Rhiwlas Excursion in the vicinity of Rhiwlas

Parchu Pentir Walk 19/3/13

On Wednesday the 19th March three of us (me, Ken and Lucy) set off from Lucy’s house in Rhiwlas, intent on exploring the paths uphill, behind the village.

Initially we had a look at the “camp” – a wartime site which is now a collection of concrete platforms, which probably are the bases of temporary buildings, and some underground shelters. I’m sure someone must know the true story behind this site – we have heard a number of versions, including that it was a prisoner of war camp, a munitions site or a temporary base for American soldiers.

We then headed up the hill to the “doctor’s house” at Maes Meddygion – which may have been the site of a sanatorium for injured WW1 soldiers. Here there is a group of lovely big beech trees among the ruins – a notable landmark from miles around. In the fields below this site there are a couple of jumbles of impressive rocks which could well be burial chambers.

Here we met up with Ian – a very knowledgeable local who has walked this area for many years. He led us “off piste” up Moel Rhiwen past an inscribed stone laid to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee to the summit. The view across to the snow-clad Moel Eilio, Snowdon and Elidir Fawr was stunning.

Striking eastwards across the heather of Parc Drysgol we explored an enormous boulder split clean in half by the forces of nature and passed a series of old shooting butts, presumably used by the gentry to blast grouse out of the sky. Having rejoined the footpath we passed by Cae’r Gof and joined the road just below Ty’n Llidiart.

Just before coming back into Rhiwlas we had a look around the abandoned hamlet of Pen y Ffridd – very atmospheric and a bit haunted!

We all agreed that it had been an extremely interesting ramble – a bit long but fascinating.