was enormously energised to break free of cardiff's gravity on a walk the other day. there's a particular prehistoric track that fully flings you out NW above the ely valley.

the track threads between some iron age enclosures and some properly wild mysteries. it becomes the pilgrimage road to the upland shrine at penrhys in the valleys. my first highlight was the huge ruined farm dwelling of maes mawr at groes-faen. the farmstead is next to a quarry infamous for having literal toxic waste being dumped there in the 70's. bp & monsanto denied their responsibility for decades.

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next I found my way to the manorial bounds of miskin. again, quarrying was the big source of wealth here. here there's the ruin of allt-y-gawrddu, an amazing medieval courtyard house which was ruined by 1530. it was always said there was a 6th c monastery here but no evidence for that has ever been found.

beyond that I got my head spun when entering the bounds of talygarn. it really got my mind going. big manorial complex with the big house & church and every thing you'd expect from a lordship. this kind of place is exactly everything I want from a walk because you can very clearly find the origins of the estate in this round enclosure. SO a church in a round enclosure means ancient. in Wales though, the place usually comes with a 'llan' name (the-church-of-so-and-so) etc but not talygarn!!

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one theory is that the round enclosure was the chief iron age round house, which then became a romanised villa, which then was christianised BEFORE the 6th c ' age of the saints' when monks would evangelise 2 rural pagan big men & their estates hence the abundance of 'llan-places" in literally every single significant estate/villa/farm in Wales.

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this is the church in question . it's a tiny chapel which was rebuilt in the 17th c and long ruined by the 19th when a new church was built right next to it when talygarn was remodelled. Its dedicated to st anne. the track that leads out of it is *ancient as fuck* and takes you to the confluence of a major brook & the river ely.

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at this point I got onto the ely and walked my nettle ravaged legs all the way back to Cardiff.

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@knownrobes sounds like it was a great walk. I love you bringing in the history to your walks.

@knownrobes I can totally see that theory working. The Welsh/Celts were Xian before the Saxons and when the Saxons did start going Xian , they (i.e. St Augustine in 597) were annoyed to find the Welsh were already Xian but were 'doing it wrong'.

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