Salvaging this ruined smallholder’s cottage began with installing timbers hewn from Dorian’s parents’ forest. Fittings came from equally close to home: a box bed from a nearby rectory, a 17th-century court cupboard in the traditional local style and stick-backed chairs Dorian learned to make himself.
Bryn Eglur (meaning ‘Clear Hill’) presents a purely traditional facade to the outside world. Only when you enter its lofty kitchen do you realise that this Welsh cottage is both all and more than it seems.
Built in 1755 as a simple tyddyn, smallholder’s cottage, its tiny rooms are carefully preserved and sensitively restored, but the cottage now incorporates the barn next door. This new room brings a very modern sense of space and light to the building, luxuries that previous inhabitants could only hope to find outdoors.
The original kitchen’s impressive inglenook fireplace was made in the local style from woven, unplastered, hazel sealed with a horsehair daub and perpetually housing a smouldering peat fire. Paying homage to heritage, Dorian cut new sticks from a nearby hedge and weaved a beautiful restoration.
Pewter and earthenware jugs, bought by Dorian from Carmarthen market as a child, finish the room. Original furniture set against the lime washed walls complement that ingeniously made by Dorian in the Welsh vernacular tradition to complete this update of a true Welsh classic.