Charcoal drawing

More new old work - The Ruin of Mary Penny's Cottage


I posted on here the other week a drawing of a path going through a forest. This one was done at about the same time, quite possibly on the same day – certainly on the same field trip. This is the ruin of Mary Penny’s cottage. It resides in the same wood, near Morlogws in Wales.

A path – probably a more well-travelled, less overgrown one back in the days of the packhorse – goes past the ruin. One can scarcely make out, now, quite what is there. Just a corner of the stone building remains – a mossy stone finger poking skyward through the trees. Nature is reclaiming all and it is difficult to see where the ruin finishes and the trees begin.

The tale I heard from a local man was that the house belonged to one Mary Penny, and there was some hint that she provided a particular service for travellers who passed this way – for a penny. Hence the name.

Whether that is true, partly true, or entirely apocryphal I’ll never know, but it added to the feeling of connection to the history of the place when I was drawing this, made some kind of relationship to the humanity of those long-dead people seem more palpable. And there was also this feeling of intimacy, caused partly because this was once someone's home - their shelter, their place of refuge from the world - and because of the silence and solitude of this place. One could feel that no-one else might pass this way for years, maybe forever.

This drawing is A2 in size (excl. frame) and is for sale. Please enquire if interested.
The Ruin of Mary Penny's Cottage, nr. Mologws, Wales