UK News

‘I’ve spent my life doing up my mini castle – it’s still not done but I live like royalty’ | UK | News UK News

Even as a child, Alun Lewis often thought about the mansion on the river. Engulfed by weeds, the crumbling mess on the Cleddau at Landshipping in Pembrokeshire had been open to the elements long before the now 62-year-old was born in the village of Llangwm – just up the road. And yet he always knew that one day he’d like to buy it.

The house – originally built in 1750 and owned by the Owen family, who were coal agents – was inspired by Slebech Hall and Picton Castle which you can see across the river through the misty windows from the highest third-storey room where the rain is getting in through the unfinished roof.

Unlike those far grander estates Big House at Landshipping fell into disrepair and has been a ruin since 1890. When Alun bought it for £275,000 in 2000 he expected to be living in it by now but he admits his insistence on doing it all himself has probably set him back years. And yet he has no regrets.

Despite purchasing the four-acre estate, Mr Lewis lives next to the house in a camper van on a boggy riverbank alongside his chickens, pigs, ducks and four miniature horses.

Speaking to WalesOnline, he said: “There’s nothing else like this place that I’ve seen before. Nothing is straight here. Nothing is square or tidy. It’s just what I’ve picked up along the way and it’s cost me nothing. A lot of it has taken me half an hour with a chainsaw.

“I couldn’t turn the house down when it came up. It felt right. I’m still at it 23 years later but I’m getting there slowly. It’s certainly been a long old project and everyone else says I’m mad for doing it but I think it’ll be worth it in the end. It’s the spot that makes it.

“I’m paid to cull deer and boar and chop down trees so I eat some of the meat and use some of the timber. My costs are low. You haven’t got to earn a lot of money if you don’t need to spend anything have you? I don’t go to the supermarket often. We haven’t bought meat for donkey’s years but we live like kings here. The stuff I’ve caught I could sell for a fortune but I’m not about money.”

Eventually he plans to have a stunning nine-bedroom property – a luxury hideaway for him, his partner, and his kids should they choose to be there.

He added: “I do a bit when I’ve got the money and time. I’m not full-time on it because of all the other jobs I’m off doing. At the start it took a few years to get it all through planning even though all I wanted to do was restore it back to how it was. That set us back a lot. Luckily I could afford to sit on it and wait for a bit.”

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-01 17:30:00

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *