Poet on a Hill

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Hi. This is the view from my office window. When you visit me here you can enjoy it too.

The edge of the Welsh Valleys, these low worn hills mark the southern limit of the ice sheet in the Ice Age. The valleys themselves were carved by glaciers. The Ridgeway Footpath runs along the top of the hills. Larger versions of the pictures appear below.

The picture above shows Drope in the foreground with glimpses of St George's and St Bride's before arriving at Llantrisant, the town that stands on the hill. The valley that opens between the hills to the left of Llantrisant is the Ely Valley. To the right of Llantrisant, half way up the picture, you can see a big house. This is The Grange at St-y-Nyll. Beyond St-y-Nyll is the mouth of the Rhondda Valley.

St-y-Nyll is in the centre of this picture with Cwm Rhondda opening up beyond. In the valley between The Grange and the wooded hill to the right of it lie Creigiau and Groes Faen.

And this is Garth Hill with the village of Pentyrch on its western flank. To the right, on its eastern side the hill drops into the Taff Vale where the A470 runs up to Merthyr Tydfil then on, through the Brecon Beacons and mid Wales to Snowdonia in the north. There are two mounds of tumuli on the top of the hill, ancient Celtic burial mounds - maybe 3,000 years old.

Hugh Grant made a film about Garth and Pentyrch called An Englishman Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain. Which I think is a bit long winded. But anyway it's about the time that a guy came up from London to do some survey work for map making. And he called Garth a hill. But the locals called it a mountain. But he insisted that it was a few feet short of being a mountain. So the villagers formed a chain gang, carrying rocks up the hill until it was high enough to be a mountain. But it's still officially called Garth Hill.

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