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LLANFIHANGEL GENAUR GLYNN.
"Here Cambria opes her tome of other days,
VERY striking and beautiful is the first view of the old town of Aberystwith, and a second and nearer view in no degree lessons the first impression. Situated at the western extremity of the Vale of Rheidol, and at about the centre of Cardigan bay, this place possesses many natural advantages which have been turned to the very best account. A recent writer on this subject remarks: "Long known and in high repute as a summer resort for recreation and sea bathing, Aberystwith has during the last few years made rapid progress in the number and character of its dwelling houses, and in the extent and excellence of its arrangements for the reception and comfort of visitors. For persons seeking health and pleasure, a more suitable retreat can scarcely be imagined; affording as it does most agreeable and comfortable accommodation, and a diversity of rational occupation and amusement, with a delightful combination of mountain air and ocean breeze, and in a vicinity abounding with objects of historic interest and picturesque beauty. It unites in an unusual degree all the attractions of a lively, cheerful, and salubrious watering place, with exemption from the bustle, and gaiety, and dissipations by which such places are too generally characterised; and every year furnishes new evidences of the judgment and spirit of the proprietors and inhabitants, in effecting such improvements as may render it increasingly attractive, both to temporary visitors and permanent residents. The shops and markets are well supplied with every article which necessity demands, or luxury may desire; the hotels are generally and most justly celebrated for their superior accommodations and reasonable charges; and numerous lodging houses of modern erection are adapted to visitors of every rank."
The neighbourhood of Aberystwith is full of interest, and the visitor will find no lack of occupation in paying his respects to the lions of the place. There is of course the Castle, high up on a sea-washed cliff, founded it is said by a gallant knight, in the early Norman days. Edward I. rebuilt this Castle in 1277, and the ruins of this structure are all that now remain. But they are memorable for many an heroic struggle in the attack made on them by Owen Glendower.
Welsh history, especially for
LLANFIHANGEL GENAUR GLYNN.
engaged in the siege of this Castle during the war between King Charles and the Parliament, but of this there is no certain proof.
The walks and drives about the town are exceedingly pleasant-northward we may visit the quarries or the old woods of Cwencynfelin, or when the tide is out, proceed along the sands to the slate rocks and rugged caverns scooped out by the force of the waves from the rugged cliffs. Westward we may turn our steps to the old moated Grange or Palace, where tradition asserts the old Welsh princes, perhaps old British kings, held court; and in the neighbourhood of which some singularly interesting remnants of old Roman fortifications are still to be seen. Everywhere about the place the roads are hilly, but they are kept in good condition, and offer some charming prospects to the traveller. The valley of Llanfihangel-Genaur Glynn, shewn in the accompanying Illustration, is an exceedingly beautiful place, within some four or five miles of the town. The scenery is delightful, and is calculated by its almost Arcadian charms to delight all visitors. Artists may here make many valuable additions to their portfolios-botanists may add to their store of specimens,—and the antiquary may find some interesting relics of a by-gone age. Amongst these may be named Castell Gwalter, or the Castle of Waller, commonly attributed to a Norman baron, but more probably of much earlier date. Several Druidical remains are also in existence, one of them a circle, measuring more than two hundred feet in circumference, and consists of seventy or eighty upright stones. Among the remnants of this old faith of our forefathers, the mind wanders to those ancient times, and dwells on the mysterious rites of the Druidical priesthood.
The Druids now, while arms are heard no more,
Old mysteries and barbarous rites restore,
A tribe, whose singular religion loves
To haunt the lonely coverts of the grove.
Still more interesting, however, is the old Church, the sanctuary of a nobler, purer faith. It is a cruciform building, in a charming rural situation, and is surrounded by an extensive burial ground, where
"The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep."
VALE OF THE TAFF.
"When the golden corn is bending,
The blue river onward flowing,
Mingles with its noisy strife,
The murmur of the flowers growing,
THE Taff exceeds most of the Welsh rivers in the wildness of its features and the vagaries of its course; its prevalent course is towards the south-east, but with numerous curvatures and deflections, from the foot of the Beddw mountains; it careers and leaps in rapids and cataracts, an alternate torrent and waterfall to the vicinity of Merthyr Tydvil; it proceeds with sweeping rapidity through a richly wooded glen, commanded by lofty mountains; it escapes through a chasm into the luxuriant plain of Llandaff, and rolls past Cardiff to the British Channel.
Throughout its course the scenery on the banks of the Taff is exceedingly diversified here wildly picturesque and rocky as the Pyrenees, a picture worthy of Salvator's pencil; and here again amid green fields and meadow-land, and grateful foliage and cottage homes-such as Constable might have painted. Roscoe justly remarks, that there are few regions on earth that present more of the sublime and beautiful features of Nature within the same compass, than are to be found in this district. It may be also observed, that the antiquities of the province, British, Roman, Baronial and Ecclesiastical, are remarkably interesting, and that the mineral productions are of inestimable value.
The rich and fertile valley is not unfitly denominated the garden of South Wales; its green and luxuriant verdure pleasingly contrasts with the wood-clad declivities, the rugged ascents, the frowning cliffs and soaring peaks by which in many parts it is enclosed and sheltered. That portion of the Vale of Glamorgan which extends along the shores of the British Channel, is in fact a vast sloping bank falling gradually from the mountain base to the water's edge, and basking in a southern sun. The waving woods and grassy meads of the whole district present peculiar charms, but the tourist cannot fail to observe-if he be agriculturally inclined-that all the wealth of nature is not turned to the best account. Wales in general, it has been remarked, does not produce half