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Llanfihangel y Pennant

Castell y Bere

Location

Gwynedd Map

OS Ref: SH 667 085

Last Visited: 2013

Looking South from the Courtyard Castell y Bere

Looking South from the Courtyard
Castell y Bere

When I think of native Welsh castles I tend to think of sturdy defensive towers like Dolbadarn; Castell y Bere is on a completely different scale, with three towers, courtyards, curtain walls and a drawbridge.

The display board at the site gives a pretty good idea of what it may have looked like.

It was built by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great), Prince of Gwynedd, in around 1221.

He and his successors occupied it until 25th April 1283 when it fell to the English under Edward I. It was finally abandoned around 1294.

I was labouring under some difficulty this day, as I accidentally left my camera behind at our hotel and the battery ran out on my ex-wifeʼs camera soon after we got to Castell y Bere.

I was thus reduced to taking photos on my Samsung Galaxy SIII. Within the limitations of the phone, the quality is surprisingly good.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Castell y Bere
      Cadw's official site with details of opening times, etc. but not much more.
      http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/castell-y-bere/?lang=en
    • Castell y Bere
      Detailed history of the site an lots of photos from the excellent Castle Wales site.
      http://www.castlewales.com/cybere.html

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St Michael's Church

Location

Gwynedd Map

OS Ref: SH 671 088

Last Visited: 2013

Llanfihangel y Pennant Church

Llanfihangel y Pennant Church

Llanfihangel y Pennant is probably best known as the start of the easiest walk up Cader Idris

This explains not only the large number of cars parked nearby, but also the very welcome public toilets discretely tucked away in the woods opposite the church.

The Nave

The Nave

The Patchwork Map

The Patchwork Map

The church itself is pleasant but unremarkable. Unusually, the most interesting things are in the vestry.

As well as an extensive, if slightly confusing, display on the remarkable life of Mary Jones (see below), there is also an extraordinary patchwork relief map of the Dysynni Valley made by a group of local women.

I donʼt know what they were on, but I wouldnʼt say no to some of that.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Saint Michael's Church
      Lots more photos and some brief details from the Castle Wales site.
      http://www.castlewales.com/st_michaels_church.html

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Ty'n y Ddôl, Mary Jones's Cottage

Location

Gwynedd Map

OS Ref: SH 673 095

Last Visited: 2013

Mary Jones' Monument

Mary Jones' Monument

Further up the road past the church is Tyʼn y Ddôl the cottage where Mary Jones (1784-1866) was born.

The daughter of devout Calvinistic Methodists, she became obsessed with the idea of owning a Welsh Bible. Eventually, after saving for six years, in the year 1800 at the age of 15 she walked barefoot from Llanfihangel y Pennant to Bala, some 26 miles (42 km) to procure a copy from the Rev. Thomas Charles.

Ty'n y Ddôl Mary Jones's Cottage

Ty'n y Ddôl
Mary Jones's Cottage

Inspired by her devotion, Charles (along with William Wilberforce and others) founded the British and Foreign Bible Society, a nondenominational Christian charity whose purpose is to make local language versions of Bible available throughout the world.

Jones married a weaver from Bryncrug named Thomas Lewis, and lived a life of abject poverty. She is buried at the graveyard of Bryncrug Calvinistic Methodist Chapel. She had six children, only one of whom survived into adulthood, and he emigrated to America as a young man.

External Links and References

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