Pennod 4 100 Lle


Pennod 4

Cawn ymweld a thref Y Fenni ac yn cael cipolwg ar gestyll Grosmont, y Castell Gwyn ac Ynysgynwraidd. We visit Abergavenny, Grosmont, the White Castle and Skenfrith and Llanthon...


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-Welcome to 100 Lle...

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-..a series based on the book Wales:

-100 Places To See Before You Die.

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-This week, Abergavenny, Grosmont,

-White Castle and Skenfrith.

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-Marian Delyth's perspective

-of Llanthony Priory.

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-A visit to the magnificent

-Welsh castle of Raglan...

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-..and the World Heritage Site

-of Blaenavon.

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-The market town of Abergavenny

-is a lively place...

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-..but we're here

-to celebrate death.

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-The town's church houses

-the finest group of tombs in Wales.

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-John, we're in St Mary's Church,

-in Abergavenny.

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-Thanks to all the alabaster tombs,

-it feels more like a morgue.

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-This is the largest collection

-in any church in Wales.

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-This is a former Benedictine priory.

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-There were 14 tombs here at one time,

-all of them exquisitely crafted.

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-It's said to be the largest group

-of tombs in Britain...

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-..after the one at Westminster Abbey.

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-The craftsmanship is breathtaking.

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-Originally, it was a resting place

-for members of the family...

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-..that held the lordship

-of Abergavenny.

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-The centre - the place of greatest

-honour - became the resting place...

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-..of William ap Thomas

-and his wife, Gwladus.

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-A Welsh family lies here,

-at the heart of what was...

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-..the centre of authority

-of the Marcher lords.

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-It's proof that the days

-of the Marcher lords were numbered...

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-..and the age of the Welsh gentry

-had dawned.

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-William ap Thomas died in 1446.

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-He commissioned Raglan Castle.

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-His wife, Gwladus, was described

-as the Star of Abergavenny...

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-..by the poet Lewys Glyn Cothi.

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-Lewys Glyn Cothi

-had a vivid imagination!

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-She doesn't look like a star.

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-She doesn't look like a star.

-

-She was younger and prettier then!

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-She was also alive, of course!

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-She was also alive, of course!

-

-Yes - that helps!

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-Some magnificent restoration work

-has been carried out on these tombs.

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-This piece is the jewel in the crown

-of St Mary's Church.

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-It's the largest surviving medieval

-wooden sculpture in the world.

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-This is Jesse.

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-You can see his head

-and his long beard.

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-Jesse was an ancestor of Christ,

-through Joseph.

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-You can see that if you read

-the genealogical lines in the Bible.

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-The story was that a tree

-rose from his body as he slept.

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-All his descendants could be seen

-on the tree's branches.

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-That's exactly

-what was here, originally.

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-Branches grew from the tree trunk,

-protected by his arm...

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-..and the piece stretched

-all the way to the ceiling.

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-The figures on the branches

-were more or less life-sized.

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-It must have been enormous.

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-It was carved in the 15th century...

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-..but most of it was destroyed

-during the Reformation.

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-Fortunately, this section survived.

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-Fortunately, this section survived.

-

-This is its original home.

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-Yes, though it has been exhibited

-in London on a few occasions.

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-It's the star of any exhibition

-of medieval woodwork.

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-It's truly astonishing.

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-We're fortunate to have this great

-medieval piece here in Abergavenny.

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-From St Mary's Church,

-we meander up the main street...

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-..keeping to the theme of death.

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-A heinous case of genocide

-happened at Abergavenny Castle.

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-As we mentioned earlier, Gwladus,

-William ap Thomas's wife...

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-..was known

-as the Star of Abergavenny.

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-The man who lived here was known

-as the Ogre of Abergavenny.

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-William de Braose was an ogre.

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-He was the father

-of Black William...

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-..who was hanged

-by Llywelyn the Great.

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-On Christmas Day 1175, he invited

-local Welsh leaders to a feast...

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-..and had them all murdered.

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-They were all unarmed...

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-..because they had come in peace

-to celebrate Christmas.

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-William de Braose

-hasn't been forgotten here.

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-When children are naughty,

-parents say he'll come after them!

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-It's despicable to kill your guests.

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-It's the worst example of ethnic

-slaughter in medieval Wales.

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-There are three castles

-on the border here in Gwent.

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-They form a triangle - Skenfrith,

-Grosmont and this one, White Castle.

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-It's known as White Castle

-because it was painted white.

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-The three castles were built

-around the same period...

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-..and were under the same ownership

-for 700 years.

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-The great attraction for me is that

-I can see all three in one day.

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-John says that a fit walker

-can see all three in a day.

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-It's a round trip

-of around 20 miles.

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-Do yourselves a favour

-and go by car - it's much easier!

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-There was some sort of building

-on this hill...

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-..soon after the Norman Conquest.

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-It was probably a timber structure

-on the motte, in the middle here.

