On Saturday I did something that I had long hoped to do and that was to walk along the narrow path beside the Llangollen Canal over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. I first heard about this huge feat of Georgian construction (1795-1805) on a school Geography field trip to North Wales exactly 50 years ago. We were travelling from Norwich to Snowdonia and as we passed along the Dee Valley on the A5 through Llangollen Mr Powell told us about the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
“High in the breathtaking scenery of the Snowdonia National Park, this charming little cottage was built in 1863 for Henry Hovendon, Superintendent of the Ffestiniog Railway. Today, it is decaying; the lathe and plaster ceilings have collapsed from water penetration, and the floors and joinery are rotten. Abandoned for nearly a decade and recently listed Grade II, Coed y Bleiddiau’s remote setting has left it impractical for modern daily life.”
Last Saturday dawned bright and sunny and the day stayed perfect in every way throughout. I crept quietly out of Gladstone’s Library at 10 past 6 in the morning and arrived at Porthmadog Harbour Station Car Park at about 20 to 8. This was a day to remember! I was invited by two friends who are patrons of The Landmark Trust to ride the Ffestiniog Railway and view the ruined property which the Trust are about set to restore in partnership with the Railway.
On a previous visit to South Wales I picked up an older edition of this leaflet. My original copy has no date and listed only 15 churches. The new leaflet now includes 17 the additional 2 being Wernffrwd, St David’s and Penclawdd, St Gwynour. Both in north Gower and neither of which we visited. Quotations, in italics, are taken from my Churches Trail leaflet.
We found Saturday afternoon’s walk in a leaflet “Walking By Bus“. It’s one of a series issued by the City and County of Swansea. The bus service was infrequent so we drove from Rhosili to Llanmadoc car park (£1 honesty box). The north Gower coast is different in character from the south and is estuarine rather than the open sea of Swansea Bay. This area of North Gower is owned and managed by the National Trust. The map below shows the extent of Whiteford Burrows Nature Reserve.
Last week I met with two Welsh friends and we spent a few days on the Gower Peninsula, mainly hiking but also having a very sociable time which included good food home cooked, good pub grub, attendance at a performance of The Swansea Accordion Orchestra in the local Village Hall at Port Eynon on the Saturday evening and visits to a good few churches.