Beaufort House and Ship Cottage - Pwll Du, Pennard & Bishopston, Gower

Record ID:  88996 / MNA132018
Record type:  Building
Protected Status: None Recorded
NT Property:  Gower; Wales
Civil Parish:  None Recorded
Grid Reference:  None Recorded
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Excluded from but surrounded by Trust land, these houses are at the bottom of Bishopston Valley adjacent to Pwll-Du quarry (88995). When the quarry industry was at its peak these two buildings were inns known as the 'Beaufort Arms' and the 'Ship Inn'.

Identification Images (0)

Monument Types

  • INN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • INN (Early 19th C to Mid 19th C - 1830 AD to 1840 AD)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)


Excluded form but surrounded by Trust land are three houses tow of which are rendered and extensively modernised and a third which is stone built and abandoned. These houses are located at the bottom of Bishopstone Valley adjacent to Pwll-Du quarry (88995). All have two stories and are gable ended, Beaufort House Being the largest of the three.

It has been suggested that when the quarry was at its peak there were five public houses in the valley (Jenkins 1977 p30). The present Beaufort House and Ship Cottage were the 'Beaufort Arms' and the 'Ship Inn'. The abandoned house may be either 'The Bull' or 'The Star' with 'New Inn' apparently lying some way up the valley on the Swansea side of the river (See 88611). It is not clear how long the five inns were in operation or even if they were contemporary. The Tithe Map of 1846 recorded only the 'Ship Inn' and the 'Beaufort Arms'. In the latter part of the century when the limestone industry had declined the 'Beaufort Arms' provided tourist accommodation and it survived as a public house until the 1940's.

2003 survey
These three separate sites are all included in the3 one NT SMT number as none are actually owned by the Trust. Ship Cottage and Beaufort House are still occupied, privately owned and surrounded by Trust property, Rachel's Cottage is a ruined building just outside Trust property to the E.

Ship Cottage and Beaufort House are both 2 storey gable ended houses, rendered and extensively modernised. Beaufort House being the larger. Both houses are based on traditional Gower cottage designs, something of their original layout is described by Holt (1996). The walls are 0.55m thick, limestone built, dressed internally and externally. The Ship was a double fronted building with three top storey windows, and one window on either side of the central doorway below. It had two small upstairs bedrooms and two rooms downstairs, one with a large open fireplace. There was also a lean-to containing the scullery and the dairy. The Beaufort was built in much the same way. It had a porch over the front door and both downstairs rooms had open fireplaces. A large lean-to was built on the sea-facing wall, a smaller one built on its side wall. There was also an adjacent bakehouse, built originally for Ship Cottage, later used by both houses before eventually becoming part of the Beaufort. An early estate map of 1803 also shows a malt house. The Beaufort also had an elaborate pigsty, with room for three pigs. The remains of Rachel's Cottage consist of a main rectangular room, aligned E-W c3.5m wide, a little over 5m long, with walls at most c2m high, rising to c4m on the eastern wall. The doorway sib in the southern wall, 2m wide with a small porch. Just to the W is a window c1.8m wide. Along the eastern wall an area has been bricked off internally, covered in rubble, presumably where the chimney and oven were located. Against the northern wall a small extension c1m wide runs the full length of the main room. These extension walls are 0.5m wide, the internal wall being c1m wide. The main walls of the cottage are 1-1.2m wide.

Ship Cottage was the first to be built, with possible C17th origins. The Beaufort as built later between 1830 and 1840 as the trade in quarried limestone increased. Both buildings served as pubs and accommodation for local farmers, quarry workers and sailors, at its height there could have been as many as 200 people working around the Bay. According to locals Ship Cottage (The Ship Inn) was frequented by local farmers and quarrymen whilst Beaufort House (The Beaufort Arms) was home to the sailors. The Bull, The New Inn and The Star were also mentioned as pubs serving locally. As the lime industry declined the Beaufort also provided tourist accommodation, serving as a pub until the 1940s. Rachel's Cottage (previously known as Pwldy Cottage) does not appears to have served as a pub. Possibly built in the C18th, named after its owner living there in 1812. The Tithe map of 1846 only records the Ship Inn and Beaufort Arms.


  • SZO38056 - Photograph - black and white: John Latham. 01/05/1987. Houses in Bishopston valley (not NT) which were inns in the 19th century.. 88996.

  • SZO50082 - National Trust Report: Philip Poucher. 2002/3. Pennard & Bishopston - The National Trust archaeological Survey, Poucher 2002/3.

  • SZO5678 - Unpublished document: E Plunkett Dillon. 1987. Survey of Pennard Cliffs and Bishopston Valley 1987 National Trust.


None Recorded

Other Statuses and References

  • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Common Land
  • HER/SMR Reference (External): 02164w
  • HER/SMR Reference (External): 02284w
  • Heritage Coast
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest (Biological)

Associated Events

  • ENA3008 - Field Survey, Pennard & Bishopston - The National trust Archaeological Survey Poucher 2002/3
  • ENA3009 - Field Survey, Pennard Cliffs and Bishopston Valley - Emma Plunkett Dillon 1987

Associated Finds

None Recorded

Related Records

None Recorded