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-These curtain walls were erected

-in the late 12th century.

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-It was the Crown's response

-to a revenge attack on Abergavenny.

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-The Welsh sought retribution...

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-..after the Christmas Day massacre

-carried out by William de Braose.

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-It was literally a vicious circle.

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-A form of political ping-pong

-across the border.

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-At Skenfrith, you'll see the remains

-of a rectangular castle...

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-..built between 1219 and 1232.

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-There's also a round tower

-in the centre.

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-Several families

-owned the three castles...

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-..including John of Gaunt

-and Henry IV.

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-The last of those owners

-was the Duke of Beaufort.

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-They remained in his hands

-until the early 20th century...

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-..when he sold 11,000 acres of land

-that included Tintern Abbey...

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-..Raglan Castle, 20 manors

-and 20 hotels.

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-It was a huge sale.

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-Last and least is Grosmont,

-the smallest of the trinity.

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-This one has the finest

-architectural features.

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-There are several pretty arches here

-and the chimney is beautiful.

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-There are also wonderful features

-in the unlikeliest of places.

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-In 1404, during the Revolt,

-Owain Glyndwr attacked it twice.

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-On the second occasion,

-the residents fled to the gatehouse.

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-Gruffudd ab Owain, Glyndwr's son,

-laid siege to this castle.

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-The failure of that siege...

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-..was an important factor in the

-collapse of Glyndwr's principality.

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-Despite all the wars and revolts

-in the history of these castles...

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-..their future is secured

-and they're well worth a visit.

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-In our weekly feature,

-we see one location...

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-..from the perspective

-of photographer Marian Delyth.

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-This time, we're in Llanthony.

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-There's peace

-and tranquillity there.

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-There's something special

-about the priory and the valley.

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-It's a place that has attracted

-idealists across the centuries.

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-People who sought inner peace.

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-This is the evening light.

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-The setting sun

-warmed the colour of the stone.

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-I also included a shot of Llanthony

-in very different conditions.

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-This was taken on a misty day

-and the colours are quite different.

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-I wanted to show the majesty

-and the beauty of the architecture.

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-Once again, although I photographed

-the location extensively...

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-..my eye was drawn

-to small details at the site.

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-I took photographs of things

-such as this carved stone.

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-If I zoom in even closer...

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-..there's an image among the lichen

-and the other patterns.

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-Yes - I see a candle.

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-Yes - I see a candle.

-

-History isn't about dates for me.

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-History is about the individual

-who carved that candle.

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-When was he alive?

-What was his world like?

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-What was in his mind?

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-You don't see many statues

-of the Virgin Mary in Wales.

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-There is one in this valley.

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-She stands there,

-in the most wonderful of settings.

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-I've taken many photographs

-of this statue.

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-This is the one in the book.

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-I took a black and white photograph

-of it years ago, when I was young.

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-There's something very special

-about that area.

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-I took these photographs

-without the book itself in mind.

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-These encapsulate seconds

-of my experiences in Llanthony.

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-Photography allows us to capture

-and to freeze a split second.

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-You often see a special light

-when you're driving...

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-..and think, "Wow! Isn't that

-absolutely stunning?"

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-Photography allows you

-to keep it for posterity.

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-That's one of the great things

-about it.

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-We never lose that moment.

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-Next, to Raglan...

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-..to see one of Welsh history's

-most substantial buildings.

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-This is Raglan Castle...

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-..one of Wales's

-most magnificent castles.

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-It's the largest British castle

-built during the 15th century.

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-It was commissioned

-by William ap Thomas.

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-We saw his tomb

-and that of his wife, Gwladus...

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-..at St Mary's Church, Abergavenny.

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-William ap Thomas built the keep

-and the section behind it.

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-William Herbert, his son,

-inherited the castle.

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-He continued his father's work.

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-He created the castle,

-in all its glory.

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-For many, William Herbert

-was the Son of Prophecy.

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-Poet Guto'r Glyn urged him to...

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-.."Unite Glamorgan and Gwynedd

-as one, from Conwy to Neath."

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-He was seen

-as the rightful King of Wales.

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-William Herbert's son

-was a bit of a wimp...

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-..but his granddaughter

-married into an influential family.

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-She married Charles Somerset,

-the Earl of Worcester.

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-William ap Thomas built a castle

-with defence in mind...

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-..the Somerset family

-turned it into a real palace.

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-The remarkable number of fireplaces

-bear witness to that.

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-This is the banqueting hall.

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-Invited guests would come here

-to dine with the owners.

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-One of the main talking points

-in this glorious room...

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-..would have been

-this enormous fireplace.

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-It was built directly below

-a very large window.

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-People must have wondered how it was

-possible to build a fireplace there.

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-Where did the smoke go?

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-Well, quite simply,

-they split the flue.

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-It's a sign of the sophistication

-that I mentioned.

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-It shouts out, "Look how clever

-we are. Look at what we created!"

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-It was home

-to the fifth Earl of Worcester...

