"Places I remember"
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The Worms Head
Cockle pickers at Penclawdd
This place I loved, many memories, picnics by the sea, my father building fires on the beach from driftwood, sandy beaches that seemed to go on forever, 'bliss'
Gower, the 14-mile promontory which juts into the sea from Swansea, was the first part of Britain (in 1956) to be declared an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. Its resorts - Langland Bay, Caswell Bay, Oxwich, Port Eynon and Rhossili - are little more than coastal villages, strung out along a spectacular, cliff-backed shore.
Gower's south coast, with its sheltered sandy bays, is the most attractive and popular part of the peninsula. This southern shoreline ends dramatically at the promontory of Worms Head and Rhossili's vast beach. Gower's low-lying northern coast of dunes, saltmarsh and low-tide sands has a completely different character. The sands here are the source of the famous Penclawdd cockles, sold at Swansea Market.
View of the Rhondda Valley
St. Mary's Well, at Penrhys
I couldnt find any pictures of Pontygwaith, but the picture of Ferndale will give an idea of what the town was like. Penryhs was the mountain above the town. wonderful history.
I lived, in two house in Hengoed, and spent quite a bit of time here and the near by town of Ystrad Mynach.
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and it's Castle
This place was a childs dream, the Police Station I lived in backed onto the moat and grounds of the Castle, how many children could say their playground was a Castle, I had a great time here, the Castle then wasnt as big a tourist attraction as it is now, I and my friends could come and go and play where we liked, climbing the walls, in and out of the towers and dungeons....wonderfull!
The interest and extraordinary impact of Caerphilly Castle derive from its enormous size, together with the complexity of its land and water defences. In all, it covers some 30 acres, and represents the might of medieval military architecture on a majestic scale. Seen mirrored in the still waters of its great lake, or rising mysteriously through a morning mist, the castle presents a prospect rarely surpassed in these islands.
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The only attraction this place had for me was that it was minutes from Pontardawe! Sorry Neath..
A bit of its history.....
Barry Island has a benign appearance today, but this hides a chilling history.
It was once a true island, and the private domain of smuggler Thomas Knight. He put fortifications around the shoreline, and ran a fleet of heavily-armed smuggling ships from there, importing spirits and tobacco from the Channel Islands, and soap from Ireland. Knight probably arrived in Barry in 1783, in a 24 gun Brig called the John O Combe. Opposition from the customs authorities was at first nominal, and with support from local people, Knight quickly made the island his stronghold. The customs men may well have exaggerated the problem, but Knight was reputed to have a force of 60-70 men defending the Island from uninvited interest.
Knight's influence grew rapidly, and within a year or so, the customs authorities had difficulty recruiting members, since the local population evidently had more respect for Barry's smuggling king than for the legitimate crown. Knight's crews did not hesitate to fire on preventive vessels, and the crews of the revenue cutters evidently went in fear of their lives. On occasions the custom house boats refused to give chase, the crew claiming justifiably that there was no pension scheme for customs men injured in the line of duty. To counter this, a £10 payment was introduced for mariners who lost a hand or foot, and free medical treatment for any injury. Knight was implicated in the heavy seizure of tobacco at Goldcliff in 1784, and some indication of the importance attached to his influence in the area can be gained from the fact that the seized goods were taken to Cardiff under armed guard, at considerable expense. The local people refused to help with the transport, because they were terrified of how Knight would exact his revenge.
Knight's reign was brief, and in 1785 a concerted effort by the authorities dislodged him--he retreated to Lundy. His place was taken by another smuggler, named William Arthur. Arthur proved as tough a nut to crack as his predecessor, and the local collector of customs estimated that it would require the efforts of 60 dragoons to once more make the island safe.
Other smuggling gangs subsequently made Barry Island their home, and outwitted the custom house officers with the aid of the tide:
Barry, as we now see it, only really began to grow with the building of the docks in I884. However, people had been living in this part of South Wales long before that, as Bronze Age burial mounds, found at Cold Knap and Friars Point, prove. In later years the Romans took an interest in the area and at the Knap they built what is thought to have been a supply depot for their Bristol Channel Fleet.
The name of Barry derives from St. Baruc who was drowned in the Bristol Channel and buried in Barry Island. The ruins of the chapel that was dedicated to him can be seen in Friars Road. Cadoxton, too, takes its name from an early saint, St. Cadoc, and it is around the Medieval church of St. Cadoc that the old village grew up. The church still survives, as do some of the older village houses.
View of the Promenade at Barry Island
( I live two streets behind here)
Island and Promenade
The Viaduct at Porthkerry Park
Whitmore Bay Barry Island
from Marine Drive (not too far from where I live),