Dyffryn Banw Cynefin


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Dyffryn Banw

O Gamlas Trefaldwyn i ysblander Castell Powis mae digon i'w weld yn Nyffryn Banw a'r Trallwng. Exploring Dyffryn Banw & Welshpool from the Montgomery Canal to the splendour of P...


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-Wales, a land

-of mountains and valleys.

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-The terrain defines our country,

-from the coast to the border.

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-This canal ran from Newtown

-to Llangollen.

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-I'm the only one here.

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-Wales against the Saxons.

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-Princes against kings.

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-It all happened here.

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-This time, we're in the Banwy valley

-and Welshpool areas...

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-..where the hills

-rise menacingly towards the border.

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-As you'd expect from its location,

-it's dotted with battle sites.

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-More than anywhere else in Wales.

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-By now, though,

-it's comparatively quiet here...

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-..and, as you can see, glorious.

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-It's an agricultural area that has

-defended the language and culture...

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-..and an area full of secrets

-laden with remnants from the past.

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-Castles, old canals and industries.

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-But this area

-doesn't just belong to the past.

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-It's evolving

-and recreating itself...

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-..building layer upon layer

-on the foundations of the centuries.

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-This is our habitat.

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-The rivers Banwy, Severn,

-Rhiw and Vyrnwy cross the area...

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-..and many interesting travellers

-have made their way to these parts.

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-Celtic leader Caradog

-is said to have fought...

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-..his final battle

-against the Romans here.

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-On the western side of the valley,

-near the source of the Banwy...

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-..life is a little more relaxed.

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-We're in Llangadfan,

-in the Banwy valley.

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-It's a fairly wide area.

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-It's part of Montgomeryshire.

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-You've heard the saying

-"mwynder Maldwyn".

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-The gentleness of Maldwyn.

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-It's a fair description

-of the gentle terrain, first of all.

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-We're gentle people as well,

-but we have an inner strength.

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-We're within a few miles

-of Offa's Dyke.

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-The fact that the language

-has lasted here as long as it has...

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-..is proof of that strength.

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-We're proud of our language.

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-It is an interesting dialect,

-with your own unique words.

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-We do have certain words, yes.

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-What if I asked you

-when you last ate "ffebrins"?

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-I've no idea what it means.

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-"Ffebrins" is certainly

-a Montgomeryshire word.

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-It means gooseberries.

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-Oh, right.

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-As for birds,

-we'd say "clegar glas".

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-That's "creyr glas", or a heron.

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-And A is often pronounced

-like the Welsh E.

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-Linguistic gems aren't the only

-treasures in Llangadfan.

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-I've got a few things to show you.

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-You open that door

-and I'll open this one.

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-We'll see what you think.

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-Good grief!

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-These are just a few

-of the old things I've collected.

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-It's like a museum.

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-It's like a museum.

-

-I suppose it is, in a way.

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-Most of them are from this area,

-the work of local craftsmen.

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-Do you know what this is?

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-Do you know what this is?

-

-Something to do with a candle?

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-It's a rush-candle.

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-In September, they'd cut reeds

-and rushes to about this length.

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-They'd strip the reeds,

-taking off a lot of the outer husk.

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-If you hold that for me.

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-They then had a rush pan.

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-They'd then heat mutton suet

-over the fire...

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-..and let the reeds

-absorb all the suet...

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-..then dry them.

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-After it had dried,

-the reed would be about this length.

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-It was then placed into this.

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-And lit to light the house.

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-You've heard the saying,

-burning the candle at both ends.

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-I've done lots of that!

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-What happened was,

-they'd place the reed there...

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-..and light one end of it.

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-But when much of it

-had burnt away...

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-..they'd light the other end.

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-Burning the candle at both ends.

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-That's the origin.

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-That's the origin.

-

-Here's another object.

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-This is a piece of local history,

-but do you know what it is?

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-No.

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-As you can see,

-it's a piece of something.

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-An aeroplane came down

-in the Twrch valley...

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-..at my wife's home.

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-This was in 1977,

-and there was a huge explosion.

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-They went out

-and the sky was full of fire.

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-The field where the plane came down

-was originally two fields.

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-One was Cae Tu Ucha'r Sgubor,

-and the other was Cae Ffynnon.

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-But the plane

-made a huge crater.

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-It's called Cae Eroplen

-to this day...

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-..despite the farm changing hands!

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-It's incredible

-to look at this collection.

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-These must mean the world to you.

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-These must mean the world to you.

-

-It does give me a lot of pleasure.

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-In this technological age,

-it's easy to forget about the past.

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-About what has gone by.

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-John Ellis Lewis

-sums it up perfectly.

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-"I often ask the question,

-but it sounds so foolish, they say.

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-"Will we ever see the old area

-back the way it was one day?"

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-May he rest in peace.

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-That's how I see it.

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-There are more battlefields here

-than anywhere else in Wales.

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-Given that we're so near the border,

-that doesn't come as a surprise.

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-I'll try to locate a lost battle

-site north of Castle Caereinion...

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-..and follow Owain Glyndwr's

-footsteps to Welshpool...

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-..then head to Buttington

-on the trail of Vikings.

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-Somewhere here,

-five miles south of Welshpool...

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-..was the likely site

-of the Battle of Rhyd-y-Groes.

