Wednesday, 15 February 2017

A bit of history in photos from Monday's walk and finding old maps online.

Did I REALLY think I had that much time in hand, to do a two hour walk on Monday?  As I sit here wearily typing this, I know that I misled myself.  I cannot do another thing and before I start on the evening meal, I thought I would put up a few photos from Monday's walk.  Words will probably be sparse - be forewarned!

A few moments to stand and stare - I had been hoping for a view of the snow on Black Mountain, but it was far too misty.

I walked a few steps down the hill towards Felingwm Isaf (pictured here) to take a photo, and then thought, heck, I've not walked the long way round for a long time, so set off down the hill.

A little old cottage tucked away on the side of the road.  I have a vague memory, when I was checking out the census, of one of the cottages along here being home to a net maker, another was a ladder maker . . . humble abodes.

I turned left at the Sittim Chapel.  The graveyard here used to be God's Little Acre in May, just one MASS of Aquilegias.  Then it was decided that they made the place look untidy, so they were repeatedly mown year after year to eradicate them, and the area outside of the gravestones is just grass now . . .

Above, first leaves of Cuckoo Pint (the wild Arum lily).

All that remains of Nant-y-Pastai Woollen factory.  Nant is stream;  Pastai is Welsh for "pie". Which is obviously the Brythonic word across the Western (Celtic) region and we still have "pasty" today as a specialist tradition down in Cornwall (and Devon) though it's used countrywide for a similar blend of beef, potato and carrot or swede.  It made me smile to think it was called the stream of the pie!  On an earlier map, I have just found that the next farmstead along is also called Nant-y-Pastai and obviously gave its name to the Mill.  There was also a fulling mill on the other side of the stream, just below the chapel.  Today there is a sort of cottage on that site, which people have been doing up all the time we've been here.  I must walk that way some time and see if it ever got finished!  As for Nant-y-pastai, only the ruins of the bottom half of the main building can just about be made out. It was there in 1889 and 1906. Even in 1952, when it appeared to be much larger and 1964, but then by 1975 it was no longer named on the map and must have been becoming ruinous.

On the earliest map dated 1889 there is a small cottage nearly at the top of our hill on the left - only a flattish area in the field remains to show it was there.  It was called Pen-rhiw-foel which means top of the bare hill.  The footings of what I had always assumed was an outbuilding in the field opposite Felin Cothi, turn out to be those of a cottage, Plas Gwyn.  I've just spent a happy half hour relaxing and wandering these maps, putting names to what are barely even ruins now - just a course or two of tumbled grey stones.

Above and below, Plas Altyferin, with its Norman castle tump still surviving and overlieing an earlier Bronze Age promontory fort.

Finally, colourful leaves before the flowers on Shining Eyebright, which decorates the steep rocky "canyon" wall to the road as I came down the hill to home.


  1. Beautiful pictures...some day I shall travel there. Thanks for sharing!

  2. We did something similar here last get a different understanding of the area when you're on foot as opposed to in a car or a plane. Good for the soul too to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. There's always more grunt work waiting for you!

    1. Hi Aril. Much as I like to explore by car, nothing beats exploring an area on foot (or on horseback). It IS good for the soul.

  3. Oh, such beautiful photos.
    Love the Bronze Age Promontory fort. What views you have.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Sadly the BA promontory fort is under that big Norman lump of earth, but we know it's there!! Yup - fabulous views. We are so lucky.