Newton House, Carmarthenshire
While the elegantly-dressed rooms of this 17th-century family home live up to the property’s grand exterior, it’s when you get downstairs into the servants’ areas that things get really interesting. From the butler’s simple quarters to the silver safe, you can even pay a visit to the wine and ale cellars where it is still possible to view the marks left by wax seals placed across the cellars’ heavy doors to ensure none of the alcohol was ‘misplaced’ by the servants.
The Staircase in the Inner Hall at Newton House, Dinefwr. Photo: ©NTPL/John Hammond
Although the house at the heart of the Dinefwr estate originates from the 17th century, it gained a gothic facelift in the 1850s. The National Trust acquired the property in 1990 and has recreated its interiors befitting to the Edwardian period. The Trust has dressed the house to give an idea of how different areas would have been used, but as none of the property’s furniture is original, far from being cordoned off by a barrier of velvet ropes, visitors are encouraged to pull up a chair at the dinner table and generally make themselves at home – some have even been caught napping in a cosy armchair by the fireside!
The Drawing Room has been decorated in cream, to an Edwardian style and is similar to the layout of the room seen in a 1926 photograph. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond
Tel: 01558 824 512; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dinefwr