Myrddin ap Dafydd Crwydro


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Myrddin ap Dafydd

Y prifardd Myrddin ap Dafydd fydd yn tywys Iolo Williams o amgylch ardal Trefriw yn Nyffryn Conwy. Poet Myrddin ap Dafydd guides Iolo Williams through the Conwy Valley in a 2003...


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-Pont Fawr, Llanrwst,

-spanning the river Conwy...

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-..is one of Wales's

-most recognisable bridges.

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-For locals, there is an easier way

-to walk from Llanrwst to Trefriw.

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-Via Pont Gower.

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-I'm on my way to Trefriw

-to meet Myrddin ap Dafydd.

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-A local lad who's roamed these

-mountains since he was a boy.

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-This area has been the inspiration

-for many of his songs.

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-# When the scythe

-was on the bracken,

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-# When the axe was sharp,

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-# When the sickle

-was harvesting here,

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-# And the land was maintained.

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-# The foreign landlord

-had a huge wall around his mansion.

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-# But only gave spare stones

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-# For the labourer

-to build his dwelling.

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-# When the turf was ploughed,

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-# And the seeds were in the furrows,

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-# When the rake was harvesting,

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-# And the slope

-was under the heavy crops.

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-# There were families

-in the neighbourhood,

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-# Even though the work was hard,

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-# And four walls and slates

-were a refuge for the language. #

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-What's your connection with Trefriw?

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-I'm from Llanrwst.

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-When we were kids, we used

-to come to Trefriw over Pont Gower.

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-It was a safe path for us

-to come here on our bikes.

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-Trefriw's football pitch

-was better than Llanrwst's!

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-The family moved to Trefriw

-when I was 15.

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-It was like moving from the city

-to the country.

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-The garden in Llanrwst

-consisted of one geranium pot.

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-We had two acres of land here.

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-It gave us a chance to explore

-the mountains and the valleys.

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-Cwm Cowlyd,

-Cwm Crafnant and Geirionydd.

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-Is that where your fondness

-for the countryside began?

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-Yes, I often went walking.

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-I soon knew most of the area

-around here.

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-In Trefriw, the sun shines down

-on you in the morning.

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-I'm an early riser.

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-There's something magical

-about the hours around dawn.

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-The sun is very pure

-early in the morning.

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-They say the early sun is good

-for fruit trees.

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-It helps the dew disappear early.

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-These apples look very tasty.

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-You go first.

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-What's this river called?

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-This is the Crafnant.

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-It flows all the way down

-from Llyn Crafnant.

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-It passes a number of water mills

-on the way.

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-This is an excellent place

-for a young child to grow up.

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-This is an excellent place

-for a young child to grow up.

-

-None of these paths are straight.

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-Hardly any of the houses

-in the village face the same way.

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-They all look as if they've

-slid down the hillside.

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-It's very peculiar.

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-The climbing starts in earnest now.

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-Look at these stone walls - there

-are a lot of stone walls in Trefriw.

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-Trefriw had many excellent

-wall builders.

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-The best in Wales.

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-The best in the valley.

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-We start our journey in Trefriw -

-where do we go next?

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-We follow one of my favourite paths,

-up past Grinllwm mountain.

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-That takes us

-up above Cwm Crafnant...

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-..all the way

-to the Klondyke lead mine.

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-Years ago, there was a thriving

-industry in nearby lead mines.

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-From there, we pass Llyn Geirionydd,

-Llanrhychwyn...

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-..Castell Gwydir

-and back to Llanrwst.

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-We're heading for the forest now...

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-..along a wall

-that separates two houses.

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-We're walking along the wall.

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-It's a peculiar path.

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-This area is full of peculiarities.

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-Did this area influence you

-as a poet?

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-The seasons are very close

-to you here.

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-After moving to Trefriw,

-I became part of a strong community.

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-We used to hold evenings

-of poetry competitions...

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-..at Plas Celyn and Fron Deg.

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-People would come together

-for nights of poetry.

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-That's what sparked my interest

-in poetry.

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-If it's fun, you're attracted to it.

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-Yes, but I remember R E Jones

-of Llanrwst...

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-..bringing us all back down

-to earth one night.

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-We were all laughing...

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-..and he told us that we were

-the only people in the world...

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-..who held such poetry evenings.

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-It makes you think.

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-It's an inspiration for some people

-to write poetry.

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-We don't want this tradition

-to die out.

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-What were your early influences?

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-An eisteddfod was held in Trefriw

-each year.

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-I used to compete regularly

-in the local eisteddfod.

