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White Horses

White Horses 4
Sleeps 5
Room Layout

Walk in shower room                     Lounge with log burner / kitchen dining room

2 Double Rooms, both with bath   Terrace overlooking the estuary

Day bed downstairs



CESYG GWYNION - WHITE HORSES 28 04 14 014Situated on the Quayside about 200 yards from Hotel Portmeirion, White Horses has no road access, and parking is by the main Hotel. The cottage is situated right on the quayside, and has a small terrace with views over the Estuary.

Pdf floorplan

 Interior and Exterior image gallery


Aber IaWhite Horses (part C18, extended 1966; listed Grade II 1971) was originally a fisherman's cottage. The old part is a single storey stone building with central chimney stack of traditional Welsh pattern. Clough's addition links the Observatory Tower to the old cottage. It is constructed on arches over the path which overlooks an inset anchorage for boats. The cottage was inhabited for a time by Thomas Edwards, an infamous South Walian better known locally as yr Hwntw Mawr who worked as a labourer for William Maddocks on the Porthmadog embankment. In 1813 he was publicly hanged at Dolgellau for the murder during a robbery of Mary Jones, the maid at Penrhyn Isaf farm close to Portmeirion.

Cesyg Gwynion White Horses 2014White Horses' is so called because with a spring tide and a south-westerly gale, crested breakers batter its walls and occasionally used regularly to break and enter.

At one time Clough used it as a workshop where weaving and dyeing went on. In 1966 Clough converted White Horses into habitable accommodation by adding two bedrooms raised on arches above the beach footpath.

One of the first residents was Patrick McGoohan who stayed at White Horses during the filming
of The Prisoner in 1966 and 1967.

The cottage was visited by Patrick McGoohan's daughter Catherine in April 2014.

There is a slate plaque in memory of Patrick McGoohan on the cottage wall.


White Horses is an old fisherman's cottage built directly onto the quayside a few meters above the sandy shore.

At high tides the sea regularly used to flood the terrace and all ground floor areas.

007When the spring tides come in off the Irish Sea the waves can reach window height and this has caused the property to be inundated several times over the past few years.

On 3rd January 2014 the water was 500mm deep throughout the ground floor.

Due to the regularity of this inundation no flood damage insurance is available on this cottage.

008The building was extensively damaged by the January flood and required re-wiring, re-plumbing, a new damp course including tanking the outside walls up to 1.2 meters, a new heating system, new kitchen, new shower room, new wood burning stove, new doors and windows and new furniture throughout. This was completed by 28th March 2014.

In the meantime, flood defences were installed to ensure that the increasingly regular winter flooding would not happen again.

A 1.1m wall was built around the property, replacing a metal fence.

This was designed in the same style as existing walls close to the cottage and on the advice of CESYG GWYNION - WHITE HORSES 28 04 14 036consultant architectural historians with specialist knowledge of the appropriate construction methods so as to ensure the work would be in keeping with the existing structures.

Stone steps were built to cross the tidal wall. The coastal path continues 50 meters beyond these steps and then narrows and rises steeply into the woods.  Wheelchair access was never possible up this steeply inclined narrow and rocky path and we regret therefore that there is no wheelchair access beyond White Horses.

Cesyg Gwynion / White HorsesWithout the tidal defences and steps the refurbishment of White Horses would not have been practical as it would have been flooded again at the next spring tide.

The essential flood defences installed have enabled this historic and charming cottage to be enjoyed all year round for the first time and have also protected the Lookout Tower or Camera Obscura Tower and the quayside promenade from the hotel.

White Horses had a very low internal entrance doorway; this has now been raised to normal door height. 

CESYG GWYNION - WHITE HORSES 28 04 14 034A clearview wood burning stove has been installed in the sitting room area.

The interior design was created by Sian Llywelyn. The look and feel of a traditional seaside cottage has been retained using natural stone, local oak and rustic tiles. The fabrics were supplied by Ian Mankin and sofas and lounge chairs by PRHome

The oak kitchen table, bench, spindle back chairs, sideboard, terrace furniture, pendant lighting and occasional lighting were supplied by Garden Trading.

cesyg gwynion A bespoke kitchen was built for the cottage by Muddy Furniture. Appliances were supplied by Smeg.  Floor tiles were sourced from Johnson tiles.

A reclaimed and restored white fairground horse was bought from Dealers in Shropshire to ensure there will still be at least one white horse in the cottage now that the pounding surf is no longer welcome.

Baths and bathroom fittings were supplied by and Plumcentre. The two upstairs double bedrooms have a traditional slipper baths in the room with views over the estuary. Both rooms have en suite toilet facilities. There is a flat screen television in both bedrooms. Bedroom furniture was supplied by Julian Bowen. The cottage has wi-fi broadband throughout.

There is a sofa bed downstairs in a side room through the archway from the sitting area.

The main building contractor was  T.I.R. Construction; plumbing was carried out by Elgan Williams of  D.B.&E Williams; electrical wiring by Falconer Electrics, all three based in Penrhyndeudraeth.

All wrought ironwork was made by Dylan Edwards, also of Penrhyndeudraeth.  

For more views of the cottage interior visit our gallery pages here.

Further along the coast one comes to a folly lighthouse which marks Portmeirion's southernmost point. Made of sheet metal and crowned with an upturned pig boiler and ornate finial it was in situ by 1963.



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