Situated on the western slopes of the Conwy valley in the parish of Caerhun, Rowen takes its name from the River Roe, and has won several tidiest village awards. Given many previous – and still ongoing lockdown situations – its local walking only, but we’re fortunate to be able to enjoy this pretty village from our doorstep, despite the pub garden being closed! A collection of cottages, barns, and other points of village interest as opposed to my usual landscapes.
The Llangollen Canal is a navigable canal crossing the border between England and Wales. The waterway links Llangollen in Denbighshire, north Wales, with Hurleston in south Cheshire, via the town of Ellesmere, Shropshire. The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee in the Vale of Llangollen in northeast Wales. The 18-arched stone and cast iron structure is for use by narrowboats and was completed in 1805 having taken ten years to design and build, by Telford. The canal network forms part of many good walking routes around Llangollen, although I confess to not having the right head-for-heights in order to walk across the viaduct.
The small border town of Chirk lies in the Ceiriog Valley; the homeland for three of Wales most notable poets: Huw Morus (1662-1709), Robert Ellis (1812-1875) and John Ceiriog Hughes (1832-1887). Chirk Castle was one of several medieval Marcher fortresses sited on the Welsh-English border. Once the home of Sir Thomas Seymour, who married Catherine Parr (Henry VIII’s widow), it has been lived in almost continuously for 700 years. The magnificent 100 feet high stone railway viaduct was built in 1846 by Scottish engineer Henry Robertson, to facilitate the Shrewsbury and Chester Railway. The adjoining aqueduct was built in 1796 by Thomas Telford and William Jessop to carry the Ellesmere Canal.
Slater’s Bridge can be found at Little Langdale near Ambleside, Cumbria. It is a slate packhorse crossing dating back to the 17th century, and became a listed building in 1967. The bridge is thought to have been created by miners working in the nearby Tilberthwaite Fells. Alexander Craig Gibson (folklorist and antiquarian) called it “an exquisite and unique specimen of a style of bridge all but extinct, and a century later, Alfred Wainwright called it “the most picturesque footbridge in Lakeland.”
I’ve never considered myself a cat-lover – I always gravitate more to horses and dogs, but I can’t resist a poser! The silver tabby was especially beautiful; discovered roaming the grounds of the historic house Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant. One of the hard-working cats at the stables has one blue eye and one green eye; a feline form of heterochromia, I learn. I imagine a more enviable job for a cat is that of the pub cat, always in a warm spot in the window. The black and white cat is a regular visitor to my garden and likes to stare me out.
Conwy Castle is a fortification in Conwy, located in North Wales. It was built by Edward I, during his conquest of Wales, between 1283 and 1289. Constructed as part of a wider project to create the walled town of Conwy, the combined defences cost around £15,000, a huge sum for the period. The 2017 Medieval Festival included jousting and battle re-enactments.