Saturday, July 30, 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt - July 2011

Here are my entries for this month's Photo Scavenger Hunt.  Thanks as always to Kathy at Postcards from the PP for setting the topics for each month and I see that August's list is on her blog now!   Here is a - link- to the other participants.

A Flag
At the Ambien Hill re-enactment camp, Bosworth Battlefield Centre, Leicestershire

A Kite
Home made by Paul with crepe paper, parcel ribbon and balsa wood and tested in the garden

I really struggled with this one as we have no birthdays or anniversaries in July so I decided to interpret it in my own way by taking a photo down by the Caldon canal in celebration of the beauty of nature and of being close to such lovely countryside.

From Ambien Hill, Bosworth Battlefield Centre, Leicestershire

Flip flops
Courtesy of George @ASDA

Ice  cream
Vintage ice cream van in the city centre

Red, White and Blue
A rather sad looking toy dog at the local garden centre

In a fish dish - courtesy of the local garden centre

Something that makes you happy (not a person or animal)
Having a  pile of new books on my bedside table just waiting to be read

Emma Bridgewater's 'Stars' teapot


Deckchairs blowing in the wind at Trentham Gardens

Right, I'm off to see what everyone else has come up with!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nant Gwrtheyrn

As promised in my last post - a bit more history.......  hope you don't mind!

We ate our picnic on a grassy area at the side of the small car park over looking the mountain of Yr Eifl.  A man asked us if we were 'going up' as the views from the top were stunning.  We'd noticed one or two people following the path up the side of the mountain but we weren't really properly shod to risk the climb but I'd love to go back again and walk to the top to see the three summits, known in english as The Rivals, and the iron age hill for at the top of the summit Tre'r Ceiri.

Instead we took the road down to the bay and the old Victorian Quarry village of Nant Gwrtheyrn known also as Vortigern's Creek.  There were just a few farmhouses on the hillside until the quarry opened in 1861.  The village of Porthy y Nant grew up nearby.

It is now a centre for Welsh language and creative writing courses and is also used  for events like weddings and conferences.

The old chapel is now a Heritage Centre overlooking the sea.

The former cottages of the village are now used as accommodation by groups of people attending courses and conferences.

Inside the Heritage Centre is a model of how the village used to look at the height of the quarrying industry.

Plus lots of other information about the history of the village before and after the quarry was established and the memories of people who lived and worked there.  The quarry closed during the second world war and the community gradually dispersed. 

We only had a short time here but it is somewhere I'd like to explore further next time we visit as there are many coastal walks and waymarked paths both down to the beach and up into the hills.

 I still have three photos to find for this July's Photo Scavenger Hunt so I'd better get a move on as it is August next week!  Where has this month gone?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Church on the Beach

One of my favourite places on the Llyn Peninsular is the little coastal village of Aberdaron.

It's here you will find the church on the beach

St Hywyn's church is such a peaceful place to be  

If it is warm outside it is beautifully cool inside

I like the light coming through this window which overlooks the sea

Inside the church is a cairn of stones from the beach.  You can collect a stone from the beach, inscribe it with the name of someone dear to you and leave it on the cairn.  On the last Sunday in October they are returned to the sea - the full story of the cairn is - here

Next to the cairn are  tombstones, dating from the 6th century, of two early Christian priests.  Again the full story is - here.

When we set out from Aberdunant in the morning, calling at Abersoch on the way, the weather was dull and cloudy.  By the time we reached Aberdaron the sun had come out and the sky was blue.

From the beach you can see across to Bardsey Island  - Ynys Enlli 
an historic place of pilgrimage and also a well known bird observatory.

Aberdaron has a stunning beach which is wonderful to walk along and there are many more walks in the area.

The last time we visited Aberdaron, which was in the pouring rain, we had a lovely meal in the little cafe above. Y Gegin Fawr used to be a communal kitchen where pilgrims to Bardsey island could seek a meal before continuing their journey. This visit the sun was shining and we had food with us and we found a wonderful place, steeped in history, to eat our picnic. I'll tell you more in my next 'Welsh' post.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Now Showing.....

in the garden.........

 Hardy Geranium - Ann Folkard

Hemerocallis or Day Lillies

 Hardy Geranium -not sure which variety this is!  I just know that it isn't Johnson's Blue.

 Lavender - Munstead




Hardy Geranium - Ann Thompson

Yellow Loosestrife - is this a weed or not?  If it is quite a bit of our garden is full of weeds!




and what a splendid display it is - even in the rain!

I'll be back soon with more from our holiday in Wales.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Penarth Fawr

Just off the coast road between Pwllheli  and Criccieth is a hidden gem.  We'd been here before a couple of years ago and loved it so much that we decided to go back and visit again.

This is Penarth Fawr a medieval house set in beautiful, peaceful farmland.  In the little guide book I purchased from the cafe and craft shop the house is described as  'a stone-built aisle truss hall-house'

It also says that the present structure was  'most probably built by Hywel ap Madog about 1460 on the boulder foundations of an ancestor's earlier house.'   In another note the booklet tells the story of Hywel ap Madog dying of 'wounds inflicted during the Battle of Mortimer's Cross during the Wars of the Roses.'

The fireplace in the great hall above was added during improvements made to the house  in the late 16th century.  When first built the hall would have had a central open hearth. 

Above is what the booklet calls 'The Magnificent 15th Century Spere Truss'   The upper story is to the right of the cross-passage between the great hall and service quarters and was, according to the booklet, used for storage or servant's sleeping quarters.
The upper floor has many warnings about falling and I was very wary of the height, especially after my experiences a couple of days before at the aqueduct!!  I did struggle up the steps though to get the feel of the place and it was wonderful whilst I wasn't thinking about how to get back down to ground level with a little dignity still intact - I'm sure I didn't struggle so much on our last visit.

The 'solar' end of the hall and the private family rooms which had been added in the 17th century were demolished about 1840.  In the 17th century another wing was added which is now a private  farmhouse running at angles to the great hall.

We had the place to ourselves for quite a while before some more visitors arrived.  

The stable block is now a cafe and craft shop and we sat outside in the courtyard under the trees sipping tea.  It really is a most tranquil and relaxing place to visit.

I forgot to mention the little herb garden at the back of the house.  There were many interesting plants and also the lovely Dovecote.

The House is in the care of CADW - Welsh Historic Monuments -  and it is free to look around.  It was time to head back to Criccieth for a walk by the sea.....

.......and some  fish and chips.