Today's Walk.

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Bearbonesnorm
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Today's Walk.

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

I like walking - anyone who's ridden with me over the past 2 years will testify to that. Anyway, seeing as we have a 'today's run' and 'today's ride' thread, I thought why not a 'today's walk' thread too, so do feel free to join in.

A while ago, I'd heard talk of an old and long forgotten 'road' that joins the Wye Valley to the upper Hengwm, so early this morning Ruby and myself packed some cheese butties and went off in search.

The track is called Llwybr Shan Groca according to old maps and takes its name from an unusual standing stone called Sian Groca. Been a simple man, I reckoned if I could find the stone then the track wouldn't be too far away. We parked up in Hafren and made our way through the forest heading out towards the Sweet Lamb, then picked up the permissive track that heads towards the source of the Wye.

This'll be where the track ends and the proper fun begins.Destination up there int' mist and clag
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Unlike the Severn, the source of the Wye isn't really a tourist destination and is far less visited. What starts as a reasonable track soon turns to nothing more than a meandering sheep-trod with a good healthy helping of rocks and boggy bits. However, just like its neighbour, the source itself is very uninspiring been little more than a bog.

Yes, this is the start of the mighty river Wye.
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Ooh as an side, I did spot what looks very much like a breached dam - anyone know if the Wye was dammed at one point? Plenty of workings above Sweet Lamb, so maybe a dam and leat system?

Having made it to the source and both fortified with cheese, we took the path of most resistance and quite quickly gained the main Plynlimon ridge.

Just before cheese
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We spent the next couple of hours looking for the elusive stone amongst some other stones but sadly to no avail. However, I have a cunning plan for a return visit and hitting it from the north, so who knows, maybe I'll find it in time for the BB200? :shock:

Looking north(ish)
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whitestone
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Re: Today's Walk.

Post by whitestone »

There's a possibility that your breached dam was to create a "hush" - dam the water then release it to strip away surface vegetation and soil to reveal any bands of ore laden rock. Pretty common way of "mining" in olden times, might have been used up to the 19th century. Lots of them in Swaledale where they did the dam/release cycle many times to rip away the surface.

But looking at the (online) 1:25k map http://streetmap.co.uk/map?X=281861&Y=286457&A=Y&Z=115 there's a wall leading/contouring around the hillside from a "feature" near the source of the Wye to the stream above a disused mine so is that actually a wall or the remains of an old leat?
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Re: Today's Walk.

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

Not a very good picture Bob but I'd estimate that the 'walls' are around 30' high. The breach is probably about 20' feet ... I reckon it might be some feet to open and close it but I don't know. Did see signs of what I thought could be a leat but hard to really say for sure now.

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Re: Today's Walk.

Post by whitestone »

I'm not sure what mechanism was used to initiate the breach (calling Reg, calling Reg!) but that looks more like it's a supplementary dam for the mines further east along the track. Looking at satellite shots on Google maps, the "wall" appears to be a leat as it winds in and out of re-entrants, the OS map shows it losing very little height which is unusual for a wall - they'd go straighter than that. It only gets close to the track at the sharp bend as the track turns into the upper valley, hopefully the URI isn't truncated. https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Pum ... -3.7830277
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Today's Walk.

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

I see OS are showing it as a 'visible earthwork' which could obviously mean many things but it definitely just spans the river / valley bottom . SN 813866
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Re: Today's Walk.

Post by sillybigfella »

Lots of info on Archwilio.

Select Powys region and zoom into the area you want. Click on search map view and it will give you a link to more information.

Image9289B458-365A-4F63-8265-DE78FAB00A52 by Paul McCullough, on Flickr
Last edited by sillybigfella on Sun May 08, 2022 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Today's Walk.

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

Ta Paul, I'll take a look.
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Re: Today's Walk.

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

Bit of a wet day yesterday so CBA walking miles but to add some incentive I decided to incorporate some taking of pictures on our usual foray into the forest. The place is littered with decaying remnants of its previous like, so thought if for no other reason than to cheer Reg up, I'd take a few of them. Probably quite dull really but it's better than nothing. :wink:

A nice arch (I can't call it a bridge really) spanning the infant Afon that flows past the Towers.

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Partially filled level not far from the above - Ruby for scale.

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Kind of difficult to make out but that structure once housed a large water-wheel. It's very overgrown now and virtually hidden.

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The entrance to another level that was uncovered with the last lot of felling. it's around 6' high and unusually, quite dry inside. There's a second one about 50 yards higher up the hillside directly above this one.

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RIP
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Re: Today's Walk.

Post by RIP »

Love walking, love mines :smile: . Does look like a dam doesn't it. Plynlimon mine was a bit to the south on a slightly lower level so maybe a leat to there, and the Wye Valley mine is to the east, can't remember its proper name. But there's not much catchment? I think you need to dig your Bick out Stu, it'll all be in there. Some of the leats round your way are amazing. There's one that went from the top end of Nantymoch, past Bwlchystyllen, to Cwmsymlog and loads of other mines further down. I think it was 13 miles long. Enjoyed those other photos too. Is that wheel pit the Ty Isaf one for Llannerch-yr-aur or another one.

I do thank you for your cheery wishes. Have wasted considerable amounts of time/energy here on hols trying to sort Mrs P's vehicle insurance out. After getting it roadworthy with a hammer, gaffertape, and cableties (proving that they are definitely all that you need in your toolkit) it managed to get us here to Salop in one piece. But the insurance people have indeed written it off. We were very clear we wanted to save it if poss - hate wasting stuff when there's still a bit of life left - and after talking nicely with them they've offered £1200 and £132 buyback. So I reckon we'll do that and just have a motor with a quite considerably and playfully modified rear end, assuming it's not bad enough to fail MOT. It's the wasted time that's irksome when it's entirely not one's fault. Ho hum. So thanks for the cheery wishes :smile: .
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Re: Today's Walk.

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

I did mean to reach for the relevant copy when I got in Reg but got sidetracked. Wheel isn't Ty-Isaf, it's literally half a mile into the forest, just as before first climb begins it's on your left.
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