Visiting the Tudor Merchant's House
This narrow town house was once lived in by a local merchant in Tenby. The Tudor merchant’s house is typical of the type of prosperous merchant’s house which sprang up when Tenby was a thriving port in the late Middle Ages. Step inside and see how a wealthy merchant may have lived.
A Tudor Christmas
Join us at the Tudor Merchant’s house for a Tudor Christmas on 1,2,8 and 9th December from 11am – 4pm last entry 3.30pm. Come and meet the Lord of misrule and find out how the Tudor traditions have carried through to present day celebrations.
Things to see inside the Tudor Merchant's House
It consists of three levels and is built from lime and sandstone rubble. It has a circular chimney stack and original exposed roof trusses. Today the house is filled with a remarkable collection of locally made reproductions. The furniture, pewter, wall hangings and ceramics have been expertly copied from existing Tudor pieces commonly used in the area.
The merchant who lived here would have placed his shop at the front of the house. The shop would have opened onto the street to gain easy access to people walking by. A merchant of this time would sell goods traded through the port in the harbour. Popular goods at this time included wool cloth, sea coal, vinegar and ceramic pots.
The kitchen was situated at the back of the house. It was centred around a large open fire. The ironwork shows how food could be cooked with an open fire. This ranged from hanging equipment to raise or lower the cooking pots or long spits to turn the food.
Filling the senses
The kitchen garden is full of aromatic herbs that would have been used to add flavour and colour to meals. Lavender plants helped to keep flies out of the kitchen as well as creating a base for popular scented pomanders.
This room would have been the main living area of the house. Brightly painted replica Tudor furniture is displayed throughout the room.
The painted cloths hanging on the walls show the kind of images the merchant might display on his walls around 1500. One of these hanging cloths shows a typical ship from the Middle Ages called a Carrack. The other painted hanging shows the town buildings including the historic fortified walls surrounding the town.
A room with a view
The bed chamber has one of the clearest views of the coastline and harbour. In this room some replica Tudor clothes have been crafted for you to try on.
Look out for the special painted crib that swings to help settle a baby to sleep.
A modern convenience
Look out for the toilet which features a latrine tower and cess pit. This vertical stone or brickwork shaft would lead down to the cess pit at the base. Often called a ‘long drop’ due to the height and distance involved. This was advanced because many houses did not have a feature like this. A modern equivalent today is an ensuite bathroom attached to your bedroom.
In Tudor times, Tenby was a hub for overseas trade importing a wide variety of stock, including salt, linen and wine from France. Discover more in the busy Tudor Merchant’s shop.