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-J R Jones, Talybont,

-was one of the adjudicators.

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-He gave me

-a wonderful adjudication once.

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-An encouraging word from people

-like him went a long way.

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-It's started raining.

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-We're coming up

-to the mountain path now.

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-This must have been

-the old mountain wall.

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-We're on the northern face

-of the mountain.

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-It's the sheltered side

-of the mountain.

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-Huw Sel, a carpenter and a poet

-from Ysbyty Ifan...

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-..claimed that wood

-from north-facing trees...

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-..was of better quality.

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-The trees were tougher.

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-Some of the trees had a kink

-in the middle.

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-It was useful for making

-a scythe handle.

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-Huw had a rich vocabulary

-of Welsh words.

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-I learnt a lot from him. He'd

-normally work with the ash tree.

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-This is a birch -

-some would say it's a silver birch.

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-But it's a downy birch.

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-This is a real mountain tree.

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-The old farmers and carpenters

-knew their stuff.

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-There are some interesting names

-in this area.

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-This is called Cefn Cyfarwydd.

-There's something in that name...

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-..and people were familiar with it.

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-In the olden days, a story teller

-was called a 'cyfarwydd'.

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-Cwm Cowlyd is the other side

-of this ridge.

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-There's a reference

-to the owl of Cwm Cowlyd...

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-..in the tale of 'Culhwch ac Olwen'.

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-That owl could remember

-way back to a time...

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-..before the first tree

-was cut down in Cwm Cowlyd.

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-There was a Roman settlement

-in Trefriw.

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-There were wells here

-that contained a lot of iron.

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-These were the wells in Cae Coch.

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-They've reopened now -

-they're well worth seeing.

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-There was a lot of iron, lead

-and zinc in the rocks around here.

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-We're about to reach Klondyke now.

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-Klondyke? That's a strange name.

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-"And here they drown."

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-This is an old lead mine.

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-The lead that was left over

-is still there.

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-It's contaminated the water. There

-are very few fish in this river.

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-That's Mynydd Deulyn over there.

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-Crafnant on the one side

-and Geirionydd on the other.

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-You have to be careful

-where you walk around here.

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-There are huge holes

-scattered everywhere.

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-Take care.

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-It's opening out now.

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-There must have been an old railway

-line on this flattened area.

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-We're walking along

-such a natural area...

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-..but you can still see

-man's influence in some places.

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-This is the old incline that

-brought lead from the upper shafts.

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-You can see where the lead fell

-from the buckets.

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-This is a very rough path.

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-Yes, indeed.

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-It's well worth coming down here.

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-These are the best mining remains

-in the area - look at this shaft.

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-It has a huge entrance.

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-I have no idea

-where these shafts lead.

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-An interesting piece

-of architecture.

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-That's one way to cross a river!

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-This is a huge building.

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-Three storeys.

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-It's an amazing building -

-and imagine what went on inside it.

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-The lead industry was still strong

-here until about 50 years ago.

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-There were night shifts here -

-Parc was the last working mine.

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-Pubs in Llanrwst would open at

-6.00am for the nightshift workers.

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-Scotland Road was the old

-Scott area of town.

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-T Glynne Davies describes it

-amusingly in the novel 'Marged'.

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-It's where the miners used to live.

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-There were Irishmen,

-experienced Cornish miners...

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-..and miners from Yorkshire.

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-Many of the families

-still live in the area...

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-..with surnames such as Berry,

-O'Connor, Harker and Metcalfe.

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-They moved here to work and they're

-now naturalised Welsh families.

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-Scott was the old miners' town -

-it was the wild west of Llanrwst.

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-I remember a story about Ifan

-Denbigh arguing with his wife.

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-These miners would carry

-dynamite in their pockets.

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-He was arguing with his wife

-at home in Scotland Road...

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-..and he threw

-a stick of dynamite into the fire...

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-..and ran out of the house.

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-His house exploded

-but his wife survived!

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-Can't live with them,

-can't live without them!

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-The decline of the mining industry.

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-We're heading up towards

-Llyn Geirionydd now.

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-888

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-888

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-Llyn Geirionydd

-is just over this ridge.

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-This hill is called Bryn Y Caniadau.

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-Taliesin's court was situated here.

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-This was a permanent site for

-the eisteddfod until 80 years ago.

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-60 eisteddfodau were held here.

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-About 1,000 people attended

-the eisteddfod here.

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-How recently were they held here?

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-They were held here until the 1920s.

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-They were established

-by local poets.

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-Three in particular - Gwilym Cowlyd,

-Trebor Mai and Gethin Jones.

