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The Monthly Tutor's cottage is a Grade II listed cottage built at the beginning of the 19th century. It was professionally restored and completed in 1992. Its walls are of local quarried and sea washed boulder stone and are a metre thick. It has the traditional original appearance of a Pembrokeshire cottage. The original beams and wooden bedroom floors make up the ceilings with the height of the rooms about 2.5 metres. As a consequence, all lights are wall mounted.

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Downstairs:

Kitchen/diner
farmhouse table and six chairs, Welsh dresser, electric double oven, ceramic hob and fitted units with lights underneath, sufficient crockery and cutlery for 3 sittings for 6 people, coffee percolator, toaster, iron with board, electric kettle, wok, cafetierre etc. There is a payphone in the kitchen as well as fire blanket and extinguisher. The kitchen has a Welsh quarry tiled floor. Off the kitchen:
Utility room
fridge/freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, microwave and mains gas combination boiler with constant hot water. An inner hallway leads to –
Separate toilet
w.c with hand basin, Welsh quarry tiled floor and separate bathroom with Victorian bath, electric shower, wash hand basin and wall cabinet, Welsh quarry tiled floor.
Lounge
There is a cosy lounge with wood burning stove, comfortable seating for six, flat screen TV with DVD player, radio with CD player, bookcase, games and jigsaws, Standard and table lamps. The wood burning stove can be used as an open fire with a fire guard supplied. All logs are provided free of charge. DO NOT USE COAL.

Upstairs:

3 bedrooms
All bedding is provided. Flooring is the original plank floors with occasional rugs. The main bedroom with low level window has a double bed, vanity unit, wardrobe, chest of drawers, bedside cabinets and lamps, occasional chair. The second bedroom with low level window has twin beds, vanity unit, wardrobe, 2 chests of drawers, occasional chair, bedside lamps. The third bedroom is a small room with full size bunk beds, individual wall lights and skylight window. For a 2-week stay clean bed linen can be supplied (should you wish) at the end of the first week. A travel cot and high chair are available but cot bedding is not provided.

Fire detectors are fitted to the ceilings of the landing, bedrooms and the kitchen. There are electric shaving sockets in the 2 main bedrooms and the bathroom.

Outside:

A security light and antique wall mounted lantern lamp are fitted to the front wall of the cottage. The security light is activated at night when entering the cottage via the side gate to the property. The lower garden has a wood shed with logs for the fire, barbecue and garden furniture. Gardens are mowed, cleaned and weeded, and rubbish removed weekly. The 2 gardens and orchard are south facing with sunshine here from early morning until sunset.

Utilities:

Mains sewage, electricity and gas central heating, logs for wood burner. All are provided at no extra cost. The gas boiler is serviced annually with a certificate provided to comply with Health and Safety legislation for holiday accommodation. The chimney is swept annually. We have also installed wifi for those guests who can't do without the internet.
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Snippet of history

The cottage is situated on the Slade which is a no through road stretching from the town of Fishguard down to the sea. The Slade is derived from the word slide as ships were built and launched into the sea from here in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Much of the structural timbers in the cottage are from scrapped wooden ships. Apart from shipbuilding and repair the area was famed for its herrings and the manufacture of lime for agricultural purposes. There is still a small fishing industry here at Lower Town. The cottage is believed to have been built in 1810 with the first documented record detailing its existence on the 1830 Tythe map of Wales. There is also a painting of the cottage in the National Collection at Aberystwyth painted by an unknown artist in 1837. Lithographic copies of the painting were featured in Victorian travel guides of Pembrokeshire and are sought after by collectors today. The first know photograph of the cottage was in 1890, taken by a London travel company and hand coloured. It was produced in postcard form.

The Lower Town fishing village was the location for the film Under Milkwood starring Richard Burton and filmed in the early 60's. The harbour has remained unaltered throughout the centuries. About 100 metres further is the ruin of a Napoleonic fort complete with cannons and a superb view. Seals can often be seen from here. The last time the cannons were fired in anger was on 22nd February 1797. A French naval force consisting of two large frigates, Vengeance and Resistance, a corvette, Constance and a lugger, Vautour with 400 soldiers attempted to invade Fishguard. The French invasion was foiled and the French fleet surrendered after they landed at Careg Wastad point. This was the last time an attempt was made on the shores of the British Isles. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of this event a tapestry of some 30 panels was embroidered by the townspeople in 1997 and is on permanent display at the town hall.

A snippet of cottage history

Mary Owen was born in 1821 to illiterate farming people living in Dinas, a small hamlet some 8 miles from Fishguard off the Cardigan road. She met and married John Morgan. John was the same age as Mary and originally lived in Haverfordwest. He was a stonemason by trade.

After their marriage at the Hebron Chapel, Fishguard on February 5th 1845 they settled down to married life in Vergam, an area of small cottages (now demolished) in the town. In 1848 some 3 years after they married a son William was born and a year later their daughter Phoebe. Seven years after their marriage, disaster struck. John suffering from tuberculosis, died on the 7th April 1852 leaving Mary with two children and no means of support.

Mary must have been an impressive and accomplished woman because after the death of her husband she came here to live. She was installed at the behest of the town fathers and chapel elders who rented the cottage for Mary and paid her a monthly salary to look after and care for the abandoned and orphaned children of the town. She stayed here for almost 20 years looking after and caring for these children as well as her own two. She left prior to the first refurbishment of the cottage in September 1869.

On the 12th of January 1861 the census officer called. It was the custom, due to illiteracy, that the census officer completed the forms and not the occupants. Mary was no exception. She signed the birth certificates of her children with an X-, the mark of Mary Morgan. The census return officer being aware that she was the guardian of the town's infant poor, inflated her position and social standing and gave her the occupation and title of 'The Monthly Tutor'. On November 14th 1891 Mary died a pauper in Kensington (an area of Fishguard). She was 70 years old. She never re-married.