Cardiff Castle

The lioness watches over Cardiff Castle

Keeping watch over Cardiff – Darren Waters

Cardiff Castle was featured prominently in the news recently. It was the host venue of a dinner at the 2014 NATO Summit held in South Wales in September 2014. It’s a great castle situated right in the centre of the city. The castle has a long history of development from a Roman fort to a Norman castle through to the modern Marquess of Bute incarnation. It has imposing stone walls and a wonderful shell keep in the centre.

Of great interest and held in great affection by the locals is the Animal Wall which was designed by William Burges and built in 1890. The photo shows the lioness which is one of 15 animals that stretch along the wall from the castle tower to the River Taff.

The Castle is well worth a visit and you can even visit the animals for free as you walk along the pavement towards the river. Entrance to Cardiff Castle is quite expensive at ÂŁ12 for adults. If you do visit make sure you pay the small extra charge for a tour of the Castle itself. It’s well worth it to see some amazing rooms! The tour takes about 50 minutes.

Thanks to Darren Waters for the photo from his Flickr collection. Click on the photo for a better view.

Cardiff Castle is located right in the centre of Cardiff at the west end of the main shopping street of Queen St.

View of the iconic Eisteddfod pavilion

Eisteddfod 2012

Last week we went to the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Llandow, in the Vale of Glamorgan. We were invited as guests of the Principality Building Society which was very nice. 🙂   The Principality is Wales’ largest mutual building society and is the main sponsor of the National Eisteddfod choral competitions.

The Eisteddfod is a cultural festival and is held annually in Wales. Its location alternates each year between north and south Wales and is normally held at a new site each time. This year Llandow between Cowbridge and Llantwit Major was chosen. read more

Path approaching St Illtud's Church, Llantrithyd

Llantrithyd Church and Manor House

We stopped off today at Llantrithyd Church. It’s situated in the centre of the rural Vale of Glamorgan half way between Cardiff and Cowbridge. It’s off the beaten track along a small lane that runs from Bonvilston through the countryside eventually ending up in Llantwit Major.

The church appears to date from the 1500s and is a beautiful place. The inside of the church is well worth a visit when it’s open – “Here is a massive 16th century family altar tomb dominating the tiny interior. It retains its colourful paint and gilded detailing and shows a man in armour laying next to his wife, both with their hands together in prayer.” – Wales Online
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Railings on the Taff

Stuart Herbert’s Photo Diary

Railings on the Taff

Railings on the Taff – © Stuart Herbert

I recently discovered Stuart Herbert’s Photo Diary.

Stuart is an excellent amateur photographer who concentrates on landscapes and Post-Industrial South Wales.

He’s currently documenting the Merthyr Road – the legacy of the industrialisation of the South Wales Valleys from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff Docks.

Stuart is great at capturing the essence of the industrial South Wales valleys and his photos are well worth a look.

You can find Stuart’s photo diary here – http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/ and more of his photos on Flickr here – http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartherbert/

St. Augustine’s Church, Penarth

We visited St Augustine’s Church in Penarth last week.  The church is set high up on the headland between Cardiff Bay and the Bristol Channel.  Its prominent position means that it’s clearly visible for miles around.

I see the church almost every day but have never visited it before.  It has stunning views back across the Bay towards the Pierhead building, Mermaid Quay and the city centre, and then on to the hills and mountains north of Cardiff.

The church is pretty impressive, though the graveyard needs a bit of love and attention.
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St Illtud’s Church, Llantwit Major

View of St Illtud's church with a snow covered graveyard

St Illtud's Church - north

St Illtud’s church in Llantwit Major is a remarkable place. A church was first set up here by St Illtud in AD520 when he created the first collegiate church and monastery.

It has often been called “the oldest university in the world”. Llanilltud Fawr became the centre of learning throughout Christian Britain.
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Blue Anchor Pub, Aberthaw damaged by fire again

Blue Anchor in 2004

Unfortunately the Blue Anchor Inn in East Aberthaw has caught fire again last weekend.

This is a great local pub with a huge amount of character.   The building dates from 1380.  It has caught fire a number of times in its history – a thatched roof and log fires don’t mix very well 🙂

You can read the BBC News story here – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_east/7985050.stm
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Pennard Castle and Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

View across Three Cliffs Bay, GowerOver the Christmas holiday period we had a trip to Pennard on the Gower.  We walked across the Pennard Golf Course to the ruins of Pennard Castle. The ruins date from the 13th century.

If you fancy the walk to the castle then park in Linkside Drive (marked on this map). Park near the village shop.

As you walk across the golf course and the sand dunes then you get a great view across to the headland at Oxwich.

As you walk a bit further then you come to the castle itself. It’s an impressive ruin and is doing well for itself considering that it’s over 700 years old! read more

Sigginstone Plane Crash March 12th 1950

The village of Sigginstone (or Sigingstone) near Cowbridge is famous for two things – the Victoria Inn pub and the Llandow Plane Crash.

On Sunday March 12th 1950 an Avro Tudor V was returning from Dublin with 78 rugby supporters on board.  The previous day Wales had won the coverted Triple Crown in Belfast.  75 passengers and all 5 crew were killed. read more