Sunday, 1 March 2015

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus

Had to be a trip to Wales now didn't it!

Having heard the wind in the night trying to strip the tiles off the roof it was rather a releif to be greeted with a bright sunny morning. The forecast wasn't great so we didn't want to go too far.

It's been a few years since I visited Blaenavon.  It was once one of the most important producers of iron in the world and along with the mines a hotbed of early industrial activity - at a huge cost to the landscape. However since the ironworks closed, nature has gradually crept in and reclaimed the land, although the marks are still there to be seen.

Blaenavon is now a World Heritage Site thanks to its  geological features, industrial relics and nationally important wildlife habitats. Good place for a walk then.

 We parked the car by Pen-ffordd-goch pond ( Keepers Pond)  which was built to provide water  for Garnddyrys Forge. The forge was dismantled in the  1860s but the pond remains.

Nature has done a superb job in reclaiming the spoil tips - when I was young there was little green in places. Now the areas of spoil are only visible where the piles are too steep to be easily colonised.

 Fabulous views of the Skirrid. Look at that blue sky

This is the Sugar Loaf taken from the same vantage point as the Skirrid at the same time - typical Welsh weather closing in fast!

Of course face in the other direction and it's all good. Plenty of remaining  scars from the mining. I wonder what they'll make of all this in 2000 years time when the true origins are forgotten. A 20CE hill fort perhaps?

The rain was starting to hit now - with some hail and sleet mixed in so it was time to turn back and head for the car. The most direct route was across the bog and over the rocky summit. So that's where we went.

The bad weather had cut short the walk so it was a quick drive down in Blaenavon and lunch at the Red Lion.

It would have been nice to take a leisurely trip around the Iron Works after lunch but the weather was now completely foul so we saved it for next time.

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