The small town of Usk has several blue plaques placed by the civic society but I hadn’t spotted this one before. Which is strange, as (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Monmouthshire’
I’m back at work now after a long Christmas and New Year break, and I’m picking over the scraps of our midwinter wanderings. I regret that the weather was mostly very wet and dark, so I was mostly hard pushed to take pictures as a record of where we had been.
Although I have a couple of complete blog picture posts pending, there are lots of (more…)
Yes, I do mean borne, not born – by taxi, actually. There and back for a Saturday-night sleepover after a family birthday party. It was a lovely interlude. But this isn’t Facebook, so I won’t go into the details of the party itself – suffice to say it was brilliant!
This post is about the Celtic Manor, with some pictures I took on the sunny Sunday morning. Maybe you’ve heard of the Celtic Manor? It is near Newport in South East Wales and was the (more…)
Back in the summer I was totally smitten by this circle of six ancient wood-carved figures in a forest clearing in Tintern, Monmouthshire.
The figures themselves, sculpted from oak (or in one case sweet chestnut), are not ancient, but the people they represent are historical and mythical characters at the heart of this part of the country.
They were (more…)
On the same dark mid-winter day that we visited Usk and Monmouth, we also went to Tintern Abbey in the lovely Wye Valley.
We are members of Cadw and get in “free”, so we always visit when we are in the area.
It was early afternoon, but with sunset soon after 4pm at this time of year, it was already dim. It made the abbey’s stones seem more ruinous than ever but also showed up their lovely pink colour. I believe it’s the old red sandstone on which much of Monmouthshire stands and which gives the Wye its red colour.
Tintern Abbey was a Cistercian house founded in 1131 and rebuilt in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. It was surrendered to Henry VIII in 1536 when he dissolved the monasteries. He gave it to Henry Somerset, Earl of Worcester, who sold lead from the roof and leased parts of the area for cottages and other early industrial buildings.
The abbey regained fame in the 17th and 18th centuries when it was discovered by the Romantic poets (such as Wordsworth) and artists (such as Turner).
My aim for the day had been to take pictures of bare winter trees and some of these were visible from the abbey, too.
What I noticed most, though, was the hard white lichen like chewing gum patches all over the stones.
And the whole ruins, which have stood tall for so many centuries, looked as if they would crumble into damp rubble at any moment.
In the dark, damp days between Christmas and New Year, once the snow had cleared enough for us to get out of the house, we went for a drive in rural Monmouthshire (my home county).
I took my camera, despite the lack of good daylight, and snapped a few odds and ends in Usk, on the grey muddy river of the same name, and at Monmouth, where the Monnow meets the red muddy Wye.