This is where I have been today - Newton House/Dinefwr Park at Llandeilo, which is run by the National Trust. I have asked to volunteer there and been taken on. Yippee! I had a tour of the house today, seeing bits I'd seen before but some of the behind-the-scenes parts too. I am really looking forward to getting involved and it will be great to meet like-minded people and to visit such a lovely setting regularly. The house has been frozen in time to the year 1912. Think of Downton Abbey, recently on tv . . .
Over the years we have had many walks in the parkland, across to the Castle, and my eldest daughter and I have also been involved in two archaeological digs run by Dyfed Archaeological Trust. Both were looking for the Roman remains in the park, and indeed there are the remains of not just one but two Roman forts. I can never look across the parkland without thinking of the Romans and how they lived there with the little vicus of local folk attached to the fort. I was thrilled to bits to find half a beautiful glass bead - dark blue with a twist of white in the glass. The position of the fort was such that they would have seen the camp fires of the local tribe, the Demetae (whose "towns" were modern-day Carmarthen and Dolaucothi, near Pumpsaint, where the Romans mined for gold), across at Garn Goch, a vitrified hillfort.
I was delighted to find these flowering - the first Snowdrops of the year.
Triceratops fallen . . .
View across the park, looking towards Paxton's Tower on the horizon.
I had a lovely wander through this woodland just below the Ice House. This stretch of woodland and the 2nd part I walked past are known as The Rookery.
Green and gold moss on a stump.
The Ice House for Newton House. It was a fair way from the main house and would doubtless have caused much muttering when ice needed to be fetched.
One of the herd of White Park Cattle which roam the parkland. There have been White cattle such as these at Dinefwr Park ever since Medieval times.
Heading back down towards the house.
A long view across the Park.
This pathway led me round in a circle, although had I carried on across the next field, righthanded, I would have ended up just below the Roman fort.
This oak tree had such a beautiful winter shape, and I hope to take other photos of it throughout the year.
The early mist was finally starting to rise as I was leaving.
A long view of the castle remains. I will try and find links to past posts about visits there and its history. The round "tower" to the left of the castle was used as a summerhouse for picnics in Victorian times.