likely early eighteenth century – note the imbalanced arrangement of windows) but by the early C19 it was enjoying a fancy stair tower to rear with immense Georgian sash, and then towards the end of the Victorian period it had these ‘modern’ sashes added to the front. Book here
When we rescued remote Cwm Hill the roof had collapsed, half the window sashes had rotted into the mud, but two individual sashes were salvageable and we matched the moulding to keep it looking as it had since 1850. These look Georgian but are likely in fact early Victorian. There’s a very sweet, tiny casement on the croglofft too. Book here
This house on the square of beautiful Trefaldwyn / Montgomery has likely always had a mixture of commercial and domestic uses. It’s essentially C18 though that top row of windows are later (C19) and ground floor tells the tale from when it was the post office. Carefully etched with a contemporary art design, they now provide privacy for guests as well as views onto one of the best-preserved small town squares in Wales. Book here
Despite its looks, much of what you see here is a remarkable new build – the house had been very badly damaged when converted into a low tractor shed/garage and the façade is essentially a C21 re-creation using all the evidence we had for the original miller’s house. Here we had the opportunity to balance the proportions of the windows for each floor and with a small central (later looking) window above the slate porch. No fancy sash horns – this is rural West Wales. Book here
Could almost be a lesson in the history of fenestration. Even though it’s trying hard to look like a Georgian/ C19 house it’s obvious to anyone who knows old buildings that this is a much earlier house, timber-frame and early brick that has been made fashionable in the C18 and C19s. We love the natural, provincial contrast between the formal Georgian reception windows and their irregular placement on the façade that ties in with the oak frame behind. Book here
The windows in Tawelfa are perhaps a century later than the house they ‘modernise’ with their classic Victorian feel – as the house itself, like much of Dolgellau in Eryri/Snowdonia is late C18. We particularly love the teeny ‘squint’ window to light the fireplace in the narrow parlour (a feature seen in many Snowdonia farms and cottages) and the fine detail of the dormer sashes that allow maximum views and light in – including mountain views in this urban setting. Book here
Gwêl y Cei
Gwêl y Cei stands out amongst its neighbours on famous Quay Street in Fishguard old harbour, as it isn’t a typical West Wales cottage with sash windows in rubble walls – this is an architect-design estate build from around 1900, possibly by the Glyn-y-Mel estate, and the casement windows reflect the fashionable ‘pattern book’ designs of that period. You’ll see similar windows in the best middle-class suburbs of most British towns. Plenty of glass gives great views out to the clinking sailboats on the water in front. Book here
Frank the Shipping Container
Frank is a shipping container that we designed and converted, and so we had a free hand in his design. We wanted to make the project as sustainable as possible, and we bought all the new windows from a Northern Ireland supplier who had stock from the days of the Celtic Tiger collapse when developers were going bust. We bought some huge plate glass windows that had been designed for a McMansion, and gave them what we feel was a new lease of life overlooking the Atlantic. Book here
This late C18 farmhouse in the Teifi valley was part of the Highmead estate, and was meticulously restored by owners Roger Clive-Powell and Jen Jones. It has a lovely combination of windows – sash to the lower left, casement to the right (estates would be pragmatic in replacing windows only when required) and three lovely pivot windows to the upper floor – yes they pivot open on side rods as one single casement (a little like a garage door) – a wonderful details of which few examples remain in West Wales. Book here
Standing beside the clock tower in the heart of adorable Hay-on-Wye, Y Gelli has been everything since it was rebuilt in the C17 – a shop, a house, a flat, a pub… and the façade has a charming mix of casements and sashes. The top bedroom has a casement modified to maximise the view out to the hills, and the very ordinary Victorian sashes hide a house that is hundreds of years earlier behind that plaster. Book here