Friday 21 April 2023


It had momentarily stopped raining in West Wales. Sian and I were casting around for a jaunting destination. We decided on Garn Fawr where John Piper’s Cottage is still to be found. 


About 10 minutes west out of Fishguard, Garn Fawr nestles into a high outcrop of hard volcanic rock, an iron age hill fort, which perilously looks out to see. We walked down paths bordered by high stone walls. Bracken and thorn spills across these tracks, evidence of sheep. Boulder stone with lichen of whites, greens and blues.


On the landward side there is slightly less wind, only slightly. Across to the East stone walls, winding roads, fields quartered by hedgerows. And landscape punctured by farms and the hard white outline of the Harmony Chapel immediately below us. In the far distance are the Preseli Mountains.


Writer Richard Ingrams recalls his visit to see John and Myfanwy Piper:


I was lucky enough to pay a visit to Garn Fawr, driving with the Pipers from Cardiff on a clear cold day and reaching the cottage at noon. It is a tiny single-storey building made of stone whitewashed with a pinkish tinge and roofed with slurry, a mixture of slate and cement. There is only one real room which acts as sitting and dining-room and the right half is roofed over with a platform, reached by a step-ladder, on the Pipers sleep. A kitchen and bathroom have been added to the rear. There is no electricity and no telephone. As dusk fall, Piper busies himself trimming and lighting calor gas and tilly lamps.


From Piper’s Places: John Piper in England and Wales by Richard Ingrams & John Piper   Chatto and Windus   1983



The walk:

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