Pen-y-Wern farm is located at the top of a hill east of the
River Twrch which flows south through the Upper Twrch Valley in Breconshire. Though this farm has
been abandoned for many years, it provides a fascinating example of a farm of earlier
The lower part of the path follows the Twrch, winding through seemingly magical woodlands.
(To this American, it seemed that if I looked around fast enough I would catch a glimpse of fairies
dancing among the bracken.) When the path leaves the riverside, it climbs a steep grade to the top
of a hill then opens into a wide meadow of knee-high grasses. This hilltop wern is surprisingly
marshy and one must step carefully to avoid sinking into water or mud. The farm itself is just a
few yards ahead, located in a drier area and surrounded by aged trees.
Above: Afon Twrch arises in foothills
of Mynydd Du (Black Mountain), in Carmarthenshire, then flows through Breconshire and into
said of this river: "It is a river
with a personality, a real human river. It has the energy of a Welshman, clatters down, loses
its temper as it leaps over a cliff, has a rest in a deep pool, awakens to a fit of fury and
rushes through rocks, calms itself, and flows even-tempered for some dozen yards, makes a
spurt, reposes again, but never for long, for it is rushing to be wedded to the Tawe near
Ystalyfera." (Over the Edge of the Black Mountains)
(Photo by John Ball)
Above: On approaching the farm, the
buildings can barely be seen through the trees and dappled sunlight. The home is on the right,
the barn and smithy are beyond, center and left.
Above: Roof timbers and upper floor joists are no
longer in their proper places, but have fallen into what must have been the kitchen.
(Photo by Jennifer Ohmes)
Above: The fireplace and oven are at the other
end of the kitchen. One can imagine coming in after a hard day's work to the smell of fresh bread
(It rhymes with 'owl' and is a traditional welsh stew made with lamb, potatoes, leeks
and other vegetables.)
Above: At the back of the house we see
a few rafters, still in place. It's just a short walk from here to the
barn and the smithy. To see them, turn to page two.
|Thanks to Jennifer Ohmes
and John Ball for allowing me to use their photos.
*Unless otherwise noted, all photos
on this website were taken by Venita
who also holds the copyright. Should you wish to download any of them for any purpose (other
than your own enjoyment), please credit Venita
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