Heritage trails (again)

We had another go at the last part of Pilgrimage Day 2 (having given up at Groeswen because we were wet to our underthings last Sunday). Here we are setting off

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And here is a contender for World’s Most Useless Stile.

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Cute ponies on the ridge

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and Rachel and Cara contemplate the trig point.

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It was a splendid walk – but the problem is, it isn’t the original pilgrim way. That, as far as we can make out, followed the line of the minor road round the contour east from Groeswen, then turned north and went past a farm which is actually called Penygroes (head of the cross). A local folklorist had a story about a medieval cross on the corner, but I’ve never seen a reference to it anywhere else.

The route we took has a lot of up but a splendid view, taking in Steep and Flat Holm, the Quantocks, the Carmarthenshire Fan and Brecon Beacons, the Twmbarlwm and Mynydd Machen ridges and the tips of the towers of the Second Severn Crossing. The original route is flatter, goes along the spring line (handy for medieval pilgrims with horses or mules) and has good views of the Glamorgan hills – but it’s a road, and there is a lot of rubbish. What to do? Suggest both, make it clear the upper route isn’t the original one, and leave it up to the individual pilgrim?

We had lunch in Eglwysilan and contemplated the tombstones. There’s a nice balance of Welsh and English, including this one in cast iron

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and this one where the early part is in Welsh and the last entry in English.

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Also these cute back-to-back cherubs

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and a rather more modern cherub who looks as if he is asking ‘Please, sir, can I have some more?’

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From Eglwysilan you can continue along the road (the original route) or cut across the fields – we went for the fields, got lost once but scrambled back on track and got down to the White Bridge in commendable time.

Saturday we will set off from the green just below the White Bridge at 10 am and head for Mynachdy, Llanwynno and Penrhys – and Derek the Weather promises a good day.

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