"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on January 15, 2017 by Sioux under General
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My hosts love the seaside town of Barmouth on the Welsh coast, so a day outing was planned. On our drive through Wales, we stopped in the The Parish of Llangynog and the Shrine Church of St. Melangell which is nestled at the foot of the Berwyn mountains in the Tanat Valley, North Powys. More for me to see the beauty of the area and get photos than anything else. The original school building, dating back to 1858 is no longer used as a school and is now the local theatre.

Then it was time to head back home to be treated to another sumptuous meal and good company.                                     I had a fantastic stay and my hosts ensured I wanted for nothing, but work called and I had to pack and leave for my next assignment. A fabulous time in a very old part of a beautiful country, with wonderful hosts. 


On our way back home, we stopped at a small wooden chapel, in Melverley, near Shrewsbury. Apparently this has been a place of Christian for about 1000 years. In late Saxon times, there was a small hermitage in Melverley on the river bank by the ancient trackway near the crossing of the Rivers Severn and Vyrnwy. In 1141 Ordericus Vitalis mentions a “wooden chapel on the banks of the river above Shrewsbury”. It is more than likely that it was Melverley Church he spoke of.


The Last Inn in Barmouth is one of Wales’ most famous pubs, dating back to the 15th century when it began

life as a shoemaker’s home. Retained original features include original ship’s timber beams; inglenook fireplaces and a

wall-to-wall mural depicting a panoramic history of the harbour and its people through the ages. There is also a unique well where the mountain forms part of the pub wall and where fresh spring water forms a pond within the pub itself. 

Bala Lake also known as Llyn Tegid is a lake in Gwynedd, Wales. It was the largest natural body of water in Wales before its level was raised to help support the flow of the Ellesmere Canal. It is 6 km long x 0.8 km wide, and is subject to sudden and dangerous floods. The River Dee runs through it and the waters of the lake are famously deep and clear. 

“The Last Haul (Y Llwyth Olaf)” is a sculpture on the seafront area in Barmouth, representing three generations of fisherman hauling their nets in. It was carved from a block of Italian Carrara marble, which was recovered in the 1980’s from an 18th century shipwreck, thought to be a galleon from Genoa in Italy, which had been caught in a storm and sunk in the seas north of Barmouth. 

Near the quay is an old building known as “Ty gwyn yn Bermo”, where Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, according to tradition, lay concealed with his ward, who was later to become Henry VII. This was apparently somewhere inbetween the years 1460 – 1485. According to some authorities, Jasper and Henry were concealed in an ancient tower which has since entirely disappeared.  

                                                                                                                    Sitting having an ice-cream on the boardwalk, I was

                                                                                                                    determined to get a photo of a seagull. I eventually got what

                                                                                                                    I wanted and the pesky creature got its own back, by flying

                                                                 overhead and dropping a poop directly onto my camera! I was glad it missed my ice-cream though! We wandered

around the town for a while and then stopped for lunch at a small tea room next door to the Ebeneezer Chapel, an historic building in the heart of

Barmouth. Built in 1806 and rebuilt in 1856 in the Gothic style of the gable-entry type, the chapel interior was renewed, an organ installed and porches

added in 1880, and land bought for a rear Sunday School. It has now been converted into a 2 bedroom

                                                                                                                                             holiday flat and coffee shop.

                                                                                                                                             All sorts of garden ornaments

                                                                                                                                             adorn the steps and entrance to

                                                                                                                                             the chapel / coffeeshop.


Arriving in Barmouth, we parked a nearby car-park as apparently it was not easy to get into the town by car. It was a fairly long but very enjoyable walk, alongside the railway tracks, from the parking lot to the quaint little seaside town. 


We stopped for a late breakfast in Bala, a market town in Gwynedd, Wales. The High Street and its shops get quite busy in the summer months with many tourists. 


Barmouth Station 

In 1401 the church was burnt by the Welsh chieftain Owain Glyndwr and rebuilt in 1406, which is as it now stands. Melverley is a rare example of early British churches constructed of timber, wattle and daub. Those who live and work in Melverley look back with pride to a history of over 1000 years and still worship regularly in the church founded so long ago. The white sections are narrower than the timbers, which is a sign of early timber construction. The entire structure is pegged together with not one nail having been used. The timber is local Melverley oak. 

The church is entered through a porch and small vestibule, the latter being created by the erection of a wooden screen in 1588. The altar is early Jacobean, around which the people of Melverley gathered to celebrate the Holy Communion nearly 400 years ago, and continue to do so today. 

The lectern holds a chain Bible dating from 1727. Bibles were chained in those days because, as reading became more universal, there was a danger the Bible might be borrowed and not returned.

A narrow turning staircase is used to reach the gallery.

The gallery is sloping, but this is not due to subsidence. Rather it is the result of the way in which the massive piece of oak, on which the gallery is built, settled when originally put in place. 

Two yew trees in the churchyard are estimated to be between 380 and 450 years old, so were planted many years after the church was built. A third yew, planted in the new churchyard as part of the Millennium Commemorations, was taken as a cutting from the Old Enton Yews in Surrey, which are estimated to be 2000 years old. 



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