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-..when Cromwell and his men came by.

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-The castle was damaged

-during the siege, in 1646.

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-The Somersets regained possession

-of it, but never lived there again.

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-Before we leave Raglan, it's worth

-visiting St Cadoc's Church...

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-..to see the mutilation

-of the Somerset tombs...

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-..and to see the magnificent castle

-from the top of the tower.

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-Next, we visit

-Blaenavon's dramatic landscape.

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-It bears witness

-to the industrial developments...

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-..of the early 19th century.

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-Of all the World Heritage Sites,

-only nine are industrial landscapes.

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-Blaenavon is one of them.

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-All the processes

-are visible on the landscape.

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-We'll visit the old ironworks.

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-From there, we'll see the tunnels

-leading to Garnddyrys Forge...

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-..and, from there, the tram road

-that led to the canal at Llanfoist.

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-We'll see where they mined

-for iron ore and coal.

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-It's all visible here.

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-The landscape tells the whole story.

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-There's nothing to compare to this.

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-The iron industry went into decline

-in the late 19th century...

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-..to be replaced

-by the coal industry.

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-Big Pit, behind us,

-was opened in 1873.

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-It was very modern in its time.

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-It was the first pit

-to use electricity...

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-..and the first to have two shafts

-running two trams at a time.

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-It functioned for a century,

-then reopened as a museum in 1983.

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-It then became part

-of the National Museum in 2005.

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-In the same year,

-it won the Gulbenkian Prize...

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-..Britain's biggest

-culture and arts prize.

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-We're standing

-in a historical place.

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-It's one of the most popular

-industrial museums in the world.

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-In we go, John.

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-We're going down into the pit.

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-You've been here before.

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-You've been here before.

-

-Yes, I have.

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-This is the stuff

-that we used in our fireplaces.

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-Yes, this is the coalface.

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-It's quite a large seam of coal.

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-It suggests

-that there's a lot of coal here.

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-It glitters, doesn't it?

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-Yes, it has been compressed

-over millions of years...

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-..and here it is,

-in front of your eyes.

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-What you see here are marks

-to count the number of trams filled.

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-The markings are in groups of five.

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-They were paid according

-to how much coal they produced.

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-It's strange to think that horses

-were stabled underground.

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-At one time,

-there were 72 ponies here.

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-Yes, and they continued to be used

-in the pit until the 1970s.

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-There's a suggestion that they were

-treated better than the miners!

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-The men worked 12-hour shifts

-and the ponies eight-hour shifts.

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-They were allowed into the open air

-for a fortnight every year...

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-..and ran around wildly for days.

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-There's a saying,

-as crazy as a pit pony.

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-Having spent months underground,

-their eyesight was poor, naturally.

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-They'd bump into each other.

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-They then became accustomed

-to sunlight and enjoyed it.

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-They all had their names

-on their own stable.

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-The pony stabled here

-was called Welsh.

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-Bullet's stable was over there.

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-Up, beyond here,

-was Shergar's stable.

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-Shergar came here!

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-I think that's a joke.

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-I think that's a joke.

-

-No, it's true!

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-Big Pit deserves its place among

-Europe's most popular museums...

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-..but Blaenavon's main story

-belongs to the ironworks.

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-Here we are, at Blaenavon Ironworks.

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-It belongs to the very early days

-of the Industrial Revolution.

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-It may even come ahead of it.

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-It was built at the advent

-of the Industrial Revolution.

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-These are the most complete remains

-of an ironworks...

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-..from the early years

-of the Industrial Revolution.

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-That adds further significance

-to Blaenavon...

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-..especially when you consider

-the industrial landscape around it.

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-You can read the landscape.

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-That's why the landscape,

-along with the ironworks...

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-..are a World Heritage Site.

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-The invention of new techniques...

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-..prompted the owners to build

-new works across the valley.

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-That's why these works survived.

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-The developments at the new works

-at Forgeside in 1878...

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-..places Blaenavon

-at the forefront of world history.

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-Sidney Gilchrist Thomas

-discovered a way to produce steel...

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-..by eliminating phosphorus

-from iron ore.

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-This crucial development...

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-..led to the industrial growth

-of the modern world.

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-From the outset,

-they used steam to create the blast.

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-That allowed them to have

-a group of furnaces working together.

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-Originally,

-the process relied on water...

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-..which only allowed you

-to use one furnace.

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-This was the first group of furnaces

-to be built in the world.

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-In the 1790s, this was

-the world's largest ironworks.

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-Blaenavon was outstanding

-for many reasons.

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-It is, without a doubt,

-the most significant place in Wales.

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-S4C subtitles by Eirlys A Jones

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-.

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Cawn ymweld a thref Y Fenni ac yn cael cipolwg ar gestyll Grosmont, y Castell Gwyn ac Ynysgynwraidd. We visit Abergavenny, Grosmont, the White Castle and Skenfrith and Llanthony Abbey.