This 3 mile walk beginning from St Mark's Church (Grid Ref: SN 991 644), follows forest and farm tracks and crosses the River Wye to reach Llanwrthwl.
Arts, Culture and Heritage
Ysfa to Llanwrthwl Walk
St Mark’s Church, Ysfa
A Victorian Church built of stone with brick interior between 1870 and 1871. Its main claim to fame is that the first stone was laid by Revd Kilvert, the diarist, in 1871 and his diaries describe the opening which was somewhat lively due to children playing in the lime and the wind blowing it on to the gathering, smarting their eyes. There was also something of a commotion in the tent resulting in it being torn. There is a beautiful Victorian model of the Church inside. The church is said to have been built by the local gentry for worship by their servants.
Eglwys Sant Mark, Ysfa
Eglwys Fictoraidd a adeiladwyd rhwng 1870 a 1871. Mae’r eglwys wedi’i hadeiladu o gerrig gyda briciau ar y tu mewn. Mae’r eglwys yn enwog oherwydd gosodwyd y garreg gyntaf gan y Parch Kilvert, y dyddiadurwr, ym 1871. Mae ei ddyddiaduron yn disgrifio’r agoriad a oedd braidd yn fywiog oherwydd i’r plant chwarae yn y calch a chwythodd y gwynt y calch ar y dyrfa gan losgi eu llygaid. Cafwyd hefyd rhywfaint o gynnwrf yn y babell a chafwyd ei rhwygo yn ystod y digwyddiad. Mae model Fictoraidd hardd o’r Eglwys y tu mewn. Dywedir bod yr eglwys wedi cael ei hadeiladu gan y bonedd lleol fel lle addoli ar gyfer eu gweision a’u morwynion.
Abbeycwmhir Village Visit
Abbey Cwm Hir (Abaty’r Cwm Hir) - The Abbey in the Long Valley. Here, in 1143 the building of an Abbey commenced which had it been completed, would have been the largest in Wales and where the headless remains of Llewelyn ap Gruffydd (Llewelyn ap Gruffudd) the last of the Welsh Princes, are reputed to have been buried. The abbey ruins can still be seen and nearby the Hall at Abbeycwmhir has been splendidly restored, decorated and furnished and is a visitor attraction open by appointment and well worth a visit.
Abbeycwmhir, a village situated in the centre of Wales amongst the Cambrian mountains in the old county of Radnorshire steeped in history and natural beauty,virtually undiscovered by the modern world.
The name Abbeycwmhir derives from the Cistercian monastery built here in 1143 and translates as Abbey in the long (hir) valley (cwm). Abbeycwmhir is also the burial place of the last native Prince of Wales "Llewellyn the Last".His head was taken to London and his body buried here,there is a memorial stone for him in the ruins of the old Abbey. The village sits in the base of the valley close to the Clewedog brook and is surrounded by hills.Glyndwrs Way national walking trail and cycle route 25 pass through the village making it an ideal location for these activities. Hanging oak forests, rocky outcrops and unpolluted farmland make this the best place in the country to watch rarities such as red kites, peregrines, pied flycatchers and redstart,daily feeding can be seen at the UK's leading Red Kite Centre, Gigrin Farm just six miles away. Over 150 kites gather for the daily afternoon feeding sessions at Gigrin Kite Centre, not to mention scores of buzzards and ravens.
St Clements to Nantgwyllt Walk
The first section of the trail begins at St Clements Church in Rhayader (Grid ref SN 962682), and follows the Elan Valley up as far as the church at Nantgwyllt, a distance of 5 miles.
St Clement’s Church, Rhayader
St Clement’s is an imposing 17th Century building much altered by the Victorians overlooking the River Wye adjacent to the old Welsh Rhayader Castle. The Church is of Norman origins, probably built by the Mortimer family who captured and restored the castle in 1200. The dedication is to St Clement and this could have stemmed from the fact that the Normans were rebuilding the Church of St Clemente in Rome at the same time. A large cast iron fence surrounds the reburied remains of the garrison of the castle, one of whom was said to be a giant. The Church has some very fine stained glass windows.
Eglwys Sant Clement, Rhaeadr Gwy
Mae Eglwys Sant Clement yn adeilad mawreddog o’r ail ganrif ar bymtheg a gafodd ei newid yn helaeth yng nghyfnod Fictoria. Mae’n edrych i lawr dros afon Gwy ac wedi ei lleoli ger hen Gastell Cymreig Rhaeadr Gwy. Mae’r Eglwys yn tarddu o’r cyfnod Normanaidd, ac fe’i hadeiladwyd mae’n debyg gan y teulu Mortimer a gipiodd ac a adferodd y Castell ym 1200. Cyflwynwyd yr eglwys i Sant Clement a gallai hyn fod wedi deillio o’r ffaith fod y Normaniaid yn ailadeiladu Eglwys Sant Clement yn Rhufain yr un pryd. Mae ffens fawr o haearn bwrw yn amgylchynu gweddillion garsiwn y castell. Cafodd aelodau’r garsiwn hwn eu hail-gladdu, ac yn ôl y chwedl roedd un ohonynt yn gawr. Mae gan yr Eglwys rai ffenestri lliw gwych iawn.
Elan & Claerwen Valleys
To the west of Rhayader is the Elan Valley Estate, owned by Welsh Water and managed by the Elan Valley Trust, the series of reservoirs set in the outstanding scenery of the Elan and Claerwen Valleys have created a home for wildlife and a place to inspire us all.
Walking: With 72 sqaure miles of Elan Valley Estate, walking routes in this our part of the Cambrian Mountains is spectacular. See a selection of the Elan Valley walks here.
History: In the 19th century, at the time of the Industrial Revolution Joseph Chamberlain, then leader of Birmingham City Council, set about finding a clean water supply for the City.
The Elan and Claerwen Valleys had been identified by the engineer James Mansergh as having the best potential for water storage - with
• An average annual rainfall of 72 inches (1830mm).
• Narrow downstream valleys which made building the dams easier.
• Impermeable bedrock preventing the water seeping away.
• Altitude - the area is mostly higher than Birmingham enabling the water to be transported by gravity alone, without the need to be pumped.
An Act of Parliament was passed for the compulsory purchase of the area and in 1893 the building work began. Over 100 occupants of the Elan Valley had to move, only landowners received compensation payments. Many buildings were demolished, among them 2 manor houses, 18 farms, a school and a church (which was replaced by the corporation as the Nantgwyllt Church).
A railway line was constructed to transport the workers and thousands of tonnes of building material each day and a village of wooden huts was purpose built to house many of the workers on the site of the present Elan Village.
The Elan Valley Dams were officially opened by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra on 21st July 1904, and the later built Claerwen Dam was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.
Present Day: The dams and reservoirs of the Elan Estate are situated within an area of outstanding scenic beauty. They provide a lasting amenity in their own right for visitors to enjoy. The protection of the water catchment area to prevent pollution of the reservoirs has safeguarded the habitats of numerous species of flora and fauna and now the 70 square miles of moorland, bog, woodland, river and reservoir are of national importance for their diversity of lower plants (ferns, mosses, lichens and liverworts) and the Estate is the most important area for land birds in Wales.
Exploring Mid Wales
Exploring Mid Wales - bespoke guided tours for the curious mind.
We offer bespoke guided tours, walks and cycle rides in the Mid Wales area. If you would like to make the most of your stay then allow us to show you some of the many hidden gems of the area. We are keen walkers and mountain bikers. We also offer specialist historical, geographical and literary tours.