Kennixton Farmhouse and buildings


What type of building is Kennixton?

Kennixton is a farmhouse where the Rogers family lived for hundreds of years.

It was originally situated in the Gower peninsula in Swansea, an area which has been English- speaking since Norman times.

The family were originally tenants when it was built in 1610. Two hundred years later, they had enough money to buy the farmhouse.

The farmhouse today is shown as it would have been around 1800 when Leyshon Rogers and his wife, their three children, a maid and a farm labourer lived there.

In the courtyard at the back of the house there is a goose pen. Geese were kept as guard dogs!

The building was donated to the Museum in 1952 by its then owner, Mr J.B. Rogers.

Why is it painted red?

Kennixton is painted red because people believed that the colour would keep away evil spirits and protect the inhabitants against witchcraft.

The original pigment included ox blood and lime which was expensive. The colour red also showed other people that the family were rich enough to buy these items.

At the time people were very superstitious, indeed just like we are today. e.g. we always try to avoid walking under a ladder. Why? Because it breaks the Holy Trinity – God, Son and the Holy Ghost! If someone sneezes, we will often say, ‘Bless you!’ as it was once thought the Devil could enter a person’s body if they opened their mouth. The blessing was thought to ward him off.

A rowan tree was once grown in the garden and, as its berries are red too, it was thought to keep witchcraft at bay. There are also two carved figures inside the door which were also thought to protect the inhabitants from evil.

New farm buildings were added to the house around 1850 by the sixth generation of the family. They originally stood by the house and were donated to the Museum in the early 2000s.

These were a cow stall next to the farmhouse where cows were milked by hand, a hay loft which was reached by steps, a barn where crops were stored and processed i.e. barley for the cattle and pigs and oats for the horses. Across the yard was a small building for rearing calves.

Did you know?

A box-bed by the fire in the living area was a particular feature of Gower homes. Glyn Rogers, who lived in the farmhouse until 1939, slept in it when he was a young boy until he reached the age of 13 said it was very comfortable "Because you undressed by the fire in the night, then there was always a good fire in the morning. I didn’t need central heating at all."

Mr. Rogers speaking about his experience of sleeping in the box-bed

The dining room was used as the interior of Captain Blamey’s cottage in the filming of the BBC 2015 drama series, Poldark. Note the stencilled walls which predate the use of wallpaper.


Building facts:

  • Original Location: Llangennith, Gower, Glamorgan
  • Date originally built: 1610, 1680 & c.1750
  • Furnished: 18th century
  • Dismantled and moved to St Fagans: 1952
  • Date opened to the public: 1955
  • Listing status: Grade 2
  • Visiting information

Building 3D Tour