A stroll in the Welsh countryside and some history too

As it was a lovely evening and I was able to finish work a bit earlier (thanks to my boss) I thought I’d go for a little walk and show you some of Wales’s stunning scenery. Turns out to be a three hour walk and some of the things I wanted to show you I couldn’t find…

I walked part of the Newtown Mountain Forest Trail which is primarily aimed at horse riders but open to ramblers like me and mountain bike riders. From grazing sheep on rolling hills to dark woods and moors with heather you get everything.

So lets go for a walk.

This one definitely needs a shave

This one definitely needs a shave

First I passed a reservoir that was built in 1902 by the Ruabon Water Company to hold 126 million litres of water and supply their brickworks. Nearby was Plas Du, originally a monastery that offered shelter to pilgrims visiting Vale Crucis Abbey and were too late to cross the mountain to Llangollen in daylight. I only saw a derelict stable building of some kind but the ruins of the monastery should be somewhere.

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Making my way into the woods.

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A bit further along the way

In the centre of the woods is Newtown Hamlet. There was the ancient custom ‘ty unos’ (one night houses) that enabled people to build houses on common land. To claim the plot smoke had to be coming from the chimney before nightfall. Apparently there are ruins of these squatters’ homes in the woods but I couldn’t find them. I saw some stones but that could have been anything.

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It’s a bit blurry but you can just make out some stones further back. Maybe they belonged to one of the houses?

Making my way towards Ruabon Mountain (on the left) and into the open again.

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The quarry is just at the end of the shadow on the left

The heather from the mountain was once harvested to make brooms (besoms) and once even exported to Europe and America. In August 1940 the moor was set on fire to attract German bombers heading for Liverpool.
On the left in the shadow is an old sandstone quarry that provided stone for many local buildings.

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Obviously the quarry hasn’t been used for quite a while

Having the trail all to myself – apart from the sheep.

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Plas Glas Reservoir built in 1935.
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On days with a good view you can see Erddig Hall and even the hills of Cheshire.

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The front of Erddig Hall on the outskirts of Wrexham, one of the country’s finest stately homes. It was once owned by the Yorke family.

On my way home.

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Looking back towards Ruabon Mountain in the distance.

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