Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Busman's Holiday in Wales

Following several seriously busy days at work, I flew off to Wales for two weeks vacation to visit family, friends and, of course, heritage sites. I thought I'd share some photos taken at various sites around Wales I visited and which have personal connections for me.

Saint Elly Church, Llanelly.
Church of Saint Elly, just outside the village of Gilwern is where I was christened and where several members of my family are buried. Its a very atmospheric spot, especially on a cold windy fall day. The church is 12th century and is surrounded by 700 year old yews and extensive grave sites. I met an elderly couple in the churchyard who turned out to be the parents of  a school day friend of mine. Small world.

Inner courtyard at Tretower Court
Restored & refurbished kitchen at Tretower Court. 
Tretower Court and Castle was my favourite site to visit as a child.  I loved visiting the site every opportunity I got - probably explains alot about my choices in career options.... The site is under the care of CADW, and has recently undergone major restoration, both inside and out. The site was the seat of the Vaughan Family, Norman aristocrats, and was partially occupied until the 1920's.

Looking up inside the castle tower.
The castle provides the name for the local community, three towers, and was originally a series of towers built within each other. Very typical fortification for this part of the border country  during the Norman period.

Another Norman fortification I visited was Cardiff Castle, site of the Great British Cheese Festival. Marvellous stuff. The keep pictured here was the original part of the much larger fortification built around it over many generations. Very impressive place I have also visited many times over the years. First time for the cheese festival though....

Cardiff castle keep flying the Welsh flag. 

In south west Wales I went to see Arthur's Seat, a neolithic chamber tomb, for the first time. Its situated in a beautiful location to which my photo does not do justice. 2,000 years old and counting.... Numerous summer holidays were spent in this part of Wales, in caravans, with cousins, in the rain.....

Looking through the remains of the door posts at the Church of Saint Micheal the Archangel.
Last, but definitely not least, I climbed the Skirrid Mountain, called the holy mountain for the legend it split at the time of Christ's death. During the middle ages, a church at the summit was dedicated to Saint Micheal, the Archangel and was the site of pilgrimage on Michealmas day. Little remains of the church now but it remains a compelling site with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. The church was built within the remains of a much earlier iron age fortification site.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful place plus skillful photographer results to a magnificent photos. Nice work! Looking forward for my short breaks in wales.