I didn’t want to dictate the route of the first walk, so I asked for a start point and an end point. In the end we walked a circular route from one well to another and back again. We had no route planned, except for a vague direction. We began at the Well in Ffynnongroyw, for many years the source of water for the village. It is now a feature on a footpath, a place for the dogs to have a lap of water on a walk. There were one or two coins in the well, hopefully it brought some luck! The water tasted good with perhaps a little lead, but it was clear and fresh, such a blessing! We began our walk with a blessing from the well, the source of life for the village. There was no definite route planned, we set off towards Nant Garth Mill. Now a pub (occasionally) the mill sits at the bottom of a valley, the water running down the stream would have driven this mill again a source of life! We wander up the valley towards the fields.
The path has been kept well, we decide to cut through the trees, heading for an old green lane on the top of the hill, the path is steep and winding, we cross over the river once again, (and stop for a little pooh-sticks!)
The path becomes steeper from now on and we rely on those younger ones (and the four legged friend) tearing off ahead to find the way forward. The trees come to an end and we are confronted with a seemingly endless barley field. The map suggests we should follow the edge of the field. It is good to see that this field has not been overly dosed with chemicals, amongst the main crop there are some interlopers, poppies, other grains, a few daisy related flowers. We re-enter woodland, just for a bit, it is almost as if we are in a plantation of some sort, the trees are not all native and rhododendron bushes have taken hold, (must come back later in the year!) Someone a long time ago has planted this wood, we wonder if it might have been / still is Mostyn Land exotic tree planting is not out of character for that estate.
Finally the landscape changes a little, we are on the old green-lane. Still used by some as a short cut home, we head for Trelogan isa. Some of those who have lived locally for many years have not yet trod a path they have been on before, others, fortunately for us, have known where we were all along. The green-lane turns into a farm track at a familiar house. We stop to say hello. (“Your parish magazine is in the car, if only I had known we were coming this way.”) As we approach Trelogan houses become more frequent once again. The field to which we are headed is opposite a watering hole of a different kind, the Afon Goch a well of something else! Before stopping to refresh, we beat back the brambles to find another well. It is almost identical to the well at Ffynnongroyw, it served the village for many years. There are stories of young boys being sent with a yoke and buckets to this well early in the morning, the youngsters with us look horrified! The water in the well is still clear, despite being covered in brambles and bracken. It has also never dried up! We leave some of our number here and walk on, back towards Ffynnongroyw stopping at Glan-yr-Afon, the ‘afon’ is flowing quickly despite little rain, served by Gyrn Castle lake and runs to join the other streams serving Nant Garth. If there had been time and willing legs we could have taken a short diversion at this point up to Gwespyr where there is the modern equivalent of the old well. A water pumping station ensuring clean water is supplied to all the houses in the vicinity! We walk down towards Pen-y-Ffordd, a faded brass plaque marks the birth-place of Welsh playwright George Emlyn Williams. We drop a few more walkers off on the way, they had already done the last bit first, walking down to meet us at the beginning. The small village above Ffynnongroyw still retains its shop and post-office, yet two out of the three chapels are now houses! We find our way down the hill the quick way, down ‘the rhiw’. A plaque, a metal image of a child’s artwork, is attached to the wall at the bottom and maps the area perfectly from sea to Pen-y-Ffordd. Our walk comes to an end as we come out into the village at the other end of the street from the well.