Cae Lleci - About the Cottage
The house is owned by a family who originally owned it in the early 1920s and then it was sold and finally bought back in 1987. The family have descendents throughout the area.
Electricity was not available until 1930 when The Llanfachreth Mill Company was formed and used hydro electric power to power the village and surrounding areas. Not all houses had electricity until 1962 when the North Wales electricity Board brought power to every farm in the parish.
The water to the house is drawn from an underground spring which starts high in the mountain and is delivered to a tank in the field adjacent to the house. It then passes through modern plastic pipe and goes through several filters and ultra violet light to ensure it is crystal clear and pure to drink.
The toilet in the past was situated at the end of the small pigsty in front of the house. There were two holes or seats; one adult size and one for a child. The waste was raked into the small stream behind the pigsty and was swept into the river. A more modern outside toilet was added in 1930 near the river but this was removed when the house was refurbished for the first time in 1960.
The old parish records show that when the house was once rented in 1878 the annual rent was £23 5s 6d. The land extended to 88 acres 3 Rods and 28 Perch in size. The house has the date 1860 engraved on the front but the parish records refer to caellecu (the old spelling) in 1573 so the date on the front may refer to the date it was acquired by the Nannau estate until it was sold in the early 1900s.
The farm was originally self sufficient. Hay would be grown with wheat in the surrounding fields and sheep and cows were kept along with ducks and geese. The end of the pigsty opposite the toilet is where the ducks and geese would sleep at night. The cowshed at the end of the drive is where 6 cows were kept for milk. Along the area between the house and the old barn at the top you can still see the remains of an old stable where two horses were kept.
At the top of the road where the bridge is, is where the river was blocked and sheep were dipped to get rid of tics and other insects. You can still see the section of concrete installed to help dam the river flow. An income was earned from the sale of butter, milk and eggs and in the summer, bilberries were picked and sold to the former shop in the village. A good income was also derived from the sale of mushrooms which tend to grow well when cows are kept in a field. Mint was also collected from the streams adjacent to the cowshed where it still grows to this day.