Thursday, 19 December 2013

A Walk To The Folly

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It's a while since we did this walk starting from the lane which runs past Troed-y-Rhiw Farm near the The Star Inn Mamhilad and going up the steep and very ancient cobbled track to Pontypool Folly. The track is reputed to date back to Roman times, when it would have led up to a Roman watch tower on the top of the ridge. A coin dating back to the 3rd century AD was found at the bottom of the track.  When you reach the top you can see why a watch tower would have been sited here, there are commanding views across the countryside. It is likely the track was also used in later times by pack horses and drovers.

Jez with Bess and Molly on the 'Roman Road' 
The Folly was built by John Hanbury in 1765 and was used as a lookout for hunting and as a summerhouse. More info on the history of the wealthy Hanbury family,the original Folly and walks in the lovely Pontypool Park here.

During World War 2 the Folly was blown up by the RAF to prevent it being used as a landmark for German bombers looking for the munitions factory at Glascoed.

After many years of campaigning and fund raising by the people of  Pontypool, the Folly tower was finally rebuilt and officially opened by The Prince of Wales in 1994.

Sitting on the deck at the top of my garden on a warm summers evening,  we can see Pontypool Folly on the hillside in the distance.



It's worth the walk to the top - the view is fantastic











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