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-This is Taliesin's Monument.

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-Taliesin Bencerdd.

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-It's been here for over 150 years.

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-It fell during a fierce storm

-in 1976.

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-It was rebuilt very recently.

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-They've retained

-many of the old stones here.

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-When people attended

-the eisteddfod...

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-..they would carve their names

-in the rock.

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-There are some strange names here -

-Eryr Alwen!

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-T H Parry-Williams has carved

-his name here somewhere.

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-Gwilym Cowlyd took his name

-from Llyn Cowlyd.

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-He lived in Ardda, near Llyn Cowlyd.

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-Trebor Mai lived just over

-this ridge in Llanrhychwyn.

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-His name conjures up

-an image of a renowned poet.

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-His name is actually

-"I am Robert" in reverse!

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-Gwilym Cowlyd

-was a very special man.

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-He was a printer, a poet

-and also ran a bookshop in Llanrwst.

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-He collected books, too.

-He'd collect more than he sold.

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-In the end,

-he had to close down the shop.

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-He kept a bull mastiff at his shop.

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-Cowlyd would work

-at the back of the shop...

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-..and the dog

-would look after the shop.

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-The dog knew where

-the most precious books were kept.

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-If a visitor went anywhere near

-these books, the dog would growl.

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-No wonder he didn't sell many books.

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-They called the early eisteddfodau

-an 'arwest'.

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-They were great occasions.

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-They were similar

-to rebel eisteddfodau.

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-They were rebelling

-against the National Eisteddfod.

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-Clwydfardd had his Gorsedd

-in the National Eisteddfod.

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-It had become very anglicised.

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-MPs and landowners were allowed

-to join the Gorsedd.

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-Cowlyd and his friends wanted

-a return to the tradition...

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-..when the Gorsedd

-was only for bards and composers.

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-Cultured people. The Eisteddfod had

-to return to its Welsh roots, too.

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-It also needed to be held

-in a wide open space.

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-This is where they would hold

-their eisteddfodau.

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-Things took a turn for the worse

-when Trebor Mai and Gethin died.

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-Cowlyd went off the rails somewhat.

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-He created problems when

-the Eisteddfod came to Llanrwst.

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-Clwydfardd would cry to the masses,

-"Is there peace?"...

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-..and Cowlyd would shout,

-"No, there isn't!"

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-His behaviour became

-more and more erratic.

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-The Shah of Persia

-was part of his Gorsedd.

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-He wanted to get some big names

-in his Gorsedd.

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-The Pope and the Amir of Afghanistan

-were also in his Gorsedd.

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-He was very anti-establishment.

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-He had a very sad end to his life.

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-He died a pauper in Llanrwst.

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-They didn't put a headstone

-on his grave for 30 years.

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-He was a genius, in some ways.

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-Today, the Eisteddfod is close

-to how Cowlyd wanted it to be.

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-We have to stop here - this

-is Llywelyn Fawr's old church.

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-Llanrhychwyn.

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-Rhychwyn was a saint

-in the 6th Century.

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-He was the son of Helyg -

-you've heard of Llys Helyg.

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-He lived in the 6th Century.

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-It's a very old building.

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-There are two sections - this one,

-facing south, is the older section.

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-This was built

-almost 1,000 years ago.

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-The walls are very thick

-and the door frames are quite low.

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-The door is amazing.

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-You can't speak aloud in here.

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-You always whisper

-when you're in a church.

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-The roof trusses

-are all made of wood.

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-A lot of work

-went into building this.

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-Look at the stained glass window -

-one of the oldest in Wales.

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-How long has it been here?

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-It was installed by the Wynne family

-when the second section was built.

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-Llywelyn Fawr may well have sat

-in these seats.

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-It's one of the few buildings

-in Wales...

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-..you can be sure he visited

-at one time or another.

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-He was very close

-to the Conwy Valley.

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-He was born at Dolwyddelan Castle...

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-..he was buried at the monastery

-in Aberconwy...

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-..and his burial stone

-is in Llanrwst.

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-This was his church.

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-His hunting court was in Trefriw.

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-He'd walk up the steep hill

-from Trefriw to Llanrhychwyn.

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-According to the stories, his wife,

-Siwan, was not an early riser.

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-She seldom made the trek here

-on a Sunday morning.

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-Llywelyn built a church in Trefriw

-in the end - St Mary's Church.

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-Siwan was of Norman descent.

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-It is said he built the church...

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-..to save Siwan the steep walk

-every Sunday morning.

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-He was keeping his wife happy!

