Valle Crucis Abbey
This magnificently sited ruin is very well preserved and deserves some time as it may have connections with King Arthur of Wales as the site of the legendary Glastonbury. If the foundations are there they may not be under the abbey itself, they may be nearer to Eliseg’s Pillar. A Christian monastery, it was founded around 1200 by Madoc ap Griffith, a Prince of Wales, and supported financially by him. Behind the abbey, near to the Eglwyseg River from which it gained its water supply, is a medieval fishpond which once supplied food for the monks.
Is there time for a short, brisk walk?
From near the farm at the abbey entrance there’s a path up Velvet Hill. There are wonderful views in all direction from the top. Not feeling energetic? Walk a little way to…
Half way between the Abbey and Abbey Grange Hotel just up the road on the same side as the abbey you will see Eliseg’s Pillar, erected in the early 800’s by the Lord of Powys. The top few feet were broken off about nine hundred years later and eventually is was re-erected. The base inscription is not now readable but it did say “Concenn, the son of Cateli; Cateli, the son of Brochmael; Brochmael, the son of Eliseg; Eliseg, the son of Cnoillain; Concenn, therefore the great-grandson of Eliseg, erected this stone to the memory of his great-grandfather, Eliseg.” Concenn died around 854.
Eliseg was related to Macsen Wledig the Emperor (died 387). He was an elevated Roman General who proclaimed himself leader of Britain and when he left Wales and Britain around 383 a power vacuum developed which has not been settled categorically ever since.
A very short drive up the road brings you to the Britannia Inn, winner of many top awards for its flowerbed displays. It’s a very quaint inn, totally refitted and refurbished recently and a comfortable place to stop and rest a while.
Don’t miss the next part of the drive - up to the top of the famous and spectacular Horseshoe Pass and the Ponderosa Café and Craft Shop. All facilities and car parking are available here and its also a favourite meeting place for folks from near and far.
There are lots of walks across the hills or down the Pentredwr valley or just sit on a seat and take in the bracing air and watch the world go by.
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