Exploring Hafoty: one of the finest medieval houses on Anglesey
Cadw’s “Open Doors” programme meant a trip to Hafoty, a 16th-century timber-framed medieval house, was a must the first weekend in September. You can walk around the exterior of Hafoty from 1 April – 31 March. But to look inside you need to await the Cadw “Open Doors” days. It is well worth making the effort to visit. And “Open Doors” offers a very rare opportunity to explore the inside of this incredible medieval house.
We timed it just right for one of the in-depth guided tours conducted by Roy Nally. He is a very knowledgeable guide with a great sense of humour (keeping the children enthralled too, no mean feat!). Throw in a few well behaved, and totally gorgeous, dogs and a very happy morning was had by all. Roy made the tour so inclusive and was delighted to answer questions.
Built originally as a timber-framed building in the 14th century, Hafoty was first recorded as “Bodiordderch”, the “House of Iordderch” in 1352. The first recorded owners were the Norres family and passing to the Bulkeley family in 1511, who still own it today. There are also records from 1585 describing it as a summer “dairy house”. Now under the careful guardianship of Cadw, this beautiful property has been restored sympathetically. It is a wonderful glimpse into Anglesey’s past.
Listening to Roy describe the original house and all the changes that have been made throughout the centuries was fascinating. From the dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) to the exposing of the timber frame in the walls, the renovations of the past have been carefully mapped. We loved the 18th-century “graffiti of ships” by the window, the sloping walls, the views. And more than anything the fact that the house still remains standing today.
Next “Open Doors” Day
Saturday 21 September and Sunday 22 September 2019 11:00 – 16:00 hrs.
Details of other 2019 Cadw Open Door Events can be found: https://cadw.gov.wales/about-us/news/open-doors-events-2019
Please note there are no lavatories, nor a tea room, on-site – understandably.
B5109 (road from Beaumaris to Pentraeth) – turn right on the unclassified road to Llanddona. Hafoty is on the left of this road about a mile from the B5109 turning. There is a sign on the gate directing you down a private farm track. Parking is just before the turning on the right-hand side (a layby) and along the road in the odd place. Please ensure you shut all farm gates as you pass through as this is a working farm with access permitted to Hafoty only. Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome.
Map SH57NE Grid SH5621678171