Wordless Wednesday….. Another Favourite Place


Location:- The Ogwen Valley, Snowdonia, North Wales

1st August

(C) David Oakes 2018


Wordless Wednesday…Another Favourite Place



Location:- The Snowdon Horseshow from Llynnau Mymbyr, Capel Curig, North Wales

14th March

(C) David Oakes 2018

Silent Sunday…..So Off to Church


Valle Crucis Abbey, Llantysilio, Wales

Not really a Church this weekend but an Abbey. It is Valle Crusis Abbey and can be found in a deep sheltered valley at Llantysilio near to Llangollen in Denbighshire, Wales.



Built circa 1201 under the instruction and sponsorship of Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor the Prince of Powys Fadog it was a Cistercian Monastery.  For much of its working life the Abbey was prosperous and productive agriculture centre and the main occupation of the inhabitants who numbered maybe a couple of hundred at its height.  It survived the bitter and bloody Welsh Wars of the 13century and later the Abbey also enjoyed a reputation for a welcoming hospitality for travellers and the needy.

Its downfall was in 1537 and the Dissolution of the Monasteries on the order of Henry VIII.  After that it became and remains a ruin (though part of the Chapter House was later converted for a time to  Manor House).

We are lucky that the main structure still survives which allows us to gain a true feeling of the original size of  Valle Crucis as well as much of the detailed stone Tracery, Vaulting and Corbelling. The Abbey is now well cared for by CADW the Welsh Heritage Organisation with a rather good exhibition centre telling the story of Valle Crucis.


27th August

(C) David Oakes 2017

Sunday …. so Off to Church – in Snowdonia


Saint Marys Church, Beddgelert, Snowdonia

Thanks to Victorian modifications Saint Marys Church, the Parish Church of Beddgelert, looks much younger than its actual history. In fact Saint Marys Priory and Church is built upon the oldest known Christian settlement in North Wales. Records go back as far as the 6th century but like so many of our Abbeys and Monasteries the Benedictine Monastery that once stood here was substantially destroyed in the 16th century during the infamous Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Later the Priory  became the Parish church and with care over the following years it was rebuilt and modified at various stages.

Whilst the exterior is solid and austere the interior is more simplistic and modern…


The white walls contrast with the dark carved wooden Rood Screen before the Alter. The modernisation continued with the installation of new Stain Glass windows thru the 19th  and the 20th centuries.

Beddgelert is a small village and ‘Promotes’  itself as the ” Place of Legends “.  It is an attractive Welsh Stone village were two rivers meet to form the River Glaslyn.  The twin arched Bridge and the famous Prince Llewelyn Hotel are the picturesque centre piece of the village.


The village has a population of only 500 folk and during the Tourist season welcome visitors by the thousands. Visitors drawn to Beddgelert both by its naturally beautiful location in the shadows of the Snowdonia mountain range and by the many romantic legends that are just that…… legends. They can trek to Grave of Gelert the Faithfull Hound (see link for text :- http://myths.e2bn.org/mythsandlegends/textonly760-the-story-of-gelert.html)….ironicallyn the name Gelert means Grave.

After passing close to Saint Marys the Glaslyn rapidly descends over cascades down through Aberglaslyn Pass…


23rd April

(C) David Oakes 2017