Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Carpe diem

Looking out on a sodden garden today, with rain lashing against the window and raindrops lines up along the sash like watching spiders' eyes, I am so glad that we chose to make the most of the perfect sunny autumnal day yesterday - a day borrowed from summer, surely - to have a little drive out.

We set off for Newcastle Emlyn, over on the border between Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire.  We hadn't been there for several years, and apparently there was a good antiques "emporium", so we went to find out.  The top photo and the current header are views from the top of the mynydd between Cynwel Elfed and N.E.  Breathtaking, and soul-lifting views.

A pleasant Victorian villa at the top end of town.

An intrigueing old limewashed settle in a shop in the town.  Apparently a marriage piece of Sir Archibald Primrose, Bart, and his wife Elizabeth.  But I am a more than a tad suspicious about the wear pattern (e.g. top cross-bar worn but not the BACK of the settle) and the fact that the letter N is backwards all the way through and suspect an Indian provenance - it had a lot of character though.

In a gap between the houses, a lovely view back down the river valley.

The clock tower on the old Market Hall with my husband just wandering into shot . . .

A quiet corner of the town.  We had a cup of tea in a lovely little bistro nearby.

In a window at the back of the Market Hall, was this fragment of Medieval floor tile from St Maws Church? dating about 1538.  If you enlarge it you should be able to read the faded writing.

Reproductions of Medieval jugs and bowls from the same display.

Isn't this Eagle Owl amazing?

Sorry about the light and shade. This beautiful felted picture caught my eye.

As you can see, there were some very tempting craft items on offer.  Lots of talent in our part of Wales.

And did I buy anything?  Of course I did!  Being a horsey person with an interest in the past, I bought this old fixed-cheek Weymouth (curb) bit (bottom) and the blacksmith-made bit on the top. A puzzling item, as it has no fixings for a headpiece or reins to hold it in place - tied on with string?  And the hook and ring seem to fit into one another, so I am puzzled.  The chap in the shop (it looked like a charity shop, but no sign up outside) said that they had come from an old farmhouse and "belonged together" so perhaps the "snaffle" bit on the top was just slipped into the mouth with the curb, and used for leading from?  It looks a bit like a Hack Overcheck too . . .  Suggestions on a postcard please!


  1. I would very much like to own the wooden duck on the (Indian) settle. I'm sure you're right about it; it just doesn't look correct. No idea about the bit - I went bit-less when I got my first horse at 42 and never looked back, so I've forgotten all the stuff I used to know from avid reading of horsey text books!

  2. Glad you felt well enough for an outing. Love those reproduction medieval pots!

  3. I have such happy memories of the area around Newcastle Emlyn BB., For many years we rented a cottage in Verwig, near to Cardigan and we toured that area year after year. You are right about siezing the moment though - today has been absolutely awful here.

  4. I am glad you got to go out before the bad weather hit.
    I think photo #4 view between the housed is wonderful and the fragment from the Medieval floor.

    cheers, parsnip