Pic of the Week, May 29, 2015: Pentre Ifan, Wales

UK 171 – Pentre Ifan 3

One of the most fascinating things about traveling in the British Isles are its many historic sites, such as Pentre Ifan.  This is the most popular megalithic site in Wales and was thought to be a burial chamber.  The monument dates to about 3500 BC and is oriented north-south on a ridge providing wonderful views of the Nevern Valley.  It has an  elegant capstone (16 tons; 5m (16ft 6in) long), resting on the tips of three other stones, some  2.5 metres (8.2 ft) off the ground.  There are six upright stones, three of which support the capstone.

It is likely that an earthen mound lay behind these rocks, which people could enter and which, over the centuries, has largely been eroded away.  Excavations in …

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.All Trips / Europe / Wales

St. David’s Cathedral, Wales

03 St. David Cathedral 13

St David’s Cathedral (in Welsh: Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi) is in Pembrokeshire county, the most westerly point of Wales.  The cathedral was built a beautiful spot, lying low in a valley near the ocean, and is an historic place.  Most consider it the finest cathedral in Wales and if you’re in the area, it’s certainly worth visiting.
A Brief history of St. David’s Cathedral:
 A monastic community was founded at this site by St. David, who was its Abbott, and there’s been a church here since the 6th century AD.  St. David died in 589 AD, but his community and the church he started live on, despite many hardships.  St. David is very dear to the Welsh — he’s …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 23, 2015: A Visit to Castle Caerphilly

06 UK 137 – Caerphilly Castle 7

Caerphilly Castle (Castell Caerffili) is a large medieval fortress in South Wales and one of the great medieval castles of western Europe. The castle was constructed in the 13th century and is surrounded by extensive artificial lakes considered to be “the most elaborate water defenses in all Britain”.  The core residence of the castle is, in essence, an island.  The castle occupies around 30 acres and is the second largest castle in Britain (only Windsor is larger).  Besides its water defenses, it is also know for its concentric stone walls and large gatehouses.  These were revolutionary defensive designs in the 13th century.  Except for some expected restoration work, the castle today is much as it was in the late 13th century.  It secured …

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