Crickhowell and Ty Neuadd

Here I sit in our rooms which are in a converted stable which was built about the time Henry VIII’s reign was coming to an end – 1511.  The stone walls are several feet thick.  While most of the interior walls have been plastered over there is a section around the arched entry way left exposed.   Outside, in the middle of the parking area is a gnarled oak tree, centuries old.

Ellie checking out the oak tree

Ellie checking out the oak tree

The Neuadd Cottages, originally a Tudor era stable

The Neuadd Cottages, originally a Tudor era stable

The fireplace in the main house, a listed historical house, is huge, perhaps eight feet across and four feet deep.  The massive mantle stone, foraged from Crickhowell castle some 600 years ago is six feet above the floor.   The castle as originally constructed in the 1200’s and so it is possible that this stone has served it’s function for more than 900 years.

Ty (house) Neuadd (NAY-ath) is located in the Usk River valley, well above the river, offering marvellous views of patchwork fields, dotted with sheep, which give way to the more barren hill tops, with names like Tabletop Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain (which Julie & I climbed one morning).

A view of Tabletop Mountain once an Iron Age Fort

A view of Tabletop Mountain once an Iron Age Fort

It is a most pleasing vista.  JRR Tolkien lived in this area for a while and wrote at least some of The Hobbit during that time and so if you can conjure up the bucolic Shire in your mind’s eye, this is the Usk valley, with the village of Crickhowell nestled below Tabletop Mountain.  Originally an Iron Age settlement it is now the focal point of tourism in this area but manages to retain it’s inherent Welsh charm.  In addition to the river, the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal runs though the valley.  The 35 miles of this canal system began in 1792 and was constructed in conjunction with coal mining and iron ore extraction.

An evening stroll along the canal

An evening stroll along the canal

Coal & ore was brought from the area mines and quarries to the canal for transport.  Abandoned in 1962, narrow boats ply the waterways and bikers, walkers and runners enjoy the footpath, or towpath, beside.  Hundreds of bridges, none wider than eight feet, limit the beam, but not the length, of all floating craft.   We saw dozens of narrowboats – 6 feet wide and 50 feet long – these house boats are very popular and I have a strong urge to put it on our list of things to do.

Narrowboats along the canal

Narrowboats along the canal

This entry was posted on Monday, August 31st, 2015 at 2:18 am and is filed under England 2015. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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