Sunday 5th July 2015
Rob Southall led a couple of walks for Cymdeithas Twmbarlwm Society and the Friends of the Cwmcarn Forest Drive on the first Sundays of July and August.
The first walk was to the ruins of Llandderfel Chapel which is on the side of Mynydd Maen above Greenmeadow Cwmbran.
Considering it was such a lovely sunny day only half a dozen of us turned out for the walk but we were joined by a couple more along the way. As we walked, Rob regaled us with some interesting stories, fact and fiction.
Archaeologist David Standing met us half way through the walk, having made his way up from the Cwmbran side and he pointed out features of the ancient Monastery Groves he has been researching for his thesis on the area – before going on to give us the benefit of his knowledge on the Cahpel itself at Llanderfel.
We stopped for a while at the ruins to take in the atmosphere and take on board refreshments – unfortunately, as we sat there the skies turned black over the hillside and the heavens broke with an horrendous downpour – I for one was not properly prepared for this having not checked out the weather forecast before leaving home – a lesson to be learned for future expeditions.
The walk was about 6 miles in total and an easy gentle amble – apart from me getting a good soaking it was a most enjoyable day out and I can’t wait for the next one.
Below are a few photos from the days hike – including some of the grafitti we disappointingly found on the stone cairn at the starting point.
There might not be much of it left now but it was once a very important stopping point on the Pilgrims’ route to Penrhys. The chapel was dedicated to St Derfel, one of only two in Wales – the other being in Merionydd.
Derfel Gadarn was a warrior saint and according to legend was one of King Arthur’s Knights. He was a fascinating character and you read much more about him here – WalesOnline –
Professor Maddie Gray has also made a series of videos on the Pilgrims’ Way which takes in Llandderfel – click here to watch it on Youtube