Monday 5th July 2021.
We left home a little later than we would have liked as I had to have a blood test at 11.30 am another stage in my battle to find something to help me alleviate the pain of arthritis attacks in my feet.
As a result of this we took to the motorway for our journey, M5 and M50, thankfully it stayed dry, if we had the downpours we had yesterday it would have been impossible to drive Homer on the motorway.
A little short of reaching our destination we came to Raglan which has a marvellous castle which I wanted to show to Michelle, it has been almost 50 years since I visited so my recall was somewhat dim.
Raglan Castle was built in the 1430’s probably on the site of an earlier fortification and was constructed as much for show and style than defence. It was commenced by William ap Thomas a prominent Welsh Knight and continued to be improved by his son Sir William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. Elizabeth Herbert granddaughter of William ap Thomas married Charles, later 1st Earl of Worcester and they turned it into a plush palace with luxury fittings and experimental architecture. Sadly centuries later it was destroyed by the Parliamentary forces after a lengthy siege, one of the longest of the Civil War.
LAND OF MY FATHERS.
For the majority of my life up until approx 10 years ago I believed my maternal grandfather was Welsh, this was information imparted by my mother. My mother had very little recollection of her parents having been effectively orphaned at the age of 9, but she knew her father had a good singing voice, a surname of Davis, mention of coal mining in family conversation led her to believe he was Welsh. Unfortunately when I delved into our family history I found this not to be true, there was no Welsh blood in the past 150 years and probably the closest her dad got to being Welsh was a day trip to Wales. However despite all that I have a deep attraction to Wales, it’s scenery and culture.
So today we have ended up on top ( more or less) of a Welsh mountain outside Abergavenny called the Blorenge on the side of which the town of Blaenavon nestles. It is a Welsh Heritage centre with a historic iron works and a coal mine you can visit at Big Pit. It is a hell of a steep climb from Abergavenny and Homer had to go up in second all the way, the clutch wasn’t too happy and it was a relief when we pulled in near the summit at Keepers Pond.
Tonight we are staying on the car park of the The Racehorse Inn, free to stay and as we found out on arrival closed on Monday evenings so we haven’t even bought a drink. As we are 340m above sea level it’s not surprising to report that at about 7.30 pm it began to rain, visibility is almost nil, Welcome to Wales😊☔️☔️