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-In the year 1039, a group of Saxons

-from Mercia gathered here.

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-We don't know much about them...

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-..expect for some names

-that have survived.

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-Edwin, Thurkil and Elfget.

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-But we can picture the scene.

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-Back then, trees covered this land.

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-The Saxons gripped their weapons...

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-..fearful of any movement

-among the leaves.

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-They were right to be afraid.

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-Hiding in the trees

-was Gruffudd ap Llywelyn...

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-..who had just proclaimed himself

-King of Wales, and 500 of his men.

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-They wore light clothes to allow

-them to move swiftly and quietly.

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-The Welsh descended on the Saxons...

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-..forcing them back into the Severn

-in their heavy armour.

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-This was truly guerrilla warfare,

-almost 1,000 years before Vietnam.

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-The name Rhyd-y-Groes survives,

-but on a caravan park.

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-It's the only remaining echo

-of the Welsh victory on that day.

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-Past battle sites may be lost,

-but, north of Welshpool...

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-..there are signs

-of an old local industry.

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-These lime kilns near Buttington...

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-..date from the early 19th century.

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-You can imagine the scene back then.

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-People coming,

-loading the coal and the limestone.

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-It burned for three days,

-cooled for a couple of days...

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-..and the lime was then unloaded.

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-The process took about a week,

-and they moved from kiln to kiln.

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-At its hottest, the temperature

-would have been about 900 Celsius.

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-Very hot.

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-But how did the limestone

-and the coal get here?

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-And how was the lime taken away?

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-This was before roads and railways.

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-The Montgomeryshire Canal was once

-part of a nationwide network.

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-It was an important focus

-for local employment.

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-At one time, two woollen factories,

-five breweries, corn mills...

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-..and gas and timber works

-were clustered around the canal.

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-Life and livelihoods

-rose out of its waters.

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-By today, only 11 kilometres

-of the canal remains.

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-I'm the only one here,

-sailing gently towards Welshpool.

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-.

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-*

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-A few miles from the border,

-the Montgomeryshire Canal...

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-..would have run

-all the way to Newtown...

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-..when it was opened

-at the turn of the 18th century.

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-Canals played a vital role

-in the Industrial Revolution...

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-..carrying goods across the country.

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-But the advent of railways

-and lorries...

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-..rendered canals

-increasingly irrelevant.

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-This canal was closed in 1944.

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-But since the 1970s,

-a group of volunteers...

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-..has worked hard

-to reopen the canal.

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-One of the first sections to reopen

-was this one, through Welshpool.

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-"Trallwng" means a dirty

-or marshy pool.

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-The English name Welshpool

-is much less poetic.

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-It used to be called Pool.

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-The Welsh was added in 1835...

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-..to differentiate it

-from other places of the same name.

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-Poole in Dorset, for example.

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-But if you listen

-to local Welsh speakers...

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-..they pronounce

-the town's name as "Trallwm."

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-Here we are, the lovely

-market town of Welshpool.

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-This is the Cross,

-literally the centre of town.

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-This street is Broad Street.

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-As you can see, it's very wide

-because of the market.

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-There was a market that way,

-the Smithfield, but not until 1862.

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-Before that, for many centuries,

-the market was on the street here.

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-Cattle, pigs, horses, sheep.

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-All kinds of animals, for centuries,

-going back to the Middle Ages.

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-But the town

-was established earlier.

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-In the Middle Ages,

-was it an English town?

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-It was a Welsh town, oddly enough.

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-A castle, about a quarter of a mile

-that way, defended the valley.

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-A borough was established here

-in the mid 13th century...

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-..by Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn.

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-At that time, the castle was moved

-to the present site of Powis Castle.

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-It was known as Castell Coch then.

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-It was known as Castell Coch then.

-

-So, a medieval Welsh town.

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-It's busy and noisy

-with all the cars today...

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-..but it would have been

-busier then.

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-Not far away is a building

-I didn't expect to have survived...

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-..especially in an area

-where so many battles took place.

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-This is the cockpit,

-octagonal in shape, as you can see.

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-It's the only one in Wales

-in its original location.

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-It would have been linked

-to a tavern there, the Castle Inn.

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-That was probably built around 1720.

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-Was it built as a cockpit?

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-Was it built as a cockpit?

-

-Yes, purpose-built.

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-And always used as a cockpit?

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-There are records

-that it was also used as a theatre.

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-All kinds of people came here,

-wealthy and poor alike...

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-..they'd bring their drinks, beer,

-tobacco pipes and so on, to bet.

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-You'd have 32 cockerels

-fighting each other, a knock-out.

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-There'd be one winner at the end

-taking the prize money.

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-It's said that people

-went into that chapel over there...

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-..with a cockerel under their arm,

-to pray for good luck.

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-If they lost, they'd go to the pub

-and drink to forget their woes.

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-Two different buildings,

-and very different behaviour!

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-That's how the story goes.

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-The cockpit was the halfway point.

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-I've seen several Tudor buildings.

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-There's the pub behind me,

-once the Mermaid, now The Black Boy.

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-The Talbot across the road,

-a few down there.

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-There are records from Tudor times

-pertaining to Welshpool.

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-One that stands out

-deals with a local yeoman farmer...

