The weather in February was wild, with storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin venting their fury and destruction.
It was a relief to see the sun putting in an appearance on St David’s day and it was a tonic for the body and mind to wander Mynydd Rhiw in the footsteps of our Bronze age ancestors with Rhys Mwyn, the legendary punk rock musician, antiquarian and author as our guide.
Plas yn Rhiw
The first leg is quite steep up to St Aelrhiw’s church. The current building dates from the 18th Century but the site is much older. We detoured to a nearby field to see Aelrhiw’s well. This was one of the last stops for pilgrims on their way to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey). The water from the well was noted for curing skin conditions.
We were aiming for the summit of Mynydd Rhiw. On the way we saw an as yet undocumented artifact – something that appears to be a small grave unearthed by badgers. The find will be registered with Gwynedd Archaeological Trust and excavated formally.
We stopped at the Rhiw Axe Factory. Local shale was used to produce stone axes and other tools. There is some argument over whether this was a ‘factory’ but that’s academic nit-picking. Imagining our ancestors from 4000-2500BC going about their work was fascinating.
At noon we came to a halt and stood for a minute’s silence in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and all those who are oppressed. It was a sobering moment for all of us as we reflected that we could enjoy the beauty of Llŷn in these dark days for humanity.
After a short break on one of the cairns it was time to head back to Plas yn Rhiw to enjoy a pot of tea or coffee with and a Welsh cake or two in the sun.
A lovely day all round. It was so nice to meet new people – especially Cadi the dog.