A bit different this year – set out from Penrhys at 10 am on Saturday 3 September, walk over the hills to Llangynwyd. It’s a hefty walk so there are drop-out points on the way and a back-up vehicle.
This year’s pilgrimage is a bit more freeform that what we’ve done in previous years. Andy Delmege, the vicar from the West Midlands who walked with us last year, is proposing to walk the whole of the Cistercian Way in September and October as a sabbatical. So we are going to set him on his way on Saturday 3 September, starting out from the estate church at Penrhys, walking up the ridge to the wind farm and down into Ton Pentre. From here an old trackway leads over Mynydd Maendy and across Bwlch y Clawdd. There’s a magnificent ridge route along Craig Ogwr and over Mynydd Caerau down to Pont Rhyd-y-cyff then footpaths bypassing the road up to Llangynwyd. Bronze Age burial mounds, early medieval tribal boundaries, 360-degree views. At Llangynwyd is a medieval church which was a great focus for pilgrimage, and the graves of Ann Thomas, the ‘Maid of Cefn Ydfa’, and her lover Wil Hopcyn.
Andy will be staying overnight at Llangynwyd and setting off the next day for Margam and the coast. He will be coming back down the Borders towards the end of October – he’s due in Tintern on 18 October. When we have a date for his arrival at Penrhys we can arrange to walk the last section with him, hopefully with a visit to Llanwynno.
Key times and stopping-off points for Saturday 3 September (start time is exact, times along the way are approximate):
10 am start at Llanfair Church, Penrhys, CF43 3RH, ST 0018 9495
11.30 – 12 (ish) Ton Pentre: we will be passing near the railway station, SS 9728 9535, then walk along Church Road and Maindy Road, past the police station at SS 9694 9542 and up the hill
1.30 car park at Bwlch y Clawdd, SS 9395 9459
5.30 bridge at Pont Rhyd-y-cyff, SS 8725 8910
7 pm Llangynwyd Church, SS 8572 8883
This is like a medieval pilgrimage – there is no official organisation behind it. We can provide the route and arrange some stops on the way, but the rest is up to you. We do plan to have a back-up vehicle to get you back to the start. You will need to be reasonably fit, and you will need weatherproof clothing, stout walking boots and suitable refreshment. We can take no responsibility for the welfare of participants.
More information: maddy [at] heritagetortoise.co.uk