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-..called Humphrey Pierce.

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-He was accused of having a cabin

-outside his house...

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-..in which tennis was played.

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-Playing any game

-was illegal in Tudor times...

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-..be it tennis or even football.

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-The emphasis was on archery.

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-Illegal tennis. Whatever next?!

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-Wales' rich history!

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-West of Welshpool

-in a peaceful rural valley...

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-..lives a young man who's also

-part of Wales' rich history.

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-He's the youngest ever to create

-the National Eisteddfod chair.

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-But this workshop has produced much

-more than the 2015 Meifod chair.

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-I've learnt a lot from

-the older generations of my family.

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-The tools I now use

-belonged to my grandfather.

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-The instincts for the craft

-run in my family...

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-..from both sides, really.

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-It's important for me

-to use Welsh wood.

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-The oak and ash that I use

-comes from Wales.

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-It's quality timber,

-it has grown more slowly...

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-..and often under tough conditions.

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-That gives a closer grain,

-and makes really nice furniture.

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-When I can, I mill timber from trees

-on our farm or nearby farms.

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-People very kindly

-give me trees to mill.

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-When I can, I make a note

-of where the timber came from.

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-I've been able to use trees...

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-..that my grandfather milled

-when he was alive.

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-Being able to do that is special.

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-What I try to do

-is introduce modern design to it.

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-I use old skills, old joints

-and old tools, to some extent...

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-..while introducing the design

-in a way that suits the wood...

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-..but that also suits modern houses.

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-I've been very lucky

-in my life so far.

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-I've got a career

-that makes me happy.

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-The area has seen its share of

-bloody tales through the centuries.

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-But some are more modern and not

-confined to the fields of battle.

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-This is the Twrch valley,

-and we're on Foel Lwyd farm.

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-We're standing under

-a very famous tree.

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-Ceubren Foel Lwyd, a hollow tree.

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-This is a photo of a section

-of the tree from a century ago.

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-You can see two people in the photo.

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-The late butcher, John Evans,

-and the farmhand, Sam Francis.

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-John Evans lived

-in that house up there.

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-I've got a good story about it.

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-Have you? Mmm!

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-Apparently, John Evans

-had gone down to the Cann Office...

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-..for a special lunch

-that was held once a year.

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-It was called Clwb Cann.

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-He met a man whom he hadn't seen

-for quite a while, Rowland Llywarch.

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-Apparently, they had a pint or two.

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-It would appear that John Evans...

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-..invited Rowland Llywarch

-to stay the night...

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-..as far as we know.

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-But things didn't turn out

-as they expected.

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-Here we are at Foel Lwyd.

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-Something horrific happened here.

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-A double murder.

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-A double murder.

-

-In this house?

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-In this very house.

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-The following morning,

-the farmhand, Sam Francis...

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-..came to work

-through that gate, as usual.

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-He got to the farmyard

-and all was quiet.

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-As the story goes locally,

-he looked towards the door...

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-..and saw blood flowing

-under the door out into the yard.

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-The first thing he saw

-was the old butcher, John Evans...

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-..who had been murdered

-with his own knife.

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-He went into another room

-and saw Jane Evans.

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-She had also been murdered.

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-The next problem,

-where was Llywarch?

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-He had vanished,

-no-one knew where he was.

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-It became a manhunt,

-all over the local area.

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-Someone saw him by a bridge

-that we know today as Pont Sgadan.

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-The police came and found Rowland

-Llywarch hiding under the bridge.

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-Because he wasn't in his right mind,

-they had no right to hang him.

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-He was imprisoned.

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-This is a postcard

-that was published...

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-..showing the house

-as it was at the time.

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-If you look at that wall...

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-..you can see the outline

-of an old door.

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-You can imagine the blood

-flowing out underneath it...

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-..if that was actually true.

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-But the murder was only one thing.

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-The victims had to be buried,

-and arrangements were made.

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-Why he murdered the butcher,

-who knows.

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-But the equipment to kill him

-was there.

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-The old butcher's knife was around,

-and that was that, finished.

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-Here, near the border, fights

-and battles are never far away.

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-Somewhere down there is the site

-of the Battle of Maes Moydog.

0:20:340:20:38

-In the 13th century...

0:20:390:20:41

-..Madog ap Llywelyn

-proclaimed himself Prince of Wales.

0:20:410:20:46

-He started a rebellion

-against King Edward I.

0:20:460:20:50

-He seized Caernarfon,

-Ruthin, Denbigh and Cricieth...

0:20:510:20:55

-..and came close to beating

-the King himself in Conwy.

0:20:550:20:59

-No wonder the King wanted to end

-the rebellion once and for all.

0:20:590:21:03

-We know that the English army

-marched all night on 4 March 1295.

0:21:060:21:11

-They came across Madog and his men

-early the next morning.

0:21:110:21:15

-The English

-had two clear advantages.

0:21:150:21:18

-They had bows,

-whereas the Welsh had spears...

0:21:180:21:21

-..and, crucially, they had control

-of the high ground you saw earlier.

0:21:210:21:26

-The Welsh had no hope.

0:21:270:21:28

-Arrows sprayed down onto them.

0:21:280:21:31

-700 of them were killed

-at the Battle of Maes Moydog...

