Tuesday 5 October 2010

Autumn Walk

My eldest daughter and I went for a walk yesterday. Or rather, I walked and she ran in short stretches. We went further than originally intended and did about 3 miles in all. I wanted to walk up to take photos of the views across the Vale of Towy near Wern. Somewhere, in a little field thereabouts, the earliest Christian missionaries in the area built a little wattle and daub church - the earliest place of worship in the parish. Timeteam might find it, with their "Geo-fizz"(!!!) but otherwise it is just a line on a page in a book, a dim and distant memory from the times of the earliest Christianization of the valley and its people.

The old farmhouse we walked past is in the vicinity (if not the exact site) of where Egwad once had his monastic cell. Indeed there are two Irish yews by the gateway which could indicate a once sacred site, though they are much faster-growing than the English yew, of which there is an example (regrown from an earlier tree?) perhaps a quarter of a mile up the hill . . .

And thou from earth art gone
Long since and in some quiet churchyard laid;
Some country nook, where o'er thy unknown grave
Tall grasses and white flowering nettles wave . . .
Under a dark red-fruited yew tree's shade.

From "The Scholar Gypsy" by Mathew Arnold (1822-88)

Autumn colour on the beech trees down by the river.

The river is running faster and deeper now we have had several days of rain recently.

Spume and foam on the river where the water throws itself over the rocks down near the old Mill.

The lane curls itself, seemingly round the telegraph poles, ahead of us.

The sun came out and melted the damp fields and woodlands into a gauzed landscape.

A sharper photo reveals the recently-limewashed tower of Llanarthne Church the other side of the river.

A neighbour's Section A ponies graze in her fields.

View across the Towy Valley near Wern.

An old apple tree marks the spot where once Egwad may have had his monastic cell.

The view of the river we never tire of.

We are off to Hay-on-Wye this morning, so photos to follow, and also the recipe for Dartmoor Demons - scrummy fruit scones I made this week.


  1. Great post. Now I have to look up all I can about the Vale of Towy and Egwad. I love doing this dabbling research on Google. And fruit scones -- just right to go with my cream teas! (See my blog)

  2. Ah...
    Beautiful photos, Bovey, as always.
    Waiting for the scone recipe.

  3. I love the new header photo, I have a "thing" about chimneys and that looks like a lovely cottage. Like you, I never tire of your river pics.

  4. You too live in beautiful countryside - delightful, especially when the sun is out. Also a fascinating area for history.

  5. Your pictures are breathtaking BB - thank you for sharing your views!

  6. I, too, like your new header. There's so much history around the area where you live, a source of endless fascination as well as beauty. Those scones look scrummy too and what a great name for them!

  7. Your walks always make me wish I could simply materialize at your side and tag along.
    That bit of poetry is lovely--we should all have such a "final resting place."
    Couldn't you just dream stories around that view of the chimney with its screen of apple trees!
    I think baking has a new appeal every autumn--after the hot weeks when the effort of making a meal seems too great, fresh bread, soups, casseroles suddenly seem homey and comforting again.

  8. Oh my goodness, you live in such a beautiful place! Those scones look delish - will have to snag your recipe. Guess I can use raisins instead of prunes? My family doesn't like them! These look great ! I do love Autumn fare!