Sunday, 15 April 2012

Cydweli and Llangstaffen - castles, wells and dolmens!

Kidwelly - famous for its castle, its Welsh Boudica, Gwenllian  and of course:

 Hen fenyw fach Cydweli Yn gwerthu losin du, Yn rhifo deg am ddimai Ond unarddeg i mi. O dyna'r newydd gorau ddaeth i mi, i mi Yn rhifo deg am ddimai Ond unarddeg i mi

(The dear old lady of Kidwelly. A seller of sweets is she, Counts out ten for a halfpenny. But always eleven for me. That was very good news for me, for me. Counts out ten for a halfpenny. But always eleven for me.)

 The castle is very well preserved - fortunate really as the sky was an ominous grey and it looked like we'd be in need of shelter. Being the local centre of justice the castle has a prison - and even a high security wing! This consisted of a hole in the floor into which the unfortunate prisoner was despatched. Shaped like a bottle there was no way out other than attempting to scale the smooth stone walls and even then the top would have been barred. Not a pleasant fate.

Being so well preserved there are an abundance of towers to climb and rooms to explore as well as an aerial walkway with views down over the town.

However one castle was not ebough and it was on to Llansteffan for lunch and a second castle.

This one is much smaller than Cydweli and not in such good condition but strangely I like it far better. Perhaps the views over the beach made the difference? 

Having seen the castle we walked around the back in search of the holy well of St Anthony. Hidden behind a wooden doorway in the wall it is a calm and peaceful place. Named for the hermit  Antwn it is said to have been a place of healing since 6CE.

Time to head back  but it seemed a shame to head straight back to the main road. The other places visited today were easy to find so we wanted a challenge! Spotting a burial tomb nearby we set off to find it.

Twlc y Filiast is quite well hidden. Although it is visible from the path, the path itself is not signposted as one and we did a complete circuit  of the nearby village before working out just where t must be, parking the car and setting off.

Definitely worth it though. A capstone and a couple of uprights, the setting is just perfect in a patch of woodland next to a stream
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