0:21:310:21:35

-..compared to 100 English soldiers.

0:21:350:21:38

-There's also talk of a second battle

-to the north-west of here...

0:21:390:21:43

-..when another 100 Welsh soldiers

-or so were killed.

0:21:440:21:47

-We even know that the English

-had an army of 2,847 that day...

0:21:470:21:52

-..each earning a good wage

-of threepence a day.

0:21:520:21:55

-We don't know the exact site

-of the Battle of Maes Moydog.

0:21:570:22:01

-It was probably around here,

-near Castle Caereinion.

0:22:010:22:04

-It's a shame

-this old oak can't talk...

0:22:050:22:08

-If you drive

-along the A458 near Llangadfan...

0:22:110:22:15

-..you'll pass the Cann Office,

-a pub with an interesting name.

0:22:150:22:19

-But why the name?

0:22:200:22:21

-There has been an office here

-since 1662...

0:22:210:22:24

-..where the messengers

-of noblemen and bishops...

0:22:240:22:28

-..changed horses and slaked thirsts.

0:22:290:22:31

-But not every messenger could read.

0:22:320:22:34

-That called for a sign outside

-which everyone could understand.

0:22:350:22:39

-The answer was to place

-three cans outside the pub.

0:22:410:22:47

-The original meaning of can

-is a vessel that held a drink.

0:22:470:22:51

-These were outside the office...

0:22:510:22:54

-..to show what they could expect

-when they went in.

0:22:540:22:57

-The can office.

0:22:580:23:00

-One of the rooms in the pub

-also has an interesting name.

0:23:010:23:06

-Cut Lloi - the calves' shed.

0:23:060:23:08

-It has also inspired

-the formation of a singing party.

0:23:080:23:12

-They keep the tradition

-of plygain singing alive locally.

0:23:120:23:16

-It was a room where anyone

-could have a drink...

0:23:220:23:25

-..in their working clothes

-and no-one would mind.

0:23:250:23:28

-It was a homely place.

0:23:290:23:30

-Is that a reflection of the sound

-that Parti Cut Lloi produces?

0:23:310:23:35

-We're out here

-in western Montgomeryshire.

0:23:350:23:39

-The mountains come to meet you.

0:23:390:23:42

-We're out in the countryside...

0:23:420:23:44

-..and the songs we sing

-have links to rural life...

0:23:450:23:50

-..and farming and rural traditions.

0:23:510:23:54

-Sadly, they're dying out today,

-but we try to keep them alive.

0:23:550:24:00

-For example, in winter,

-the tradition of plygain singing.

0:24:010:24:04

-You're from a long line of them.

0:24:050:24:07

-I was steeped in the tradition...

0:24:070:24:10

-..by my father and forefathers,

-in a way.

0:24:100:24:13

-It was a tradition...

0:24:130:24:15

-..and it's great to see it

-alive and kicking in this area.

0:24:150:24:21

-It's important to keep

-these traditions alive.

0:24:210:24:24

-It's something of which we can be

-extremely proud as a nation.

0:24:240:24:29

-.

0:24:380:24:38

-Subtitles

0:24:440:24:44

-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

0:24:440:24:46

-We're roaming in the Banwy valley

-and Welshpool area this week.

0:24:480:24:53

-In Welshpool itself,

-there are several narrow alleys...

0:24:530:24:58

-..that hide

-rather unpleasant tales.

0:24:580:25:02

-This is by no means wide, Dewi.

0:25:050:25:06

-This is by no means wide, Dewi.

-

-You're right, it isn't.

0:25:060:25:08

-It's narrow, to say the least.

0:25:080:25:10

-It's called Hopkins Passage.

0:25:100:25:12

-It's one of many

-narrow alleyways in Welshpool...

0:25:130:25:17

-..where poor people

-would have lived.

0:25:170:25:21

-Pigs would run free here.

0:25:210:25:24

-Raw sewage, no toilets and so on.

0:25:240:25:28

-The stench would have been awful.

0:25:290:25:31

-There were complaints

-about the smell even at the time.

0:25:310:25:35

-Are there records of that?

0:25:350:25:37

-Are there records of that?

-

-Yes, there are records.

0:25:370:25:38

-Fortunately for us, a detailed

-report was published in 1849...

0:25:390:25:43

-..by George Thomas Clarke.

0:25:430:25:46

-He carried out extensive research

-into the appalling conditions here.

0:25:460:25:51

-There were concurrent outbreaks

-of two diseases in 1849...

0:25:520:25:56

-..cholera and scarlet fever.

0:25:560:25:58

-The percentage

-who died in Welshpool...

0:25:590:26:02

-..was higher than any other town

-in north and mid Wales.

0:26:020:26:06

-You first, go on.

0:26:070:26:09

-Thank you.

0:26:090:26:10

-This really is narrow.

0:26:100:26:12

-This is the narrowest of them all.

0:26:120:26:16

-This is Powell's Lane.

0:26:180:26:20

-I know you've researched

-the census for this area.

0:26:200:26:23

-I found a record

-of a man called Anthony Protheroe.

0:26:230:26:27

-I had to read it a few times

-to make sure I was reading it right.

0:26:270:26:31

-Under occupation, it said thief.

0:26:320:26:36

-Why would he admit that?

0:26:370:26:39

-Why would he admit that?

