When someone says ‘townhouse’, maybe the property image that pops up in your head is a substantial, multi-level home that is either a period gem located somewhere like Tenby or a contemporary new build on a recently-built housing estate.
A cute and charming little blue house nestled amongst much larger neighbours is probably not your first thought, but as soon as this property catches your eye along the streetscene of Fishguard it’s very hard not to be transfixed.
There’s lots to love about this pretty little abode, not least the location on Main Street that, as the name suggests, means it’s one of the period properties to be found in the central hub of this characterful Pembrokeshire coastal town. Just up the street is the town’s central square, home to the largest collection of eateries and shops, as well as the town hall building.
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The town itself is a town of two halves, lower Fishguard that nestles around the substantial harbour created by the natural rocky inlet of the river Gwaun, and ‘main town’ that sits at the top of the hill looking down and across its elevated coastal position.
From this cute house both sections of the popular town can be easily accessed and enjoyed, as well as memorable walks along the spectacular coastline via the coastal path that can also get you to a local fort complete with cannons, as well as reward you with mesmerising sea views across the coves and cliffs of Wales’ most westerly county.
The house stands out from its neighbours mainly because of its size, crouched down under the continuing roofline of the much taller and substantial occupants within this terrace of period properties; and there’s a reason for that. According to the website British Listed Buildings, the tiny terrace was once the service wing to the next door house, a much grander, double-fronted, three-storey building that looms over its more practical neighbour.
The little home was Grade II listed in 1978, amended in 2002, and can be dated back to at least 1844, where it appears on the tithe map of the parish.
Within the listing the property is described as a ‘small, narrow house with shop front, single-bay two-storey structure, possibly earlier 19th century and a former service wing to number 18, with which it shares similar facade decoration’.
The house achieved its Grade II listing as being ‘part of the terraced group and as probable former service wing to No 18’ – so there’s no mistaking the past importance of this smaller property within the street’s activities, mentioned multiple times within its Cadw listing.
But there’s so much more to this petite property than first meets the eye and its past practical and rather mundane reason for existing. The blue facade is the first thing to visually grab you and the stone carved detailing around the windows is a delight to notice.
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You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce via the shop front and painted word ‘Oriel’ above it that this building was once, more recently, a gallery – it’s the obvious assumption to make.
But now it’s an opportunity for a first-time buyer or someone looking to downsize to bag a building that can offer way more than its pretty little exterior first suggests. Hiding inside is a surprisingly spacious interior compared to the expectation surely arrived at from outside.
Straight in through the wide front door reveals a ground floor that flows front to back to produce three reception spaces in a broken plan formation. The first room is a light space aided by the walls painted white and with light flooding in from the substantial shop front window.
The room feels larger than maybe expected and can easily accommodate a seating area around the central fireplace for a number of people, as well as the opportunity for a new owner to put their own personal interior design stamp on the space, and throughout this unique townhouse.
The lounge area flows directly into a dining space via a semi-opened up dividing wall that allows light to flood into this central zone and also provides a tempting glimpse into the heart of the home from the front door.
The dining area is where the period character of the property begins to fully emerge, via exposed chunky and tactile stone walls that include a former fireplace and exposed ceiling beams. Again there’s a broken plan connection between this central dining room and the kitchen at the rear of the house, and again this allows light and internal view sharing.
Through the stone doorway into the kitchen. This is an extension to the original house, so the former exterior wall of the building forms a character packed stone wall backdrop to the cute kitchen, and also reveals to anyone who stops to investigate just how thick the original wall was.
Look at the thickness of the former exterior wall – it’s huge – it must have taken a lot of effort to break through from the dining area to the kitchen but it was worth it.
This extra space is again flooded with light from a roof window plus a glass back door. There’s no pokey, dark home here to bring your mood down – rather a light and uplifting cottage that gives you a welcoming hug in each space you visit.
The glass back door leads to one of the surprises of the townhouse – steps that lead to a cute, rear courtyard nestled within a hidden central courtyard surrounded by the neighbouring properties. But that’s not the main surprise.
At the end of this bonus outside space is an outbuilding that belongs to the house – how many larger homes across Wales can claim to have a bonus outbuilding with masses of storage? It’s not something you would expect to find at the back whilst lingering to look at this cute abode from the front.
Back into the kitchen and there’s a door tucked away around the corner you may have missed the first time you visited the space – it’s the bathroom that is another surprise, hidden away within a rear wing of the house that protrudes out into the multi-level courtyard virtually unnoticed. And it’s large enough to welcome a full size bath into this almost secret space too.
Up the stairs found in the dining room and there are two bedrooms to discover. The one at the front is a very pleasant double, with stripped floorboards, a cute bay window that proportionately fits the scale of the house, and a fireplace that might be hiding a period gem behind its more recent boarding.
The second bedroom at the rear is a sweet and unique space that incorporates the sloping roof of the original roof that descends to surely the cutest window in the town. The exposed stone walls on three sides ensure this space is utterly charming and under the carpet are hopefully more original beams to restore and love.
The whole property is a canvas waiting for a new owner to paint with their own renovation and restoration aspirations, bearing in mind the building’s listed status, and their personal interior design style.
New decor might be based on classic cottage interiors based on vintage and soft colours, or maybe they will go for a contemporary look with white walls, stripped floors and minimalistic furniture throughout? This cottage for sale that has had a remarkable renovation might be a property to inspire the new owner of this Fishguard cutie.
Whatever a new owner decides to do they will own and surely love this cutest of townhouses that is more of a Tardis home than first suspected, with surprise spaces and bonus buildings that it hides from the front and brings great joy when it starts to reveal them out towards the rear, and beyond.
The not so tiny townhouse is for sale with a guide price of £120,000 with estate agents JJ Morris, contact their Fishguard branch on 01348 873836 to find out more. And don’t miss the best dream homes in Wales, renovation stories and interiors, join the Amazing Welsh Homes newsletter which is sent to your inbox twice a week.