Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Highlights for me were the Priory & the Beach!

I've finished with all my exams and *everything* so I can pick up where I left off and finish my Wales trip and move on to more Glaswegian things! 

On Tuesday the 1st of April, we had another busy and exciting schedule. Our first stop was Penmon Priory which was truly one of the most enchanting places I've ever seen. To add to the quiet and picturesque allure of the place, there was also a holy well there! As I did my dissertation on holy wells in Scotland, I am quite interested in the subject in general. 

The house built around the well. Although the well is medieval (at least, and possibly older) the housing probably dates from the 17th century.

The well itself.

Inside the well-house.

Inside the dovecote. (I guess you can't call them doocots in Wales!)

Inside the Priory. One part of it serves as a church, another a house, and the third part is a ruin. 

Ornate Norman arch.

The side arm of this cross was sawed off and used in a window.

A sheela-na-gig, an image seen in many early Christian churches (but a much older symbol).

Ewan explaining the story carved on the stone.

This is believed to be a font - but it may be the base of a cross-stone.

weird and wonderful carvings.

Another sheela-na-gig?

Can you see the beast carved above the doorway?

What was once the cloisters makes up the front garden and entrance to the house and the church.

Ewan waiting to tell us things.

The other side of the closed-up doorway with the charming garden bench in front of it.

 After basking in the quiet beauty of the Priory (you can tell which sites I enjoy the most!) we visited Bryn Celli Dhu - a prehistoric passage grave.

Nyree telling us all about the prehistoric goings-on with passage graves. 

People still leave offerings inside.

Looking out.

Our next stop was Barclodiad y Gawres. Prior to this trip we were all assigned a site on which to write up either a mock notice-board or a pamphlet. Barclodiad y Gawres was my site. Although prehistoric sites aren't the most exciting to me, this place was very interesting, and beautifully situated. While Nyree was getting the key to go inside, a few of us frolicked about on the nearby beach. Taking off my shoes & socks and wading into the cold water was glorious! 

Looking back on the beach from Barclodiad y Gawres.

Roadsigns in Welsh, on the way to our next site.
 Our next stop was Holyhead, a soul-less, horrid town. It had a Roman fort which had been converted into a church, which was quite interesting, but otherwise the place was pretty dire. 

After spending far too long in Holyhead, we visited Tŷ Mawr huts in South Stack. These were very interesting, upland residences. Again, Iron Age and early medieval. 

On the drive back - a house built on an island. 

Once back in Conwy, I walked into town - I think with my friend Jamie, and we walked along the city walls a bit, and through the town. 

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