-

-It was an outbreak of honesty.

0:26:390:26:41

-It gives a sense of the people here.

-Not everyone did that, of course.

0:26:410:26:46

-Hold onto your bag, in case

-Anthony Protheroe is still here.

0:26:460:26:50

-I have to ask about the name.

0:27:020:27:04

-Daxe's Row?

0:27:040:27:05

-Daxe's Row?

-

-An interesting and unusual name.

0:27:050:27:08

-The Daxes were a local family

-here in Welshpool.

0:27:080:27:11

-They lived here

-since at least the 17th century.

0:27:110:27:15

-This is named after them.

0:27:150:27:17

-The word row is interesting,

-suggesting a row of houses.

0:27:180:27:24

-An inquest was held here

-in September 1849.

0:27:240:27:28

-A Doctor Harrison

-came here to help.

0:27:290:27:33

-He was stunned

-by the living conditions.

0:27:330:27:35

-The deceased was called Elizabeth

-Hill and she died of cholera.

0:27:360:27:40

-There were six houses here,

-all under one roof.

0:27:400:27:44

-There was no toilet

-in the entire street.

0:27:440:27:47

-Harrison lived

-more or less across the road...

0:27:470:27:51

-..at Park Lane House that Daxe's Row

-was unfit for human habitation.

0:27:510:27:56

-But thanks to people like Harrison,

-Clarke's report and local clerics...

0:27:560:28:02

-..there came an awareness

-that the situation had to change.

0:28:020:28:07

-Now, the name remains...

0:28:070:28:09

-..as a tribute to people

-like Elizabeth Hill and others..

0:28:090:28:13

-..who have been forgotten

-by history, in a way.

0:28:140:28:17

-So, there you have it.

0:28:170:28:19

-So, there you have it.

-

-Daxe's Row.

0:28:190:28:21

-This is another interesting part

-of town, Nant Lledan.

0:28:300:28:35

-The stream goes under the canal,

-under this aqueduct here...

0:28:360:28:40

-..and continues towards the Severn.

0:28:400:28:43

-At the time we've been discussing...

0:28:440:28:46

-..it would have been full

-of raw sewage, with an awful stench.

0:28:460:28:51

-But thanks to the likes of Clarke,

-it's very different here today.

0:28:510:28:56

-We can hear the ducks

-quacking in agreement.

0:28:560:28:59

-As we hear Welshpool's history,

-the past comes alive.

0:29:050:29:08

-It happens easily

-when you have a good guide.

0:29:080:29:11

-But at this time of day, when the

-traffic noise starts to die down...

0:29:120:29:16

-..it's easier to imagine

-what this place was like years ago.

0:29:160:29:20

-There are battlefields

-around us everywhere.

0:29:260:29:29

-To the south,

-the north and northeast.

0:29:290:29:32

-But I'm currently

-on the Glyndwr's Way path.

0:29:320:29:35

-It starts far to the south,

-in Knighton...

0:29:350:29:38

-..and passes through hills,

-towns and rural areas...

0:29:390:29:42

-..over 217 miles,

-before ending here in Welshpool.

0:29:420:29:48

-A lot of people must have ended

-their walk in a pub like this one.

0:29:500:29:54

-But do they know why they are

-following in Glyndwr's footsteps?

0:29:550:29:59

-The rebellion was just starting

-when Glyndwr attacked Welshpool.

0:30:010:30:06

-Fresh from attacks

-on Ruthin and Colwyn Bay...

0:30:060:30:09

-..he and his men came here

-in late September 1400.

0:30:090:30:13

-They say that history

-is written by the victors.

0:30:160:30:19

-But only one record remains

-of the fierce fighting here...

0:30:190:30:24

-..in an English court document.

0:30:240:30:27

-"They made their way in a warlike

-manner to the town of the Pole...

0:30:270:30:32

-"..and on the Thursday

-immediately following...

0:30:320:30:35

-"..they feloniously and totally

-despoiled the said town...

0:30:360:30:39

-"..and the people living in it."

0:30:400:30:42

-In other words,

-they wrecked the place.

0:30:420:30:45

-The English give the same impression

-about all of Glyndwr's attacks...

0:30:460:30:50

-..portraying him as wild and

-merciless, living outside the law.

0:30:510:30:56

-But other evidence

-sometimes tells a different story.

0:30:560:31:01

-We'll never really know

-what welcome Glyndwr got here.

0:31:010:31:05

-But thanks to Glyndwr's Way and the

-thousands who walk it annually...

0:31:050:31:11

-..his name will be linked

-to the town for years to come.

0:31:110:31:15

-Princes, Glyndwr, and battles

-between the English and the Welsh.

0:31:150:31:19

-But a few miles off,

-a remarkable story hides away.

0:31:190:31:23

-One thing that's apparent is that

-local people are proud of the area.

0:31:260:31:31

-The same is true of the canal.

0:31:310:31:34

-Volunteers come from far and wide.

0:31:350:31:37

-I moved here with my work

-almost 40 years ago.

0:31:380:31:41

-I was born and bred

-in Aberystwyth, by the sea.

0:31:410:31:44

-And here I am, by the water again.

0:31:450:31:48

-A canal, not the sea.

0:31:480:31:50

-Why the interest in the canal?

