Penallt perry and cider is produced from the heart of the jackstone outcrop on the slopes of the Wye. The jackstone, as it is locally known, is a conglomerate containing quartz and jasper. The wheels, bases and cheeses from the stone were rolled down to the river and taken to Herefordshire for their cider mills. 200 years ago, every farm and cottage in the lanes around Penallt Old Church had its own stone mill and press, and most still have them. Glenview cottage and the Dovecote are no exception.
The cider mill is still used and the base is set in the mill. Two millstones are in the walls of the Dovecote and the stone cheese can be seen outside the kitchen window.
As it would be almost impossible to drink the 200 – 500 gallons of cider that each family would have produced, it is thought that an undocumented industry accounted for this. The barges from Hereford to Bristol would have stopped at Penallt and the perry and cider sold in Bristol docs. This area in Bristol is still called ‘Welshback’.
The Dovecote’s surrounding fields have been restored into perry and cider apple orchards. Some original trees over 100 years’ old remain, hollowed out and covered in moss, lichen and mistletoe, relics of Penallt’s past.
Penallt Cider and Perry
The Dovecote is also home to the 'Capsy Wennet' cider house and orchards, where apples and pears have been pressed to make cider and perry for generations. Don't forget to ask for a sample when you stay at The Dovecote!