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A quick tour of 5 Cwmdonkin Drive - an exceptional place to visit or stay

5 Cwmdonkin Drive has been carefully restored over the past three years to its condition when bought as a new house by the Thomas family in 1914 just a few months before Dylan Marlais Thomas was born in the front bedroom.

This is a brief description of the rooms in the house - follow the links for more information. If you would like to stay at the house then check our rates and contact us for availability.

 

First Floor

Front Best Bedroom
Front (best) Bedroom
For most of the twenty three years that the Thomas family lived at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive the front bedroom was kept for 'best'. It was the show room of the first floor with views out to Cwmdonkin Park and it was where young Dylan first drew breath.


Front Bedroom

Nancy's Bedroom
Nancy's Bedroom
Dylan's sister was eight years old when he was born and later she was described as an attractive. outgoing young lady who had ambitions as an actress.

Nancys Bedroom


Bathroom and WC Bathroom and WC
An inside toilet was almost unheard of in Victorian times - the Thomas family even moved from a house in Sketty because there was no drainage - so having a separate inside WC must have been considered very 'posh' for the upwardly mobile family. In the separate bathroom Dylan watched his cigarette ash float on the steamy water.

Bathroom and WC


Dylan's Bedroom

Dylan's Bedroom
It might beggar belief that the man who wrote words of such huge international impact slept in the tiniest of bedrooms.

This ‘box room’ has the only working gas lamp in the house, a single bed, a desk and a small chair but it also has a snugness that envelops you.

….’My own room is a tiny renovated bedroom….. hardly any light, book-knife. No red cushion. No cushion at all. Hard chair. Smelly. Painful. Hot water pipes very near. Gurgle all the time. Nearly go mad.  Nice view of wall through window. Pretty park nearby. Sea half a mile off…..Lunatic asylum mile off…..’


DJ and Florrie's Bedroom DJ and Florrie's Bedroom
The back bedroom was where Dylan's parents slept except when they had taken in a lodger. The back of the house was the warmest part and the bedroom was over the kitchen where the range was kept burning most of the time.

Back Bedroom


Front

The Front
This is the porch at the front of the house. Dylan said later that, as a small boy, he could never understand why so many young men never returned from 'The Front'

… That sea-town was my world; outside a strange Wales …moved about its business which was none of mine … beyond that unknown Wales  …lay England which was London and the country called the Front, from which many of our neighbours never came back.  It was a country to which only young men travelled.  At the beginning, the only front I knew was the little lobby before our front door.  I could not understand how so many people never returned from there but late I grew to know more, though still without understanding….


Ground Floor

Lounge
Parlour or Lounge (The best room)
The 10ft high ceiling and full- length bay window add an extra feeling of space to this large room. The deep green wall colour together with stripped floor boards and William Morris curtains compliment the original features of the ceiling, fireplace and door.

Apart from a chaise longue, the only seating is a three piece suite which is far more ergonomically friendly and comfortable than its modern equivalent.

If you want sounds other than the grandfather clock ticking the wind up phonogram is in the corner waiting to entertain you.

 

Study

DJ's Study
This room was DJ Thomas' domain - a very male room which would now be called his 'personal space'.

DJ was a Welsh speaker, an academic, a piano player, a smoker, a drinker and an anglophile. He surrounded himself with the classics and kept up to date with contemporary books from the Boots lending library.

To pay due respect to DJ, his study is the only room in the house where smoking is allowed.


Living Room

Living Room
This was part of Florrie's world where the family met to eat and converse.

The Thomas’ called the front room downstairs the ‘lounge’ (but we think they would have called it the ‘front room’ when on their own!)

The lounge was only used on high days, holidays and if someone was visiting the house!  It was a room which had the best furniture and would have been kept clean and tidy, ‘just in case’ (just in case anyone should look through the window or visit!)

Living room


Kitchen

Kitchen
Florrie cooked twice a day with the help of a daily maid and a Monday maid to help with the washing. Off the kitchen is the pantry or larder where food was kept cool and the scullery with its deep sink and storage for every day crockery and the pots and pans.

Kitchen


Outside

Washroom Washroom
The Monday maid used to boil the water here and transfer it to the scullery where the washing was done - with no tumble drier clothes were dried on the clothesline of from the Aunt Sally above the range in the kitchen before being transferred to the airing cupboard.

Washroom


Coal House

Coal House
Coal
was used for heating the kitchen range as well as the fires in other rooms. To keep the fires going was the job of the maid. Later some rooms had gas fires - the was  gas and electricity in the house when it was built

Coal Shed


If you would like to just visit Number 5 check availability for Guided Tours and Dinner with Dylan