0:31:500:31:52

-Why the interest in the canal?

-

-I don't know.

0:31:520:31:53

-There's something about the peace.

0:31:530:31:56

-We're among nature's beauty...

0:31:560:31:59

-..and it has

-an interesting history.

0:31:590:32:03

-The first section

-was opened in 1797.

0:32:030:32:05

-The intention was to open a canal

-from Ellesmere near Oswestry...

0:32:060:32:11

-..all the way to Newtown.

0:32:110:32:13

-For what reason?

0:32:130:32:15

-Limestone came down

-from the quarry in Llanymynech.

0:32:160:32:19

-It came down the canal and the lime

-was then scattered onto the land.

0:32:190:32:24

-So, it was an agricultural industry?

0:32:250:32:27

-So, it was an agricultural industry?

-

-That's what it was, yes.

0:32:270:32:29

-What's your involvement with it?

0:32:300:32:32

-What's your involvement with it?

-

-I'm one of the Friends of the Canal.

0:32:320:32:35

-These people work hard,

-and there's always something to do.

0:32:350:32:41

-Maintenance and upkeep.

0:32:410:32:42

-Maintenance and upkeep.

-

-A lot of maintenance, yes.

0:32:420:32:44

-You have to keep the water clear.

0:32:450:32:48

-The boats can't travel along it

-if there's too much growth.

0:32:490:32:55

-After battling so hard

-to reopen this 17-mile stretch...

0:32:550:33:00

-..and despite only one barge

-travelling along it currently...

0:33:010:33:05

-..the Friends are determined

-to keep it open.

0:33:050:33:09

-You're busy

-and it looks like worthwhile work.

0:33:090:33:12

-What sort of stuff do you do?

0:33:120:33:14

-What sort of stuff do you do?

-

-It varies.

0:33:140:33:15

-Anything from clearing trees

-that have fallen across the canal...

0:33:150:33:20

-..we have to react quickly...

0:33:200:33:22

-..to painting the locks,

-and maintenance on the locks.

0:33:220:33:25

-The canal, it seems to me, is

-a very important part of Welshpool.

0:33:260:33:31

-If it's not maintained,

-it'll die again.

0:33:310:33:35

-We're doing our best,

-and enjoying it, put it that way.

0:33:350:33:39

-As I'm enjoying my canal trip,

-it's only fair that I help out...

0:33:410:33:47

-..and volunteer to clear it.

0:33:470:33:49

-It's almost impossible

-to see the bottom.

0:33:510:33:54

-Thank you, Pat.

0:33:590:34:00

-As an archaeologist, I spend most

-of my time looking for rubbish.

0:34:000:34:05

-But it's usually much older

-than the stuff that's in here!

0:34:060:34:10

-But it's all archaeology...

0:34:100:34:13

-..and evidence of human behaviour.

0:34:130:34:16

-They're everywhere!

0:34:170:34:19

-We've collected 60 or 70 bottles

-in about 15 minutes.

0:34:200:34:25

-This maintenance work is vital

-to secure the canal's future.

0:34:260:34:31

-These volunteers

-do very important work.

0:34:310:34:34

-Southwest of Welshpool

-is Powis Castle.

0:34:430:34:46

-It was home to the Herbert family,

-from Sir Edward Herbert in 1595...

0:34:460:34:51

-..to Earl George and Countess

-Violet almost 400 years later.

0:34:510:34:57

-The original castle

-was built by the princes of Powys...

0:34:570:35:01

-..to defend the area

-from the princes of Gwynedd.

0:35:010:35:04

-The original castle

-was built in the 13th century...

0:35:050:35:09

-..by Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn.

0:35:100:35:12

-Initially a military castle,

-it then became a home.

0:35:120:35:17

-That's why we have

-these fantastic gardens.

0:35:170:35:20

-Is this plant here

-native to Powis Castle itself?

0:35:200:35:25

-That's right,

-Artemisia Powis Castle.

0:35:250:35:28

-In the 1970s, the head gardener

-found it among another plant.

0:35:280:35:34

-He took a cutting and planted it on.

0:35:340:35:37

-The original plant is up there.

0:35:370:35:39

-The original plant is up there.

-

-Am I allowed to touch it?

0:35:390:35:40

-This section dates back

-to the start of the last century.

0:35:500:35:54

-Countess Violet changed this area.

0:35:540:35:57

-It used to have greenhouses

-and a kitchen garden.

0:35:570:36:01

-But she wanted

-a formal garden instead.

0:36:010:36:03

-She had it all changed...

0:36:040:36:06

-..and now these lovely flowers

-and apple trees grow here.

0:36:060:36:10

-It looks much nicer from the castle

-than a kitchen garden would have.

0:36:100:36:15

-So, that was the plan.

0:36:150:36:17

-Wow!

0:36:300:36:31

-It's fantastic, isn't it?

0:36:310:36:34

-It takes your breath away.

0:36:340:36:35

-It takes your breath away.

-

-I wanted to show you this view.

0:36:350:36:37

-It's one of my favourite spots.

0:36:380:36:39

-I'm not surprised.

0:36:400:36:42

-You can see the different periods.

0:36:420:36:44

-You can see the different periods.

-

-Yes, how the gardens have developed.