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-There's a certain something

-about ancient churches.

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-You almost feel closer to God.

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-There's a special atmosphere here.

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-There are pieces of furniture

-with names and dates carved on them.

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-Some of them have been here

-for 400 years.

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-There's something magical about

-them and the gravestones outside.

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-You can see examples

-of the old style of calligraphy.

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-There's a wonderful colour

-to these flowers.

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-There are a number of roads

-down from Llanrhychwyn...

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-..but this road, which leads

-to Castell Gwydir, is special.

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-There are different types of trees

-here, too.

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-Holly trees with red berries.

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-Red leaves on the beech tree.

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-Red leaves on the beech tree.

-

-Oak. Horse chestnut.

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-There's a cedar tree over there -

-one of many in the area.

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-We're within sight

-of Castell Gwydir now, Iolo.

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-It's not a real castle -

-it's an Elizabethan palace.

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-It has wonderful chimney stacks

-from the Elizabethan period.

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-The Wynne family lived here. They

-were very powerful in north Wales.

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-John Wynne of Gwydir was the most

-well-known member of the family.

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-He wrote a book about his family

-and about local history.

0:20:400:20:44

-This lowland is quite wet

-after the recent rainfall.

0:20:470:20:50

-It would be a lot worse without

-this river defence here.

0:20:500:20:56

-It's done well

-during periods of high water levels.

0:20:570:21:01

-This is an old river path.

0:21:020:21:04

-They've raised it

-and strengthened it.

0:21:050:21:08

-John Wynne lived in Gwydir -

-'gwydir' means old low land.

0:21:080:21:13

-That's why it's called Gwydir.

0:21:130:21:16

-He began the work of strengthening

-the river defence around here.

0:21:160:21:22

-He had a small harbour near Gwydir.

0:21:230:21:27

-Boats would sail up the river

-carrying wine from Beaumaris.

0:21:270:21:32

-They built a huge estate

-and included this lowland.

0:21:320:21:36

-There were many tales

-about John Wynne of Gwydir.

0:21:360:21:39

-He would often trick people.

0:21:390:21:42

-He once called his lawyer

-to his garden in Gwydir.

0:21:420:21:46

-He placed some of the

-garden's earth in his own shoes.

0:21:470:21:51

-Both of them went to a cottage

-in Dolwyddelan...

0:21:510:21:55

-..and he stated that he was

-standing on Gwydir territory.

0:21:550:22:00

-The lawyer confirmed this...

0:22:000:22:02

-..and the poor old widow

-signed her home over to Wynne.

0:22:020:22:06

-That's why he was knighted,

-I suppose.

0:22:060:22:10

-Here we are - Pont Gower.

-The end of the road.

0:22:100:22:14

-We've walked along flat countryside,

-wooded slopes...

0:22:140:22:19

-..valleys, lakes and mountains.

0:22:190:22:22

-A very varied walk.

0:22:220:22:25

-This is Pont Gower - who was Gower?

0:22:250:22:29

-He was Trefriw's Vicar.

0:22:290:22:31

-He saw his opportunity when

-the railway was built in Llanrwst.

0:22:320:22:36

-This is Llanrwst and Trefriw's

-train station.

0:22:360:22:39

-He built a wooden bridge

-to link the villages.

0:22:400:22:43

-He placed a toll booth at one end...

0:22:430:22:46

-..and collected contributions, for

-the Vicar's sherry fund probably!

0:22:460:22:50

-He'd also transport people

-back and forth to Trefriw.

0:22:500:22:54

-There were a lot of stories

-about John Gower.

0:22:540:22:58

-You'll have to come back again

-to hear some more.

0:22:580:23:02

-Delighted! Any excuse!

0:23:020:23:05

-# But May came to Nant Conwy,

0:23:060:23:09

-# To green the hazel and the ash.

0:23:090:23:13

-# The habitat of the hard woods,

0:23:130:23:16

-# Will survive in spite of this.

0:23:160:23:20

-# Spring's colours came once more,

0:23:200:23:24

-# Where the hard winter had been.

0:23:250:23:28

-# The land will beat the master,

0:23:280:23:32

-# While the oak remains. #

0:23:320:23:38

-S4C subtitles by

-TROSOL Cyf.

0:23:380:23:41
0:23:410:23:42

Y prifardd Myrddin ap Dafydd fydd yn tywys Iolo Williams o amgylch ardal Trefriw yn Nyffryn Conwy. Poet Myrddin ap Dafydd guides Iolo Williams through the Conwy Valley in a 2003 edition.