Burnt House

'Burnt House' is a ghostly ruin down below the cliff path a few hundred yards north, past the Boathouse, and the Glan y Mor slipway. The story behind the house was a mystery until Laugharne resident Denize McIntyre found newspaper articles from the late 1800s.

Earliest dates show that Recess Cottage, as it was known, was quite a grand house built in the early 19th century and owned in 1842 by a William Gibson. It had three sitting rooms, with a large kitchen and brewhouse, and three bedrooms on the first floor, with outside buildings.

An auction notice in the Western Mail from 1846 mentions a 'pretty house' with an orchard, 2 gardens and 3 acres of land. The auction was held at the Globe Hotel in Laugharne by a Mr George Goode from Carmarthen. The notice also suggested that the cost of provisions in Laugharne was 'the cheapest in Wales'. Laugharne is also described as a 'much-admired Seaport, Market and Post Town.'

By 1851 the property was occupied by Thomas M.R. Linn (26) from Ferryside; Maria Louise Linn his wife, (24) from Bath; their son John M.R. Linn (1) and daughter Helen Catherine Linn (5 months), both born in the house, and a groom, cook and nurse.

In December 1881 Burnt House was occupied by a farming couple from Pater in Pembroke. Samuel (43) & Ellen (46) Evans, Ellen's mother Ann Thomas (74, from Haverfordwest) along with 16-year old Jane Jenkins, a domestic from St Clears. A spark from the fireplace landed on some dry sticks and a gale blowing up the estuary meant the house was quickly engulfed by flame.

Local mariner John Childs (44) of Gosport Street spotted the fire from his fishing boat and raised the alarm, saving the grateful occupants. What was Mr Childs doing out on the river at 2am? Illicitly poaching to feed his family? It's a good job he was...

The picture above shows a recess for a cart above the house, hence the original name - Recess Cottage.

Article on the fire in the
Carmarthen Journal

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