0:36:440:36:47

-I've got a photo here.

0:36:470:36:49

-You can see the yew trees up there.

0:36:500:36:53

-They're the same ones?

0:36:530:36:55

-They're the same ones?

-

-Yes, that's right, the same ones.

0:36:550:36:57

-So, they're 300 years old?

0:36:580:37:00

-So, they're 300 years old?

-

-Yes, over 300 years old.

0:37:000:37:02

-Seven full-time gardeners

-maintain the Powis Castle gardens.

0:37:060:37:12

-But you can never have

-too much help.

0:37:120:37:15

-There we go.

0:37:150:37:16

-And then just go straight?

0:37:170:37:18

-And then just go straight?

-

-Yes, straight then upwards.

0:37:180:37:20

-Quite close in to the hedge.

0:37:200:37:22

-Stand back!

0:37:220:37:23

-Stand back!

-

-I will stand back!

0:37:230:37:25

-Slightly more upright.

0:37:250:37:27

-There we are.

0:37:340:37:35

-There we are.

-

-Is that too much?

0:37:350:37:37

-In the 100 years

-it's been in existence...

0:37:380:37:41

-..has anyone else

-made such a mess of it?!

0:37:410:37:43

-The good thing about yew,

-it grows back very quickly.

0:37:440:37:47

-It has become a custom...

0:37:470:37:49

-..for gardeners to cut patterns

-into the lawns at Powis Castle.

0:37:490:37:53

-In the Great War's centenary year,

-this year's pattern is a poppy.

0:37:540:37:58

-I'll start mine.

0:37:590:38:00

-.

0:38:120:38:12

-*

0:38:170:38:17

-Beyond the famous baroque gardens,

-Powis Castle houses many treasures.

0:38:190:38:24

-While much of the castle

-is open to the public...

0:38:240:38:27

-..we are fortunate enough

-to be able to see some items...

0:38:270:38:31

-..that are usually

-under lock and key or hidden away.

0:38:310:38:35

-After seeing the gardens

-then approaching this entrance...

0:38:380:38:43

-...you can see

-centuries of history.

0:38:430:38:46

-These particular walls

-date back to the 13th century.

0:38:460:38:50

-These marks in particular

-are very interesting.

0:38:500:38:54

-That's where they sharpened their

-arrows before going into battle.

0:38:540:38:59

-These doors lead you on

-into the 19th century.

0:39:000:39:05

-This is interesting.

0:39:050:39:07

-This is based on the coat of arms

-of the Herbert family.

0:39:080:39:11

-Sir Edward Herbert

-bought the castle in 1580.

0:39:120:39:16

-The family lived here

-for the following 400 years...

0:39:160:39:20

-..and filled the house

-with treasures.

0:39:200:39:22

-One of the finest pieces

-is this particular table.

0:39:240:39:28

-It's made of marble,

-and was made in Italy 450 years ago.

0:39:280:39:34

-The Herbert family

-were staunch Catholics...

0:39:350:39:39

-..and the table

-was a special gift from the Pope.

0:39:400:39:43

-If you look closely,

-there's an inverted pear.

0:39:440:39:48

-The Italian for a small pear

-is peretti...

0:39:480:39:51

-..and Peretti was the family name

-of Pope Sixtus V.

0:39:520:39:56

-This part of the castle

-isn't open to the public.

0:40:060:40:11

-Maintenance and restoration work

-is constantly going on here.

0:40:120:40:16

-Before I go up,

-take a look at the banisters.

0:40:170:40:20

-Pineapples are a symbol

-of a warm welcome and hospitality.

0:40:210:40:26

-Let's see what's in store.

0:40:260:40:28

-This is a fine room.

0:40:320:40:34

-Some of us have a parlour,

-a room for special occasions.

0:40:340:40:37

-This would have been it.

0:40:380:40:39

-The bedroom where special guests,

-or even royals, would stay.

0:40:400:40:46

-It's said that Prince Charles

-himself has stayed the night here.

0:40:460:40:51

-Something else that hides

-in this room is this.

0:40:540:40:58

-Behind the curtains,

-this detail on the window.

0:40:590:41:02

-Three feathers, a royal symbol...

0:41:020:41:05

-..again underlining the royal

-connections of this room.

0:41:060:41:11

-Everything's just a touch grander

-than the rest of the castle.

0:41:120:41:17

-There are so many

-magnificent items...

0:41:260:41:29

-..for the public to see

-at Powis Castle.

0:41:290:41:32

-But some treasures

-aren't on public display.

0:41:320:41:36

-We're very fortunate

-to be able to see this.

0:41:360:41:39

-It really is a gem.

0:41:390:41:40

-It's a greeting from

-the local people, the tenants...

0:41:410:41:44

-..to the Earl

-and Countess of Powis...

0:41:440:41:47

-..George and his wife, Violet...

0:41:470:41:50

-..on the birth of their first son,

-Percy, Viscount Clive.

0:41:500:41:55

-It's very interesting,

-and in Welsh as well.

0:41:550:41:58

-"We, your Lordship's tenants...

0:41:580:42:01

-"..on the estates

-of Llymystyn and Mathrafal...

0:42:010:42:04

-"..wish to congratulate you on

-the birth of your son, Lord Clive."

