At the weekend I was in Wales with my local rambling club when we visited Corwen.
Corwen is situated close to a bend in the River Dee and was once an important staging point on the London to Holyhead road, the A5. Today it is best remembered for its association with Owain Glyndwr.
Owain Glyndwr was the leader of a national revolt against English rule in Wales, beginning in 1400 with an attack on Ruthin’s foreign colony from his stronghold near Corwen.
Proclaimed Prince of Wales by a Welsh parliament –the only person ever to receive such an honour – he gained control over most of the country, winning battles and capturing castles. He summoned several parliaments, held an alliance with France, Ireland and Scotland, and proposed an independent church and two universities for Wales.
Owain sustained the hopes of his nation for over fifteen years and his myth lived on even though he died in obscurity, having never accepted the pardon offered to him.
In succeeding centuries he has become a potent symbol of the Welsh spirit and the father of modern Wales.
Today I decided to take it easy and do the ‘C’ party. We left Corwen and crossed over the River Dee to begin the short climb up to Caer Drewyn Hill fort.
Allan led the way saying “Come on it’s not too far”
There has been an hill fort at Caer Drewyn since the third century BC. It is set on a hill overlooking the valley of the River Dee ( Afon Dyfrdwy ). In Iron Age times it must have been a spectacular sight/site as it dominated the important route way. On a clear day there are marvellous views of the valley and the surrounding mountains but today we were in low cloud.
All that remains today are huge piles of stones, part of the old stone ramparts.
Many of the rocks were covered with lichen and beautiful pink flowers.
I think they are English Stonecrop.
We descended to join a track which led us to a path running alongside the river. It was signposted the Dee Valley Way but considering it is a recognised Long Distance Footpath it is need of some maintenance work. There was one very steep slope leading down to the river which proved difficult for some of our group.
The path alongside the river was fine until we met a herd of young cows. They looked intimidating but really they were just curious and moved away as we approached. Once through a gate we were able to sit by the river and enjoy our lunch.
We were now on the Clwydian Way which we followed to cross the busy A5 close to Pont Corwen.
We continued along the Clwydian Way for another mile before heading south along a minor road towards Cynwyd.
We crossed River Dee at the Pont Dyfrdwy and then headed north along the old railway track back to Corwen.
I made a short diversion to visit Llangor Old Parish Church.
The church can be dated back to the late 13th century although it could be as old as the 11th century. Its original name was Llan Garw Gwyn ( Church of the White Deer ) and possibly refers to an ancient legend.
The plain whitewashed exterior gives no hint of the treasures within. There are 15th century wall paintings, a 17th century figure of death and a pulpit and minstrels gallery. Unfortunately it was not open whilst I was there.
The church closed after it was replaced in 1854 and remained empty until 1967. It was opened to the public in 1991.
We were back in Corwen with plenty of time for refreshments.
It was an enjoyable days out with the ‘C’ Party but I found the pace a bit slow.
An easy 9 miles.