0:42:050:42:09

-It goes on

-to praise them as a family.

0:42:090:42:13

-"Our wish is that God bestows

-plentiful blessings upon you."

0:42:130:42:19

-However, their son and heir

-died at the age of 24 on the Somme.

0:42:190:42:24

-I'm now in Buttington.

0:42:330:42:35

-The English border

-is seven miles that way...

0:42:360:42:39

-..and Welshpool

-is 15 minutes away by road.

0:42:390:42:42

-Over 200 years ago,

-under this church...

0:42:440:42:47

-..they found 400 skulls

-and human bones.

0:42:470:42:51

-They were probably the remains of

-soldiers killed in a battle in 893.

0:42:510:42:57

-One of the most striking battles

-in the history of Wales.

0:42:570:43:01

-It was wet, and the Severn

-had burst its banks.

0:43:010:43:05

-Believe it or not, a group

-of Vikings found themselves here...

0:43:060:43:10

-..a very long way from the sea.

0:43:110:43:13

-However, we don't know

-where they intended to go.

0:43:130:43:17

-But when the river level fell,

-they had nowhere to turn...

0:43:170:43:21

-..and were deep in enemy territory.

0:43:220:43:24

-They had no choice

-but to destroy their ship...

0:43:250:43:28

-..and turn it into a fortress.

0:43:280:43:30

-At the time, fighting

-between the Welsh and the Saxons...

0:43:310:43:34

-..was at its most fierce.

0:43:350:43:37

-But they somehow joined forces

-to despatch this new enemy.

0:43:370:43:41

-A siege developed.

0:43:410:43:42

-The starving Vikings

-were forced to eat their own horses.

0:43:430:43:47

-The Saxons to the east...

0:43:480:43:49

-..and the Welsh to the west.

0:43:490:43:52

-They had nowhere to turn.

0:43:520:43:54

-Their only choice was to flee

-back in the direction of the river.

0:43:540:43:59

-Some may have sacrificed themselves

-so that many others could escape.

0:44:020:44:08

-Did anyone get away? Who knows.

0:44:080:44:11

-There's nothing to mark the site.

0:44:110:44:13

-No plaque,

-no information board, nothing.

0:44:140:44:16

-But there may be

-one reminder of the battle.

0:44:170:44:20

-This old yew tree behind me,

-in the churchyard.

0:44:200:44:23

-It's been dated to the exact

-same year as the battle, 893.

0:44:230:44:29

-As I leave Welshpool

-and head south...

0:44:380:44:42

-..the journey becomes less serene.

0:44:420:44:45

-There are several locks,

-all examples of superb engineering.

0:44:450:44:49

-They allow both the canal and boats

-to ascend steep hills...

0:44:500:44:54

-..with a bit of physical strength.

0:44:540:44:57

-It's a great shame

-that the Montgomeryshire Canal...

0:44:570:45:01

-..ends eight miles short of Newtown.

0:45:010:45:04

-But there are exciting plans afoot

-to try to reopen this section...

0:45:050:45:09

-..and attracting more boats

-to use it.

0:45:100:45:12

-There's a long dry section

-north of Newtown at the moment.

0:45:210:45:25

-But the aim is to reopen it.

0:45:250:45:28

-At the moment, the canal ends

-just south of Berriew, at Refail.

0:45:300:45:35

-Is that Berriew there?

0:45:360:45:37

-Is that Berriew there?

-

-Yes, that's Berriew.

0:45:370:45:38

-So, Newtown would be

-the end of the line.

0:45:390:45:42

-And as for northwards,

-where have you reached?

0:45:420:45:46

-The canal is complete

-as far as Arddleen, here.

0:45:460:45:51

-Unfortunately, the A483

-has crossed the canal.

0:45:510:45:55

-A lot of money

-would need to be spent.

0:45:560:45:59

-But once we do that...

0:46:000:46:02

-..we'll have access

-to 3,000 miles of canals.

0:46:020:46:08

-The British network?

0:46:080:46:09

-The British network?

-

-Yes, that's right.

0:46:090:46:11

-It runs from Llangollen

-to Frankton Junction...

0:46:120:46:17

-..where the Montgomery Canal began,

-and it goes on from there.

0:46:180:46:22

-That would transform the area.

0:46:230:46:25

-Yes, completely.

0:46:260:46:27

-Tourists could come on the network

-all the way down here.

0:46:270:46:31

-A world of difference.

0:46:310:46:32

-There's lots of work to do...

0:46:330:46:35

-..but Frankton Junction

-is the target, then the world!

0:46:350:46:39

-Powis Castle is a patchwork

-of different periods.

0:46:540:46:57

-It's also true of this area.

0:46:580:46:59

-One story after another,

-piled on top of each other.

0:47:000:47:04

-Some are familiar,

-others are hidden.

0:47:040:47:07

-But they all play a part

-in the process...

0:47:070:47:10

-..of turning an area into a habitat.

0:47:110:47:14

-S4C Subtitles by Testun Cyf.

0:47:290:47:31

-.

0:47:310:47:31

O Gamlas Trefaldwyn i ysblander Castell Powis mae digon i'w weld yn Nyffryn Banw a'r Trallwng. Exploring Dyffryn Banw & Welshpool from the Montgomery Canal to the splendour of Powis Castle